Friday 16 November 2018, 21:55

CONCACAF trio secure tickets to Poland 2019  

  • Mexico, Panama and USA qualify for next year’s U-20 World Cup

  • Wins over El Salvador secured berths for both Mexico and Panama

  • USA earn qualification spot after four-goal win over Costa Rica

Mexico, Panama and USA have secured qualification to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 following Friday’s matches in the qualification group stage at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

In the day’s first match in Bradenton, Florida, an early header from Daniel Lopez gave Mexico a 1-0 victory over El Salvador in Group H. With Panama having also defeated El Salvador 1-0 in their qualification group stage encounter on Tuesday, both the Mexicans and Panamanians ensured they would be heading to next year’s world finals.

Mexico will be making their 16th appearance at a U-20 World Cup at Poland 2019, while it will be the sixth occasion that Panama have taken part in the competition.

Group H action will conclude on Monday, with Mexico and Panama battling for a spot in the final of this year’s CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

In Friday’s second contest, USA became the third CONCACAF team to secure their qualification berth after a comfortable 4-0 win over Costa Rica in Group G.

Alex Mendez’s superb long-range strike on the quarter-hour mark opened the scoring for Tab Ramos’s side, while Ulysses Llanez, Juan Pablo Torres and Ayo Akinola also got on the scoresheet for the Stars and Stripes.

With the result, USA will be making their 16th appearance at a U-20 World Cup in Poland next year.

Group G will conclude on Monday when USA meet Honduras, with the Stars and Stripes looking to reach the tournament final as hosts. The Hondurans will be aiming for a result themselves, as they seek to claim the final CONCACAF qualification berth for Poland 2019.

The 2019 U-20 World Cup will take place from 23 May to 15 June. Along with hosts Poland, Italy, Portugal, Ukraine, France and Norway will be the European representatives at the tournament, while OFC nations New Zealand and Tahiti previously booked their berths at next year's competition. Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar and Saudi Arabia recently claimed their spots from Asia.