2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

2018 FIFA World Cup™ 

Mexico to open Hex on the road

© AFP
The Official Draw for the final round of qualifying in North, Central America and the Caribbean took place on Friday 8 July in Miami. The event, from CONCACAF headquarters in Miami and hosted by General Secretary Philippe Moggio, sets the ball rolling on the highly competitive, six-team round-robin known throughout the region as the *Hexagonal* (or simply 'the Hex'). It will send three sides from the region directly to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.  

Draw results
1. C1
2. B2
3. A2
4. B1
5. A1 (Mexico)
6. C2

Only giants Mexico have officially qualified for the *Hexagonal* so far, but the remaining five teams will be known after the last two matches of the semi-final round are played on 4 and 8 September. The reigning CONCACAF champions will kick-off the *Hexagonal* round in November away from their hallowed ground of the Estadio Azteca against a team yet to be determined but one that could be, if results go accordingly in semi-final Group C, their arch-rivals USA.
 
Mexico are the only team in CONCACAF qualifying with a perfect record, having won all four of their games so far. Despite a demoralising 7-0 loss to Chile in the recent Copa America Centenario, Juan Carlos Osorio's team are still the cream of the region. They've scored ten goals so far in the semi-final round and have yet to concede.
 
Also in good shape are Costa Rica, who set the world stage alight two years ago by reaching the quarter-finals of the global showpiece in Brazil. The *Ticos* are three points clear atop their tricky semi-final group and looking likely bets to reach through to the final *Hexagonal* round. Also alive and aiming for places in the final round are the USA, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. 
 
For the first time ever, the *Hexagonal* will take place outside of one calendar year. It will, instead, run from November 2016 and conclude in October 2017, sending the top three sides directly to Russia. The fourth-placed team faces an intercontinental play-off against an AFC opponent for a potential fourth ticket to Russia from the CONCACAF region, while the fifth and sixth-placed teams will be eliminated.

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