Monday 29 April 2024, 08:30

Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™ race ramps up for Concacaf trio

  • Pachuca, América and Columbus Crew head into 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup semi-final second legs with FIFA Club World Cup 2025™ prospects alive

  • All three must win Concacaf title to reach 32-team tournament in United States next year

  • Al Ain and Yokohama F. Marinos set up winner-takes-all final in Asia

CF Pachuca (MEX), Club América (MEX) and Columbus Crew (USA) continue their bid to be among the 32 teams at the Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™ (FIFA Club World Cup 2025™) when the North American trio take to the pitch for their 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup semi-final second legs this week.

Concacaf (North, Central America and Caribbean)

With CF Monterrey (MEX) and Club León (MEX) already through to the FIFA Club World Cup 2025 as recent continental champions, both Pachuca and América know that – given the two clubs per country limit, excluding the champions pathway – there is only one route to joining their compatriots in the United States next year and it starts with trying to knock each other out. The duo head into their Concacaf Champions Cup semi-final second leg on Tuesday locked at 1-1 and aware they have to go on to lift the trophy on 2 June to claim a FIFA Club World Cup 2025 place.

Jacen Russell-Rowe #19 of the Columbus Crew dribbles the ball

The same goes for Columbus Crew, who meet 2021 champions Monterrey on Wednesday in the other semi-final second leg. The Crew lead 2-1 after the first leg in the US, but need to become Concacaf champions this season to join 2022 continental title-winners and fellow MLS franchise Seattle Sounders (USA) at the tournament next year. If Monterrey lift the trophy again, then another MLS side, Philadelphia Union (USA), would be the beneficiary and qualify via the rankings pathway.

AFC (Asia)

There is a winner-takes-all AFC Champions League final in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after Al Ain FC (UAE) and Yokohama F. Marinos (JPN) won their semi-final ties. In addition to being crowned Asian champions, the victor of the two-legged final (1st leg 11 May, return on 25 May) will claim the one remaining place available to AFC teams at the tournament.

Yokohama players celebrate

They will join former champions Al Hilal (KSA) and Urawa Reds (JPN), as well as the one team qualifying via the rankings pathway, Ulsan HD FC (KOR), in the tournament in the US next year.