The 2018 CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Championship is at its Qualification Stage. The six group winners from the Group Stage have been divided into two groups of three. Each side plays the others in its group and the top two from each three-team set will qualify for the 2019 Men’s U-20 World Cup.
The last CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Championship was just last year. As it happens both Honduras and Costa Rica were in the same three-team Qualification Stage group in that tournament as well - and both qualified for the 2017 Men’s U-20 World Cup.
But in 2017, they shared a group with Panama. In 2018, they are sharing a group with the USA, the champion of the 2017 tournament and looking a lot like the favorite to win this edition on the evidence presented by the Group Stage.
So it is expected that there is only room for one of these two sides in CONCACAF’s four-team delegation to the next men’s U-20 World Cup.
In the 2017 Qualification Stage, Honduras beat Costa Rica 2-1. That result would suit Los Catrachos just fine this time around.
Honduras has emerged from the Group Stage looking like a team with a strong attack (30 goals scored in five games), but perhaps vulnerable at the back: the team was a little fortunate not to concede more than one goal against Cuba, and fell into a 3-1 hole against Antigua and Barbuda before bouncing back to win 4-3. (To be fair, Honduras had already qualified for this phase of the competition when it played the Benna Boys and the team’s focus was more on resting players and rotating the squad than putting everything it had into winning its last game in Group C.)
Costa Rica didn’t score nearly as many goals as Honduras in the Group Stage: a relatively modest 14 in four games (the groups were not all of even size, so some teams played four times in the Group Stage and some had five matches to get through). But Los Ticos also didn’t concede a single goal. A team that doesn’t concede can’t lose: if Costa Rica’s apparent defensive strength stands up to the sterner tests of the Qualification Stage, look for Los Ticos at the next U-20 World Cup.
Per livesoccertv.com, here’s where to find the game if watching from the USA: