That’s right, CONCACAF. Again, just in case you are unclear (and I can understand why you would be), the often insulted and downplayed region of CONCACAF is currently 4-1-1 with +2 goal differential.
The nasty Group D containing the football powerhouses of England, Italy, Uruguay and the minnows that are Costa Rica, that group is currently led by Costa Rica, who has won both of their games. Think about that for a minute. Essentially it looks like this:
Yes, just like that. Except Costa Rica hasn’t been on a motor bike the last two games, they’ve been driving a freight train, running over both Uruguay and Italy. England is next. Mexico just drew with Brazil, who happens to be the host nation and a sliiiiigghhhtttt favorite according to basically everyone who has money lines. If you were to look for a good price in the betting, you would probably have put your money on Brazil. Like Nate Silver and the FiveThirtyEight crew did. Or like every bookie in Vegas did. You probably wouldn’t have put your money on CONCACAF. Which means if you picked Italy or Uruguay, this happened to you.
Certainly you wouldn’t be alone. The thing is that when everyone talks about how easy it is to qualify out of CONCACAF, they ignore some pretty critical facts. CONCACAF qualifying is against a minimum of 3 other teams that qualified for the World Cup. Compare that to European qualifying where you might have one other team in your group that actually qualifies. It’s long, and travel is grueling, especially from Europe. The conditions are often extremely hot and humid. Do you know what this prepares you for quite well? A World Cup in a spread out country that often has some rough weather conditions, where you have to play good teams the entire time. Weird. Who knew?!
Sure, everyone loves bagging on CONCACAF, but compared to the Asian Football Confederation who is 0-3-3 so far at the World Cup, and the Confederation of African Football, who is 1-5-1 currently, it might be a good time to find a new whipping boy. Unless you really think trying to harass this guy is a good idea (spoiler alert: IT’S NOT!)