By The Associated Press
Canada closed in on a spot among the top six teams who will compete for three World Cup berths in the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
Canada moved into seventh place in the region in the September FIFA rankings released Thursday, just behind El Salvador. The Canadians defeated Cuba 6-0 and 1-0 in the CONCACAF Nations League and passed Panama, which lost 2-0 to Bermuda. The Canadians’ next two Nations League games are against the United States.
The top six CONCACAF teams in next June’s rankings will play for three World Cup berths during qualifying from September 2020 through September 2021, known as the hexagonal. All the other teams in the region will compete for the right to meet the fourth-place team in the hex in a playoff. The playoff winner will play a nation from another region for a spot in the 2022 tournament in Qatar.
Canada is just five points behind El Salvador in the rankings. Mexico leads the region and is ranked 12th in the world, followed in the region by the U.S. (21), Costa Rica (43), Jamaica (47), Honduras (67), El Salvador (72) and Canada (75).