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World Cup Qualifying resumes Friday
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Nicaragua (pictured) celebrates after scoring against host Suriname in a World Cup qualifier on June 16, 2015, in Paramaribo. (Photo: www.pinolerosports.com)

MIAMI – Qualifying in CONCACAF for the 2018 FIFA World Cup returns Friday with the start of third-round play.

Twelve teams will contest six, two-legged series through September 8 to determine the teams that will join the six seeded sides in the next phase.

This stage is highlighted by the debut of Jamaica, which finished as runner-up to Mexico in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Reggae Boyz will be challenged by a Nicaragua squad that is a perfect 4-0-0 over the opening two rounds of the competition.

CONCACAF.com takes a look at all match-ups:

ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES v ARUBA

1st leg: September 4 (Arnos Vale Playing Field – Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

2nd leg: September 8 (Complejo Guillermo Prospero Trinidad – Oranjestad, Aruba)

  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines advanced to third round by getting past Guyana on the away-goals rule after their series ended 6-6 on aggregate
  • Tevin Slater is St. Vincent & the Grenadines top 2018 WCQ scorer (3 goals)
  • Aruba advanced to third round by getting past Barbados (agg: 3-2) … Aruba lost first leg (2-0) and won second leg (3-0) by a forfeit

 

GRENADA v HAITI

1st leg: September 4 (Grenada National Stadium – St. George’s, Grenada)

2nd leg: September 8 (Stade Sylvio Cator – Port-au-Prince, Haiti)

  • Grenada advanced to third round by getting past Puerto Rico (agg: 2-1) … Grenada lost first leg (1-0 away) and won the second leg (2-0) … after an own-goal by Joan Morales (34’), Jamal Charles netted the game-winner (81’)
  • Haiti advanced to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold quarterfinals, falling 1-0 to Jamaica

 

CURACAO v EL SALVADOR

1st leg: September 4 (Stadion Ergilio Hato – Willemstad, Curacao)

2nd leg: September 8 (Estadio Cuscatlan – San Salvador, El Salvador)

  • Curacao defeated Montserrat (agg: 4-3) in first round
  • Curacao advanced to third round over Cuba on away-goals rule (agg: 1-1) … First leg: 0-0 home, Second leg: 1-1 away
  • Vidarrell Merencia is Curacao’s top 2018 WCQ scorer (2 goals)
  • El Salvador advanced to third round over St. Kitts & Nevis (agg: 6-3)
  • Nelson Bonilla is El Salvador’s top 2018 WCQ scorer (3 goals)
  • Jorge Rodriguez will make his debut as El Salvador’s head coach

 

CANADA v BELIZE

1st leg: September 4 (BMO Field – Toronto, Canada)

2nd leg: September 8 (FFB Stadium – Belmopan, Belize)

  • Canada advanced to third round over Dominica (agg: 6-0) … First leg: 2-0 away win, Second leg: 4-0 home win
  • Cyle Larin and Tosaint Ricketts are Canada’s joint-top scorers in 2018 WCQ (2 goals)
  • Belize advanced to third round over the Dominican Republic (agg: 5-1) … First leg: 2-1 away win, Second leg: 3-0 home win
  • Deon McCaulay is Belize’s top 2018 WCQ scorer (3 goals)

 

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA v GUATEMALA

1st leg: September 4 (Sir Vivian Richards Stadium – North Sound, Antigua & Barbuda)

2nd leg: September 8 (Estadio Mateo Flores – Guatemala City, Guatemala)

  • Antigua & Barbuda advanced to third round over St. Lucia (agg: 5-4) … First leg: 3-1 home loss, Second leg: 4-1 away win
  • Tevaughn Harriette and Josh Parker are Antigua & Barbuda’s joint-top 2018 WCQ scorer (2 goals)
  • Guatemala advanced to third round over Bermuda (agg: 1-0) … First leg: 0-0 home draw, Second leg: 1-0 away win (Stefano Cincotta 25’)

 

JAMAICA v NICARAGUA

1st leg: September 4 (National Stadium/Independence Park – Kingston, Jamaica)

2nd leg: September 8 (Estadio Nacional – Managua, Nicaragua)

  • In July, Jamaica became the first Caribbean side to reach the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, falling to Mexico in the final (3-1)
  • Nicaragua is 2W-0D-0L (6 GF, 1 GA) in 2018 WCQ away matches
  • Raul Leguias is Nicaragua’s top 2018 WCQ scorer (3 goals)

 

 
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