CONCACAF WC Qualifying Second Stage Complete
Trinidad and Tobago turned around a first leg deficit with a 2-0 win at Bermuda tonight, for a 3-2 aggregate victory. T&T used goals from Daryl Roberts and former Columbus Crew and Sunderland forward Stern John to advance to the group which includes the United States, Guatemala, and Cuba who cruised 4-0 over Antigua for an aggregate 7-1 victory. Haiti used an own goal to defeat the Netherlands Antilles 1-0 after a scoreless first leg. Haiti now advances to the group stage where they will face Costa Rica, Suriname and El Salvador who used three late goals to beat Panama 3-1 and 3-2 on aggregate. Panama becomes the only side to have made the Hexagonal (final stage of qualifying) for 2006 and the knock out stages for Gold Cup in 2005 and 2007 not to qualify for the next stage. A shocking development indeed.
The next stage of qualifying will consist of the following groups. Seeded teams are in bold.
Trinidad and Tobago
Clearly Group B is the toughest with arguably four of the top five current CONCACAF teams drawn together. (The US is the exception and faces a much easier group based on current form) Group C is the softest with not a single team in my opinion that could place in the top two in Group B. The top two in each group will participate in the Hexagonal which represents the final stage of qualifying. The top three finishers in the Hexagonal advance to the World Cup with the fourth place finisher playing the fifth place South American finisher in a two leg playoff for a World Cup birth.