As October's Concacaf World Cup qualifiers get underway, two frontrunners are set for a massive matchup when Mexico and Canada square off at Estadio Azteca on October 7.
It will pit an El Tri side that's currently atop the Octagonal standings with seven points from three matches against a Canadian side that's right on their heels with five points of their own. Simply put, three massive points are on the line as each country continues their bid for Qatar 2022.
Here's everything you need to know before Thursday's kickoff.
- Thursday, October 7 | 9:40 pm ET
- Estadio Azteca | Mexico City, Mexico
How to watch and stream
- OneSoccer, Paramount+
The Canadians enter October's window at second place in the table with five points following a victory over El Salvador and draws against Honduras and the US last month. But this bout against El Tri at the Azteca marks their biggest test yet in their quest to make history as the first Canada team to qualify for a World Cup since 1986.
Should they pull it off, the significance of a three-point result over Mexico can't be overstated, both in terms of what it would mean for their positioning on the table and the statement it would send that this is truly a golden generation of Canadian talent. Head coach John Herdman's roster was released last Friday, featuring 13 MLS players that will look to help the cause.
Sitting atop the Octagonal standings after two wins and a draw during September's three-match window, El Tri now have a pair of home matches against Canada and Honduras before closing out with a road bout against El Salvador.
Head coach Tata Martino's roster includes two key returners that didn't feature during September: Wolves striker Raul Jimenez and Napoli winger Hirving "Chucky" Lozano, who's back healthy after sustaining an injury during this summer's Gold Cup. That can only be seen as a boost for Mexico, who are already perceived as arguably Concacaf's deepest side and will look to maintain their No. 1 spot on the table.