Mexico and Jamaica kick off their respective final round of 2022 World Cup Qualifiers in CONCACAF with Jamaica traveling to face Mexico in the vaunted Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
It'll be the first match for both countries of what's being called by many The Octagonal, which pits the eight best teams in CONCACAF (North and Central America and the Caribbean) against each other. The final top three of which automatically qualify for the 2022 World Cup while the fourth-place finisher has to win a two-game playoff against a team from another federation to reach the festivities in Qatar.
How to Watch
Date: Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
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That means a team like Mexico, arguably the most talented in its region, will want to avoid anything but a top-three finish in The Octagonal.
But the road won't be easy, especially not with a team like Jamaica to kick things off.
The last time these two teams met in an official competition was back in the semifinals of the 2017 Gold Cup, a match that ended with a shocking 1-0 Jamaican victory.
This time around, Jamaica will count on players who are talented but lack international experience, including veteran striker Andre Gray (Queens Park Rangers) and midfielder Ravel Morrison (Derby County).
Jamaica will also feature various MLS studs, including goalkeeper Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union) and defender Kemar Lawrence (Toronto FC).
How the Jamaicans gel will be in question, but there's no doubt this is one of their more talented sides in recent memory.
Mexico will be able to count on not just elite talent — some of the best CONCACAF has to offer — but also on the power of longevity and chemistry. A lot of the players have spent years playing together.
Mexico will remain without striker Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton), who has 34 Premier League goals to his credit in the past three years, as well as attacker Hirving Lozano (Napoli), who is still nursing a head injury he suffered in Gold Cup.
Speaking of Gold Cup, and Nations League for that matter, Mexico will surely want to move on from a tough few months which saw El Tri drop back-to-back finals against the United States Men's National Team.
Earning a result at home against Jamaica to kick off The Octagonal will be a great way to do just that.