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5 hours ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

Canada can move into 6th place if we win both matches and they lose both of theirs (exact point totals may change slightly due to Panama and Costa Rica friendlies beforehand).

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On 2/13/2020 at 8:40 PM, Olympique_de_Marseille said:

The whole point of Costa Rica playing us is that their match against El Salvador fell through. I think the leadership is of two minds, the president of FESFUT loves these friendlies in the States but the coach absolutely wants to bring this team to the Hex. Looks like they got scared of losing points and backed out of their friendly with Costa Rica.

So El Salvador plays Panama at home and hopes that home field advantage will give them a win. 4.6 points.

Now Hugo in that article said 7 points.

So @Kyle_The_Hill of the teams that are left, who will El Salvador play to gain 2.4 points? A neighbour like Nicaragua?

El Salvador seems to have finally come to terms with the most logical strategy, that is to play weaker sides to maintain a points gap between themselves and us.

@Olympique_de_Marseille where did you get this from? According to @Kyle_The_Hill ES is playing Costa Rica. I just assumed you were correct when you said that fell through but I haven’t actually seen any proof of that.

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8 hours ago, Kyle_The_Hill said:

https://us.as.com/us/2020/02/17/futbol/1581968523_520857.html?fbclid=IwAR3VlN-OulKuWdKRC6H_dDIz7EiCNTRm5IpNsyjKwv6hJcGZQIJcaQ9LRmw

@Olympique_de_Marseille slacking 😉

For real though, this is crazy. El Salvador are set to play Costa Rica in Costa Rica on March 31.

 

Not slacking! ;) As @archer21 points out, there was previously a rumour of a Costa Rica vs El Salvador match in Washington DC. Then the media in Costa Rica mentioned that El Salvador had cancelled that.

Some sites are reporting that it will be Panama vs Costa Rica in San José, some are reporting that it will be El Salvador vs Costa Rica in San José. I'm not sure what the truth is.

I suspect that El Salvador are not stupid enough to play Costa Rica. For example, this article from Panama states that the game will be between Costa Rica and Panama and will be at the home stadium of Cartaginés (actually about 30km from San José). This one seems more credible to me:

http://elsiglo.com.pa/deportes/frente-costa-rica-marzo/24151167

Edit:

Also another link from the media in Costa Rica:

http://www.teletica.com/amp/249678_la-sele-volvera-al-fello-meza-24-anos-despues

Edited by Olympique_de_Marseille

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According to the Salvadoran press,  The FA President is speaking to the head of their domestic league about playing two matches but only the Panama game is confirmed.

https://www.elgrafico.com/futbol/Primera-division-cedera-jugadores-a-seleccion-20200220-0002.html

 

Who else is even available?

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17 hours ago, trc2014 said:

I had the same feeling but it’s also pretty risky for them to not try to accumulate any points in this window.

They need to accumulate points but all they “need” is to beat some minnows.

if they were to play 4 minnows over the next two windows and pick up ~8points that would put us 22 back. 
Maybe they have more confidence in their squad than I do but it’s a bizarre strategy IMO

Edited by Floortom

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1 minute ago, BedBugs said:

For the sake of argument, is it possible that the Salvadoran and Panamanian football associations have conspired to schedule a fictitious match between themselves which will never be played, in order to force the CSA's hand? I thought it somewhat suspicious that Canada wound up arranging a match with Iceland, long after El Salvador and Iceland had already agreed to their match. Could it be that there's some Salvadoran pay-back in the works?

In my opinion I actually think Panama is stronger than El Salvador and would rather they play them in the 'B' route to get to the World Cup over playing Canada who i feel (on paper anyways) is a much more daunting task.. 

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6 minutes ago, TFC2017 said:

In my opinion I actually think Panama is stronger than El Salvador and would rather they play them in the 'B' route to get to the World Cup over playing Canada who i feel (on paper anyways) is a much more daunting task.. 

We are a much more daunting task on paper, but the fact still remains. We have not won in Central America since November, 2004. This must change this cycle or we don’t make the World Cup. 

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2 hours ago, Floortom said:

They need to accumulate points but all they “need” is to beat some minnows.

if they were to play 4 minnows over the next two windows and pick up ~8points that would put us 22 back. 
Maybe they have more confidence in their squad than I do but it’s a bizarre strategy IMO

I thought they have done better against non-minnows than against minnows, so I tried to confirm. Games from 2018 on.

Minnows:
W vs Montserrat
W vs Barbados
L vs Bermuda
W vs Saint Lucia
L vs Dominican Republic
W vs Montserrat
W vs Saint Lucia
W vs Montserrat
W vs Dominican Republic

Non-minnows:
W vs Honduras
L vs Brazil
W vs Haiti
W vs Guatemala
W vs Jamaica
W vs Haiti
L vs Japan
W vs Curacao
D vs Jamaica
L vs Honduras
L vs Iceland

Against minnows, points per game of 2.33
Against non-minnows, points per game of 1.73

So they have better results against minnows, but maybe not enough of a difference to make it worth it to them due to the ranking risk/reward. It still seems stupid of them to be playing tougher teams when they just need to coast to 6th place. 

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2 hours ago, Floortom said:

They need to accumulate points but all they “need” is to beat some minnows.

if they were to play 4 minnows over the next two windows and pick up ~8points that would put us 22 back. 
Maybe they have more confidence in their squad than I do but it’s a bizarre strategy IMO

Or maybe they have less. Maybe they think like me, that they wouldn't be able to get 4 wins against 4 minnows. If they go 2 wins a tie and a loss, they lose points overall. 

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20 minutes ago, Kent said:

I thought they have done better against non-minnows than against minnows, so I tried to confirm. Games from 2018 on.

Minnows:
W vs Montserrat
W vs Barbados
L vs Bermuda
W vs Saint Lucia
L vs Dominican Republic
W vs Montserrat
W vs Saint Lucia
W vs Montserrat
W vs Dominican Republic

Non-minnows:
W vs Honduras
L vs Brazil
W vs Haiti
W vs Guatemala
W vs Jamaica
W vs Haiti
L vs Japan
W vs Curacao
D vs Jamaica
L vs Honduras
L vs Iceland

Against minnows, points per game of 2.33
Against non-minnows, points per game of 1.73

So they have better results against minnows, but maybe not enough of a difference to make it worth it to them due to the ranking risk/reward. It still seems stupid of them to be playing tougher teams when they just need to coast to 6th place. 

Sorry Kent, didn't see your post. I think were making the same point.

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16 minutes ago, BedBugs said:

Why don't we ever play home friendlies against African opponents? Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, Congo DR, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivorie and South Africa are all ranked ahead of us at the moment, and you'd have to think that there's a few Canadian places in March where they'd freeze their nuts off?

Why would they agree to play in Canada and freeze their nuts off?

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29 minutes ago, BedBugs said:

Why don't we ever play home friendlies against African opponents? Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, Congo DR, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivorie and South Africa are all ranked ahead of us at the moment, and you'd have to think that there's a few Canadian places in March where they'd freeze their nuts off?

I would not want to play Nigeria. Too many good attackers up against our mediocre defense. And while their defense is traditionally prone to a lack of concentration, the athleticism could snuff out our strong, but not elite attack. I am more of a Canada fan nowadays and haven't watched Nigeria much recently, but I am familiar with who plays on the backline and where they play their club ball. It is at a higher level on average compared to our defenders.

I don't think we match up well with the African teams in general if I throw them all in the same "athletic" pot. Haiti gave us trouble and we can get by T&T because we have enough quality to overcome them. The top sub saharan African teams are a notch above the Caribbean teams skill wise, but with a similar athletic profile and style. I don't think it is a good idea. Now perhaps the North African teams on the other hand I would be more comfortable with, but they also have very good players at good clubs. I do not trust us to beat Algeria or Morocco.

I would rather play Bolivia or even Ecuador, the latter having physically strong players, but they are still Latin in their style and play with that sort of tempo, but when their execution let's them down we get opportunities. African teams I think play more direct and with a higher pace of play. A lot of balls in behind, etc. Less risks in vurnurable areas, so less chances for us, as I see it.

Most of this is generalization, but there may be room to argue some of this if you want to get granular about a particular team. I don't profess to be an expert on any of these teams.

Edited by Obinna

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4 hours ago, BedBugs said:

Why don't we ever play home friendlies against African opponents? Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, Congo DR, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivorie and South Africa are all ranked ahead of us at the moment, and you'd have to think that there's a few Canadian places in March where they'd freeze their nuts off?

Robert, you need to start looking at who plays when:

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Africa_Cup_of_Nations_qualification

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_(CAF)

Yes, South Africa would be a great opponent but all of those teams have two matches already booked for the March and June windows.

Late May, on "neutral" ground in Europe, when the European club season is over? Perhaps. But otherwise, this isn't possible.

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Just now, BedBugs said:

How many international friendlies did Canada play in 2018?

How many international friendlies did Canada play in 2019?

And now, all of a sudden Canada is playing 5 international friendlies is 3 months time?

Is it Robert or the CSA who needs to start looking at who plays when?

It’s you.

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8 minutes ago, BedBugs said:

Is it Robert or the CSA who needs to start looking at who plays when?

You will find that this exact thread was filled with posters tracking which teams were available for March (and I'm sure the same thing will happen for June). These posters actually take the time to look at which teams have booked friendlies or are otherwise engaged in international competition. Please do the same.

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8 minutes ago, BedBugs said:

I really don't think that you have to spend a lot of time trying to figure this out...is that you get to pick your opponents...

Yes, you pick your opponents amongst those that are not otherwise engaged in competition or have not already booked another opponent. There is no point asking why the CSA doesn't schedule a March/June game against an African opponent when we all clearly know that it is a scheduling impossibility.

Speculate and make suggestions if you want, but keep it within the realm of the possible.

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The beauty of friendlies is that you get to pick your opponents

12 minutes ago, BedBugs said:

I really don't think that you have to spend a lot of time trying to figure this out. If you want to move up in the rankings, whether its soccer or boxing, you simply have to take on higher-ranked countries or fighters. Your never going to get a title- shot or make the HEX by taking on the 105th or 162th ranked contenders. When are John Herdman and the CSA finally going to quit being scared and fix Alphonso and the boys up with some meaningful friendlies against top-6 ranked CONCACAF nations? If we lose, big deal. We'll just have to go the 7 to 35 route, but at least we gave it a good and honest effort, instead of this chicken-poop approach of trying to get in through the back door by playing minnows ever since we got eliminated from the Nations League. The beauty of friendlies is that you get to pick your opponents, unlike the minnow we are forced to play in the Nations League, Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying competitions. 

Not sure I want to get into this whole thing - but this is not true. You can pick an opponent that will agree to a friendly with you.  There is a difference.

You can try with whoever you like, but they have obligations and concerns of their own.  Other nations for the most part do not care 1/10 as much about FIFA rankings as Canada does as this juncture.  But even if a top 6 side were looking for some easy points for some reason, why pick Canada who are probably under-ranked.  But really they aren't, so why bother playing a side you only have a small chance of facing in the future that may not draw the crowds of a more local rival. 

It is a bit like saying your club should sign X player because you have Y million in your coffers and getting mad when it does not happen. The player, agent, other clubs all have their say.  You can't just choose to sign him if you have the money. 

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Clearly the criteria of Fifa points to qualify for the HEX is lazy and incoherent on the part of Concacaf. Just the fact that the confederation has many official teams and thus matches that are not official in Fifa demonstrates this. It's a real cheap chicken shhtt way of determining such an important matter. 

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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Two wins against T&T would give us ~7.5 points

Panama play both Nicaragua and Guatemala outside of the FIFA window first, so their ranking will change but if we stick to the:
+4.6 -0.4 -5.4 line for El Salvador vs Panama and if we are about ~14.2 points behind now, then,

Best case scenario:
We beat T&T twice and Panama beat El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~1.3

2nd/3rd best case scenario:
We beat T&T twice and Panama draw El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~6.3
We beat T&T in one game but draw the other and Panama beat El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~6.3

4th best case scenario:
We beat T&T twice and but prior to that, El Salvador declare their match against Panama is a training match - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~6.7


Other scenarios that kill our Hex chances:

We beat T&T twice and El Salvador beat Panama - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~11.3

We beat T&T in one game but lose the other and Panama beat El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~11.3

In all other scenarios the point gap grows.
Of course, the arithmetic gets more complicated if El Salvador schedule a second friendly.

Please correct any mistakes if I've made any. Thanks to @Kyle_The_Hill for the points from different match outcomes.

Edited by Olympique_de_Marseille

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1 hour ago, Olympique_de_Marseille said:

Two wins against T&T would give us ~7.5 points

Panama play both Nicaragua and Guatemala outside of the FIFA window first, so their ranking will change but if we stick to the:
+4.6 -0.4 -5.4 line for El Salvador vs Panama and if we are about ~14.2 points behind now, then,

Best case scenario:
We beat T&T twice and Panama beat El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~1.3

2nd/3rd best case scenario:
We beat T&T twice and Panama draw El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~6.3
We beat T&T in one game but draw the other and Panama beat El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~6.3

4th best case scenario:
We beat T&T twice and but prior to that, El Salvador declare their match against Panama is a training match - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~6.7


Other scenarios that kill our Hex chances:

We beat T&T twice and El Salvador beat Panama - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~11.3

We beat T&T in one game but lose the other and Panama beat El Salvador - The gap shrinks from ~14.2 to ~11.3

In all other scenarios the point gap grows.
Of course, the arithmetic gets more complicated if El Salvador schedule a second friendly.

Please correct any mistakes if I've made any. Thanks to @Kyle_The_Hill for the points from different match outcomes.

I think that’s basically all correct. Don’t wanna take the time to make sure the numbers are exact but there are a couple other scenarios that get us 11.3 points behind, such as we draw both and Panama beats ES, or we win and draw and Panama draws with ES.

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16 minutes ago, BedBugs said:

Not sure if this has already been discussed, but since you have brought up some hypothetical scenarios  here's one of mine:

It is of course no surprise that all 4 of the countries still in contention for the CONCACAF Nations League championship are ranked in the top 6 countries of CONCACAF. No matter how the final stage plays out in June, one of those four is going to incur 2 losses (as there will be a third place match) at maximum-weighted points, which based on the number of points Canada lost in their last match against the United States could added up to a drop of 40 points in the FIFA rankings. Now for the sake of argument let's say that the unfortunate country happens to be Honduras. Add to this, the fact that Honduras will be playing a friendly against the Czech Republic in Fort Lauderdale on March 29th, would it not have been a more strategic and beneficial move on the part of the CSA to chose to play 2 matches behind closed doors (which seems to be the CSA's preferred MO in recent times) in Fort Lauderdale against Honduras and the Czech Republic? If we are, like many on this board believe, better than El Salvador, then would the ideal HEX not include both Canada and El Salvador?

You can't lose points in the knockout rounds of finals of competitions.   The first game for the 4 teams is a semi-final of the Nations League. 

"Teams that earn negative points in the knock-out round of a final competition (e.g. as a result of losing, or even winning after PSO against a weaker team) do not lose any points...
This condition was introduced in order to protect the point totals of teams that have progressed to the knock-out round."

I would be interested to see a hard and fast documentation on whether that includes the third place game. The justification at the end would lead me to think so. 

Edited by WestHamCanadianinOxford

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36 minutes ago, BedBugs said:

Not sure if this has already been discussed, but since you have brought up some hypothetical scenarios  here's one of mine:

It is of course no surprise that all 4 of the countries still in contention for the CONCACAF Nations League championship are ranked in the top 6 countries of CONCACAF. No matter how the final stage plays out in June, one of those four is going to incur 2 losses (as there will be a third place match) at maximum-weighted points, which based on the number of points Canada lost in their last match against the United States could added up to a drop of 40 points in the FIFA rankings. Now for the sake of argument let's say that the unfortunate country happens to be Honduras. Add to this, the fact that Honduras will be playing a friendly against the Czech Republic in Fort Lauderdale on March 29th, would it not have been a more strategic and beneficial move on the part of the CSA to chose to play 2 matches behind closed doors (which seems to be the CSA's preferred MO in recent times) in Fort Lauderdale against Honduras and the Czech Republic, rather than a pair of matches against Trinidad and Tobago? If we are, like many on this board believe, better than El Salvador, then would the ideal HEX not include both Canada and El Salvador?

Theoretically we could play Honduras and Czech Republic but there’s no guarantee those teams will agree to play us. Also, I don’t love our chances of beating Czech Republic. As has been said, Honduras will not lose points in the Nations League knockouts, so there’s no way we catch Honduras.

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