On the outside looking in again.
The Canadian men’s national team dropped to 73rd overall and from sixth to seventh in the Concacaf region in the latest FIFA World rankings published on Thursday, falling out of “the Hex” for the upcoming qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Reds dropped eight points to a total of 1331 after they lost 4-1 to to the U.S. in their Concacaf League finale earlier this month. El Salvador leapfrogged the Reds for the final spot in “the Hex,” the six-team World Cup qualifying shortcut.
Under new World Cup qualifying rules, the top six teams in Concacaf, based on the FIFA world rankings in June 2020, move on to “the Hex,” the final round of qualifiers for the region. The top three nations in “the Hex” then automatically qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
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Failing to make “the Hex” means Canada would have to enter a lower-seeded qualifying round which will include a group stage and knockout round. The winner would then face the fourth-placed team in “the Hex” for a place in the Inter-confederation playoffs.
Canada is now 15 points behind El Salvador, who jumped 10 points over the most recent international window with wins over Montserrat and the Dominican Republic.
John Herdman’s side jumped to sixth in October’s ranking after a stunning 2-0 win over the U.S. – their first against the Americans in 34 years. The result handed Canada a staggering 17 points.