CONCACAF 1990 Qualification

The CONCACAF section of the 1990 World Cup qualification consisted of two rounds of qualifying, dubbed first and second round respectively, and where the total of five second round ties’ winners would proceed to the final group stage. The two best teams in the final group stage would ultimately go on and represent the region at Italia ’90. At the same time as being a World Cup qualification, the final group stage would also serve as the 1989 edition of the CONCACAF championships. This was common practice; it had happened since the 1974 World Cup qualification.

CONCACAF’s five highest ranked nations, Canada, Honduras, El Salvador, USA and Mexico, all received byes for the first qualifying round, and were admitted directly to the second round of qualifying. As it would turn out, Mexico would be banned from participation due to having fielded over-age players at the 1988 CONCACAF U20 championships (known as the ‘Cachirules scandal’), a tournament which had also served as qualification for the 1989 World Youth championships. Belize had not been admitted to the qualification due to the fact that they were in financial debt to FIFA. are very interested in getting in contact with people who have in-depth knowledge or source material from the CONCACAF qualifiers that can supplement our analyses and reports. Please contact us through our form if you have anything you think might be of interest.

First round - results

1st leg



Trinidad and Tobago
Elliot-Allen 20′, Skeene 40′, G. Gibbons 50′ (o.g.), Faustin 60′

Bourda Cricket Ground (Georgetown)

Guyana: Carrington – Hytniah, Campbell, P. Gibbons (London), G. Gibbons, O’Deneghue, Straker, Pollard, D. Barnwell, Argeen, Williams (Stanton)
T&T: Maurice – C. Morris, Williams, Francis, Faustin, Waterman (M. Morris), Jones (Jamerson), Charles, Elliot-Allen, Skeene, Lewis

2nd leg

Trinidad and Tobago
Corneal 68′



San Fernando Stadium (San Fernando)

T&T: Lovell – C. Morris, Williams, Francis, Faustin, La Forest (Corneal), Jones, Charles, Elliot-Allen, Skeene (Jamerson), Lewis
Guyana: Boshi – Hytniah, Campbell, London, G. Gibbons (Straker), Taylor, Messiah, Grogan, D. Barnwell (Pollard), Argeen, C. Barnwell

1st leg



López 44′

Estadio Panamericano (Havana)

Cuba: Argüelles – Plácido, Caro, Delgado, Gonzáles, Maya (Revé), Arredondo (García), Querol, Rivero, Rodríguez, Piedra
Guatemala: Piccinini – Dávila, Wellmann, Monzón, Rivera, Castañeda (Ceballos), Sandoval, McDonald, Pérez (Paniagua), Martínez, Westphal

2nd leg

Pérez 68′ (pen.)


Gonzáles 41′

Estadio Marquesa de la Ensenada (San Marcos)

Guatemala: Piccinini – Dávila, Wellmann, Monzón (c), Rivera, Castañeda, Sandoval (López 65), McDonald, Pérez, Martínez, Westphal (Paniagua 17)
Cuba: Argüelles – Plácido, Caro, Delgado (c), Gonzáles, Maya, Palmero (Revé 62), Querol, Rivero, Rodríguez, Piedra (García 76)

1st leg

Brooks 10′ (pen.)


Puerto Rico

Kingston Independence Park (Kingston)

Jamaica: Campbell – Gaynor, Corbett, Thompson, Brooks, Grant, Anglin, Sterling, Williams (Hudson), Tulloch, Christian
Puerto Rico: Vaccaro – de Jesús, Santana, de la Campa, Pelatti (Santiago), R. Pérez, Lugris, Vinas, García (Caraballo), I. Pérez, Conlon

2nd leg

Puerto Rico
de la Campa 52′


Anglin 32′, 78′

Estadio Sixto Escobar (San Juan)

Puerto Rico: Vaccaro – Bono (Adorno), Santana, de la Campa, Pelatti, R. Pérez, Lugris, Vinas, García, López, Conlon
Jamaica: Campbell – Gaynor, Corbett, Thompson, Brooks, Grant, Anglin, Sterling, Williams (Morrison), Tulloch, Christian (Newman)

1st leg

Antigua and Barbuda


Netherlands Antilles
Rovina 60′

Antigua Recreation Ground (Saint John’s)

A and B: Christian – Luke, Abrahim, Lee, Ferrance, Looby (Deterville), Roberts, Thille, Nesbitt, Barrymore (Samuel), Gonsalves
NA: Nivillac – Belioso, B. Poppen, Francisca (Gill), Sint-Jago, Calmes, Craane (Rovina), Christopher, Neuman, C. Poppen, Rock

2nd leg

Netherlands Antilles
Rovina 104′, 118′, Rosina 120′


Antigua and Barbuda
Edwards 38′

Centre Deportivo Corson (Willemstad)

NA: Pieternella – Belioso, B. Poppen, Christopher, Gill, Calmes, Andrade (Francisca), Martina, Rovina, C. Poppen (Rosina), Rock
A and B: Dyer – Luke, Abrahim, Weste, Ferrance, Deterville, Roberts, Thille, Nesbitt (Joseph), Edwards, Gonsalves

1st leg

Costa Rica
Jara 26′


Mendieta 17′

Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto (Alajuela)

Costa Rica: Conejo – Guido, Munguio, Flores (c), Chaves, C. Jara, Guimarães (Chavarría 72), Marchena (Fernández 64), Ramírez, Medford, Coronado
Panama: Evans – Clarke (Young 64), Poyatos (c), Delgado, Acosta, Guevara, Julio, Abrego (Barrios 82), Lozada, Fernández, Mendieta

2nd leg



Costa Rica
Cayasso 1′, Medford 71′

Estadio Revolución (Panama City)

Panama: Evans – Clarke (Abrego), Poyatos, Delgado, Soto, Guevara, Julio, Dely Valdés, Lozada, Fernández, Mendieta (Piggott)
Costa Rica: Conejo – Grandos, Montero, Flores, Díaz (Coronado), Marchena, Chavarría, Cayasso, Hernández, Medford, Rodríguez (Chaves)

Following the 1-1 draw in Costa Rica, Panama would’ve been expectant ahead of the return fixture, but they were dealt a major blow already inside the opening minute, as midfielder Cayasso scored directly from a free-kick. Lighteningly quick young forward Medford broke through and squeezed home a second with 20 minutes left for play. Both goals are seen here

Second round – results

1st leg, 24.07.1988: Jamaica 0-0 USA
Jamaica: Campbell – Brooks (Cargill 61), Corbett, Thompson, Gaynor, Grant, Anglin, Sterling, Williams (Tulloch h-t), Christian, Dennis
USA: Vanole – Armstrong (Trittschuh 76), Crow, Doyle, Windischmann, Davis, Stollmeyer, Bliss, Klopas, Vermes, Murray (Borja 61)

2nd leg, 13.08.1988: USA 5-1 Jamaica
Goals: U – Bliss, Pérez, Klopas 2, Krumpe. J – Sterling
USA (4-3-3): 1 Vanole – 17 Armstrong, 4 Crow, 2 Trittschuh, 5 Windischmann (11 Pérez h-t), 12 Krumpe, 8 Davis (c), 19 Bliss, 6 Klopas, 10 Vermes, 7 Gabarra (16 Murray 64)
Jamaica (4-3-3): 1 Campbell – 2 Gaynor, 6 Corbett (c), 3 Thompson, 5 Brooks, 4 Grant, 7 Anglin, 8 Sterling, 10 Tulloch, 9 Christian, 11 Hudson (13 Newman h-t) (15 Cargill)

USA progress with an aggregate scoreline of 5-1. 

1st leg, 01.10.1988: Netherlands Antilles 0-1 El Salvador
Goal: García
NA: Pieternella – Belioso, B. Poppen, Francisca, Gill (Neuman), Calmes, Andrade, Martina, Rovina (C. Poppen), Rosina, Rock
El-S: Guevara-Mora – Martínez Trigueros, Cárcamo, Cienfuegos, N. Rivera (Pacheco), Lazo, Abrego, García, Ramírez Zapata (López), Coreas Privado, Zapata

2nd leg, 16.10.1988: El Salvador 5-0 Netherlands Antilles
Goals: Coreas Privado, García, Zapata, Ramírez Zapata 2
El-S: Guevara-Mora – Martínez Trigueros, Cárcamo, Cienfuegos, Rivera (Chachagua), Lazo, Abrego, García, Ramírez Zapata, Coreas Privado (López), Zapata
NA: Pieternella – Regales, B. Poppen, Francisca, Gill (Martina), Calmes, Andrade (Rovina), Christopher, Neuman, Markes, Rock

El Salvador progress with an aggregate scoreline of 6-0.

1st leg, 09.10.1988: Guatemala 1-0 Canada
Goal: Byron Pérez 20 (pen.)
Guatemala: Jérez – Dávila (Gardiner), Wellmann, Monzón, Ortíz – Castañeda, Sandoval, Funes, Rodas – Paniagua, Pérez (Chacón)
Canada: Dolan – Sarantopoulos, Samuel, Bridge, Hooper, Gray, Limniatis, Valentine, Sweeney, Catliff, Mitchell

2nd leg, 15.10.1988: Canada 3-2 Guatemala
Goals: C – Mitchell 63, 83 (pen.), Bridge 88. G – Paniagua 7, Castañeda 37
Canada: Dolan – Sarantopoulos (Fitzgerald h-t), Samuel, Bridge, Miller, Gray, Limniatis, Valentine, Sweeney, Šegota (Mobilio 65), Mitchell
Guatemala: Jérez – Dávila (Gardiner 83), Wellmann, Monzón, Batres, Castañeda, Sandoval, Funes, Rodas, Chacón, Paniagua (de León 80)

Guatemala progress on the away goals rule after a 3-3 aggregate scoreline.

Having led by a single goal from their home leg, Guatemala would move into a seemingly unassailable lead with two first half goals in Vancouver, where the game was played in wet conditions. 3-0 up on aggregate, the Central Americans might have taken their foot off the pedal after the break, when the Canadian team fought back to at least restore tie parity, although they would bow out on the away goals rule. They sported the same goalkeeper and centre-back pairing which had featured in all three of their 1986 World Cup matches, though they would have to see Guatemala advance through to the qualification group stage. 

1st leg, 30.10.1988: Trinidad&Tobago 0-0 Honduras
T&T: Maurice – C. Morris, Williams, Francis, Faustin, Lawrence, Chinapoo, Charles, Latapy, Skeene (Jamerson), Corneal (Jones)
Honduras: Rivera – Soto, Yearwood, Costly, Martínez Sambulá, Fú Lanza, Cálix, Smith, Reyes, Laing (Dolmo Flores), Espinoza (Carias)

2nd leg, 13.11.1988: Honduras 1-1 Trinidad&Tobago
Goals: H – Flores. T&T – Charles
Honduras: Rivera – Soto, Yearwood, Costly, Martínez Sambulá, Flores, Cálix, Smith, Zapata, Laing (Dolmo Flores), Espinoza (Ávila)
T&T: Maurice – C. Morris, Williams, Francis, Faustin, Lawrence, Chinapoo (Lewis), Charles, Latapy, Skeene, Corneal

Trinidad&Tobago progress on the away goals rule after a 1-1 aggregate scoreline.

After drawing away in the first leg, Honduras would’ve been hoping to progress through to the qualification group stage against their Caribbean opposition, and they had even gone ahead during the first half. However, when goalkeeper Rivera had failed to claim a cross from Trinidad & Tobago’s right hand side, Charles could tuck the ball into the back of an empty net for a priceless equalizer. The video highlights then reveal little in terms of a Honduran chase for a second goal, and the visitors went through to the qualification group stage. Three players who had featured for Honduras during the 1982 World Cup were in action: Strapping centre-back Anthony Costly, solid defensive midfielder (now possibly a centre-half?) Gilberto Yearwood, as well as forward Eduardo Laing.

Walk-over: Costa Rica (v Mexico). Mexico were expelled from the competition thanks to having fielded at least four over-aged players in the 1988 CONCACAF U-20 tournament (the ‘Cachirules scandal’).

The final section is the decisive group stage, which doubles as the 1989 CONCACAF championship.