Thursday 20 August 2020, 02:46

Concacaf aspirants react as path to Qatar 2022 laid out

  • Concacaf qualifying draw for Qatar 2022 revealed

  • Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras seeded into final round

  • Competing nations react to Wednesday’s draw

It is just over two years since the world champions were crowned in Moscow and now Concacaf’s 35 aspirants finally know their road towards the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

The draw on Wednesday in Zurich revealed the First Round groups from which only the section winners will progress. The top five nations - Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras – also learnt their opening fixtures for Matchday 1 of the Octagon, with 3.5 tickets to Qatar on offer for the confederation. takes a look at some of the reaction across North, Central America and the Caribbean.

"We have been developing this group for more than a year to get ready for World Cup qualifying, and now we know the path ahead. This campaign presents some unique challenges, so the message is to be prepared for the unexpected and control what we can control. One thing is certain: this group of players is hungry for the challenge.” USA coach, Gregg Berhalter

“We consider this to be a balanced draw for Costa Rica. We have the possibility to have matches in every window as locals and as visitors. It's our belief that, to go to the World Cup, we have to face all our opponents and be prepared for any environment or circumstance.” Ronald Gonzalez, Costa Rica coach

“It was a good draw for us with all due respect to the countries we're going up against. Perhaps the Dominican Republic is the one with the most reference and the most difficult one I see right now. All the teams are difficult and, as the away team, we have some long trips to do.” Thomas Christiansen, Panama coach

“There is a group of players that have been part of the battle these past two years, they’ve been developing together on and off the pitch and they will be the narrators of what could be an amazing story for soccer in this country. It is important that when competing in Concacaf, at a stage where every game has so much at stake, that we are always at our strongest. We know this a long campaign consisting of 20 matches to reach Qatar 2022 and there are various stages in this campaign for which we have to plan.” John Herdman, Canada coach

“The format is good, it gives all the countries an opportunity to reach the final round. We face four different styles [of opponent] so we must study before we play each match. We have good experience now from the last Gold Cup, and we will need to be at the same level to win these games. Our absolute goal is to go to Qatar.” Remko Bicentini, Curacao coach

“Second place [in the group] should be realistic for us, and if we didn’t that would be disappointing. It would be a big ask for us [to win the group] but we seem to pull out surprises all the time. People didn’t expect us to be where we were for the Gold Cup last year. We have come a long way in a short space of time. We play our heart out, every game is a cup final, and [representing Montserrat] means the world.” Massiah McDonald, Montserrat forward