I agree that finishing top 3 in the hex was always unrealistic. And we know that the intercontinental is a draw and out of our control. So it comes down which is the easier of
- beating two of US/Costa Rica/Honduras/Jamaica in a full group stage, and then beating the playoff winner, or;
- beating three teams (let's say Guatemala, Haiti and Panama) in knockouts, then beating the 4th place hex team (likely Costa Rica or Honduras) in a playoff.
Frankly, both of those seem very hard, but I still think the one-offs are better for us based on the fact that we would struggle to get any results away from home which hurts us more over a longer group stage.