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Bermuda Under-20 placed in tough group

Bermuda have been grouped with Costa Rica, Haiti, St Lucia and Barbados for the Concacaf Under-20 Championship, which will take place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, from November 1 to 21.

The draw was made yesterday in Miami, with a record 34 member associations competing.

Unlike previous tournaments, which included regional qualifiers in the Caribbean and Central America and one final championship, these championships provide more top-level competition, with the top four finishers advancing to the Under-20 World Cup in Poland in 2019.

The teams have been drawn into four groups of six teams and two groups of five.

The top six ranked teams — United States, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador — head the six groups with the remaining 28 teams placed in five pots by a single blind system.

Costa Rica are the top seeds in Bermuda’s group. The two teams meet in their opening match on November 1. Bermuda will then play Haiti on November 3, St Lucia on November 7 and Barbados on November 9, with the top teams from each group advancing to the second round of two groups of three, which starts on November 13. The winners of the two groups will play in the final on November 21.