Friday 21 February 2020, 08:22

Two World Cup berths in play for Concacaf

  • Concacaf qualifiers have new format

  • This year's U-20 Women's World Cup to be co-hosted by Costa Rica and Panama

  • Two World Cup places up for grabs

As Costa Rica and Panama are set to co-host the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2020, the two countries qualify automatically for the event. Therefore, with Concacaf allocated a total of four places at the global tournament, only two World Cup tickets will be up for grabs at the upcoming regional qualifying tournament.

2020 Concacaf Women's Under-20 Championship

📆 Dates: 22 February to 8 March

📍 Place: Dominican Republic

🏟️ Stadiums: Estadio Felix Sanchez (Santo Domingo) and Estadio Panamericano (San Cristobal)

Among the favourites will be three of the usual suspects: USA, who have won the regional event on five occasions, two-time winners Canada, as well as defending champions Mexico.

The former two sides will be showcasing new coaches in the Dominican Republic, with Laura Harvey directing proceedings for the Stars and Stripes, and Rhian Wilkinson doing so for the Canucks. Mexico, for their part, will have a familiar face on the bench in Monica Vergara, who guided El Tri to second place at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018.

“With the new Concacaf format, the schedule is extremely demanding, and we’re going to need to plan well to make sure we utilise all of our players throughout the tournament,” Harvey said on US Soccer's official website. “I’m looking forward to seeing what level we can put out on the field, and I’m hoping that throughout the campaign we can show growth as a collective team and see some individuals shine,” ​she added.

New competition format

The road to the U-20 Women's World Cup in this confederation began in July of last year, when a preliminary round was held involving ten countries. That culminated in Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada qualifying for the final phase.

In the second round, which starts on 22 February, Concacaf’s top 16 teams based on their August 2018 rankings enter the fray. The places initially awarded to Costa Rica and Panama will be filled by Guyana and St. Kitts and Nevis, having topped their groups in the preliminary phase. With four other preliminary-round sides - St. Lucia, Grenada, Bermuda and Barbados – given byes into the last 16, it means the final phase will feature 20 teams in total, up from eight.

The teams have been divided into four groups as follows:

Group CGroup DGroup EGroup F
🇺🇸 USA🇲🇽 Mexico🇨🇦 Canada🇭🇹 Haiti
🇭🇳 Honduras🇬🇾 Guyana🇯🇲 Jamaica🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic🇳🇮 Nicaragua🇬🇹 Guatemala🇰🇳 St. Kitts and Nevis
🇨🇺 Cuba🇵🇷 Puerto Rico🇸🇻 El Salvador🇰🇾 Cayman Islands

On the completion of the group phase, the top three sides from each of the four pools will progress to the last 16, where they will join the aforementioned quartet. From this point on, it will be a straight knockout format.

The two finalists qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Round of 16

Match 25: 1C vs St. Lucia

Match 26: 1E vs Bermuda

Match 27: 2C vs 3E

Match 28: 2E vs 3C

Match 29: 1D vs Grenada

Match 30: 1F vs Barbados

Match 31: 2D vs 3F

Match 32: 2F vs 3D