What Canada has left: How it can qualify for U-17 World Cup By Steven Sandor Posted on March 7, 2015 1 0 720 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter So, after Friday’s encouraging (and maybe just a bit surprising) 1-1 draw with Mexico, Canada is sorta tied with El Tri at the top of the six-team Group B table at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship. Both team have two wins and one draw. But Mexico’s goal difference is +8, the Canadians are just three goals to the good. To recap: Under the new format, the top team in the group gets an automatic entry into the U-17 World Cup. The second- and third-place finishers will play win-and-in playoff matches that also include the second- and third-place teams from Group A (but, under the new rules, they don’t necessarily cross over; the four teams would be ranked based on the points they got in the group stage; then it’s 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3). Costa Rica and Panama have six points each, while Mexico and Canada each have seven. But the Costa Ricans and Panamanians have to play each other, so we know that one or the other (or both, if they draw) won’t get maximum points out of their remaining two matches. So Canada knows this: Win one of its remaining two games, and it will be guaranteed a top-three spot and, at worst, a playoff game. (That’s because Canada already beat Costa Rica and wins any potential tiebreaker with the Ticos). But, there is still the chance to actually win the group, but goal difference is the issue. Canada plays St. Lucia in its next game; meanwhile, the Mexicans get Haiti. The two Caribbean minnows will be expected to be the receivers of what could be goal-difference-padding matches. But, truly, it’s not realistic for Canada to make up five goals. The final matches will see Canada play Panama while the Mexicans face Costa Rica. And how those games play out may depend on what happens in the Panama-Costa Rica match. So, now that we’ve walked through the scenarios, let’s book ourselves a chat with Stephen Hawking. We’re ready.