The countdown to the World Cup has begun, and, for many teams, the chances of making it to Brazil are slowly fading away. Paraguay is out, and Jamaica is on the verge of elimination. Mexico needs a win to secure its standing in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, and the U.S. is on a roll, seemingly on its way to Brazil 2014. The matches continue today. Here they are: What to watch for, and where to watch them (home team is mentioned first)
USA vs. Panamá 10:00 p.m. ET on Unimás
On Friday, the U.S. beat Jamaica 1-2 in a thrilling match that Brad Evans sentenced with a goal in the 92nd minute Jurgen Klinsmann's team is now second in the Hexagonal, and they're on a roll after an exhibition match victory against none other than Germany. The Panamanians, which need at least one point to maintain their chances of qualifying alive, will face a strong squad in Seattle, a city that is known for its unforgiving weather.
México vs. Costa Rica 7:30 p.m. ET on Unimás or watch online here:
Fans of "El Tri" are far from happy with the team's performance in the past game. México drew 0-0 with Panamá, and though they claimed a valuable point far from home, they are still in debt to their fans, given the quality of players such as Chicharito Hernández and Giovani dos Santos. The Mexicans will face off at the Estadio Azteca against Costa Rica, the best team in the Hexagonal and the only team that has ever beaten them in Mexico City. Los Ticos defeated Honduras 1-0 last Friday, and now they hope to take advantage of Mexico's poor offense with either a draw or a win to stay at the top of the CONCACAF standings.
Ecuador vs. Argentina 4:50 p.m. ET on beIN SPORT or watch online here:
Unbeaten in Quito, Ecuador wants to get over its recent 1-0 loss against Perú and regain second place in CONMENBOL's race towards Brazil. They will have the advantage of playing against a diminished Argentine squad that won't be able to start with Lionel Messi or "Pipita" Higuaín, the tournament's leading scorer. The Argentines drew 0-0 against Colombia in Buenos Aires last Friday, and if they win in Quito, they will earn a spot in the World Cup. But it will be a tough match for the Gaucho squad, who are not used to playing at high altitude. Quito's stadium is nestled high in the Andes mountains, some 9,000 feet above the sea.
Colombia vs. Perú 4:30 p.m. ET on beIN SPORT Español or Watch online here
After a horrible start, Perú seems to finally be on the right track. They beat Ecuador, the third best team, 1-0 last Friday, and they're three points away from the tournament's qualifying spots. Nonetheless, they will face a big challenge playing against Colombia in Barranquilla, an extremely hot and humid city, where teams like Uruguay have already stumbled. Pundits say that a victory at home, would virtually seal qualification for Colombia, which is currently second in the standings, with just five games left to play.
Venezuela vs. Uruguay 7:50 p.m. ET on beIN SPORT or watch online here:
La "Vinotinto" almost beat Bolivia in La Paz last Friday. They led through most of the game, and finally drew 1-1, a considerable feat, in any case. Venezuela is currently fifth in CONMEBOL's tournament, and they will be playing one of their direct rivals at home. One of the most promising teams at the tournament's start, Uruguay is now in dire need of points, both at home and away, and this game is practically a must win for the current South American champs.
Honduras vs. Jamaica 9:00 p.m. ET on Justin TV
Last Friday, Honduras lost an away game to Costa Rica. Jamaica, on the other hand, lost to the U.S. 2-1 at home. Both teams are in a slump. They both lost their two previous games, and now they are placed fifth and sixth in the Hexagonal. The match, then, is set to be a struggle for survival, as neither squad can afford to lose any more points if they want to play in Brazil next year.