French Guyana will be the home team for the first match of the series on March 25, while Honduras will host the March 29 return leg. The matches had originally been scheduled for January.
Each team qualified for the play-in series by virtue of a fifth-place finish at its 2014 regional championship. Honduras was the fifth-place finisher at the 2014 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana played in the United States, while French Guyana finished fifth at the 2014 Caribbean Football Union Caribbean Cup in Jamaica.
The series will provide a fist test for new Honduran coach Jorge Luis Pinto who achieved fame in the Summer with his stewardship of Costa Rica at the world Cup.
In contrast to Costa Rica, Honduras had a disappointing World Cup finals losing all three group games and only managing to score one goal. They followed this up with a poor performance in the 2014 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana played in the US, only managing fifth place and missing out on automatic qualification for next year’s Gold Cup.
Pinto will be the second Honduran manager since the Brazil tournament. Hernan Medford replaced Luis Fernando Suarez in July, only to be replaced by Pinto last week.
To date, eleven of the twelve national teams scheduled to participate are set for next year’s tournament. Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States, in alphabetical order, will compete for the Confederation crown in July.
Taking place every two years, the Gold Cup is the official national team championship of the region, routinely drawing capacity crowds and millions of television viewers across the region. Featuring the highest-level players from across the confederation, the tournament includes the three previous Gold Cup champions – Canada (1 Gold Cup), Mexico (6), and the U.S. (5) – as well as the top finishers from the most recent Central American and Caribbean championship tournaments.
2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Qualified Teams
Canada (Automatic Qualifier)
Mexico (Automatic Qualifier)
United States (Automatic Qualifier)
Costa Rica (Winner – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
Guatemala (Runner-up – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
Panama (Third Place – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
El Salvador (Fourth Place – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
Jamaica (Winner – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
Trinidad & Tobago (Runner-Up – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
Haiti (Third Place – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
Cuba (Fourth Place – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
French Guyana or Honduras (CFU/UNCAF Play-in Winner)
CONCACAF “The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football” is one of six continental confederations of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and serves as the governing body of football in this part of the world. It is composed of 41 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.
About the CONCACAF Gold Cup
The CONCACAF Gold Cup is the national team championship for the confederation’s 41 members. Taking place every two years, the event has attained exceptional levels of popularity, routinely drawing capacity crowds and millions of TV viewers throughout the world. If other than 2013 Gold Cup Champion USA, the champion of the 2015 Gold Cup will earn half a ticket to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, facing the USA in a single-game playoff for the right to represent CONCACAF in that FIFA competition.
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