Qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals hits a crescendo this weekend, as a vital two-week period begins with the first of three matches in the final hexagonal in CONCACAF .

By 1 July, when each of the six countries have played their fourth, fifth and sixth matches of the 10-match final round, much might well be known of the three countries who will represent the Confederation at Korea/Japan 2002.

Yet heading into the fourth matchday, while the USA has a clear advantage with a perfect nine points from their three matches, the rest of the field is so tightly bunched that the three-match run could produce more questions than answers.

Saturday, the USA must head to Kingston, Jamaica, where the home side has an unbeaten record at the National Stadium dating back nearly six years over almost a half-century of matches. Mexico puts an unbeaten streak of its own on the line in the capital, desperately seeking a good result against Costa Rica. Trinidad & Tobago will play host to Honduras in a match where both sides feel they need the three points to stay in the hunt for a World Cup finals ticket.