CONCACAF football marks its rise with excellent World Cup showing

Fifa World Cup Brazil

CONCACAF football has well and truly put itself on the map after some impressive World Cup displays from developing football nations in the region.

The last remaining CONCACAF side were eliminated from the World Cup last night as Costa Rica lost on penalties to the Netherlands in the quarter-finals but the nations from the region impressed at the tournament.

Four teams from the region made the finals for just the second time after the same number qualified in 2006, but this year saw the best-ever showing from nations that were largely regarded as side's making up the numbers prior to the tournament.

The four CONCACAF sides enjoyed more success than teams from Africa and Oceania in Brazil as three out of four made it to at least the second round.

The climate will have helped slightly but they were in far from easy groups - with Costa Rica and USA in particularly difficult company, but both managed to progress ahead of some very strong teams.


Mexico are an exception to that, as they have been a strong footballing nation for numerous years now, and qualified for the tournament for the sixth successive time, and incredibly have been knocked out in the second round in each of their last six World Cup campaigns.

El Tricolor came into the tournament with less hope than usual after a poor qualifying campaign only just saw the team make the finals, but they were just minutes away from knocking the Netherlands out in the round of 16, but for a controversial penalty for a foul on Arjen Robben in the dying seconds which saw the Dutch progress.


Honduras were appearing at their second successive World Cup, but in what was just the nation's third tournament and they have yet to win a World Cup game.

They failed to get a single point from games against France, Ecuador and Switzerland in Group E, but scored a goal in the game against Ecuador - an achievement they couldn't manage in South Africa four years ago.

La Bicolor were the only disappointment from the CONCACAF nations but they left their mark on the tournament quite literally, after some very physical performances saw them come under some criticism.

Costa Rica

Los Ticos exceeded all expectations and incredibly topped Group D ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England as they remained unbeaten in normal time throughout the five games they played.

The team spirit and work ethic was a joy to watch and their defensive solidarity saw them keep three clean sheets against some of the best nations in World football.

They shut out Italy, England and the Netherlands before they were eliminated on penalties by the Dutch on Saturday, with goalkeeper Keylor Navas putting in remarkable displays that make him a strong contender for the tournament's Golden Glove.

Costa Rica got to the quarter-final stage for the first time in four attempts and were by no means out of their depth against some of the tournament's favourites.


The USA have been regarded as a side that make up the numbers at the World Cup without really knowing the sport that well for many years, but everyone's perception of US soccer changed during this summer's tournament.

Jurgen Klinsmann's side showed desire and commitment to an extraordinary level and made up for any lack of ability with their incredible work-rate as they managed to progress from the "Group of Death".

They finished behind Germany, but made it into the second round ahead of Ghana and Portugal as the entire nation got behind their team.

Major League Soccer has been growing for several years but this year's national performance will only boost the popularity and reputation of MLS, and the USA has a very bright footballing future ahead.


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