W Gold Cup third-place qualifying breakdown

A cheat sheet unpacking how two nations can squeeze into the quarterfinals this week by finishing third in the Group Stage.

W Gold Cup third-place qualifying breakdown
Argentina will need a win to have any hope of a Quarterfinal spot | Courtesy of Concacaf

NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect Monday's Group A results.

Two matchdays down, one to go.

At a feverish pace, the Concacaf W Gold Cup Group Stage is almost over. The top two from each group will advance to the Quarterfinals, plus the two best third-place finishers.

Once there, all eight teams will be ranked from 1st to 8th, and play each other in a seeded quarterfinal (1v8, 2v5, 3v6, 4v5).

Here's how it looks:

Right now, Argentina and Puerto Rico will advance to the Quarterfinals. While Paraguay also sits on three points, the Islanders' goal difference of 0 is stronger than South Americans' -3.


Argentina needed a multi-goal win over Dominican Republic to boost its chances of a quarterfinal berth and it did just that. Now if Paraguay draws then German Portanova's will stay about their South American rivals in red and white, on goal difference.

The Albiceleste will still be hoping that Paraguay does not pick up three points, PR loses to Colombia, and that Costa Rica also loses to Canada.

Due to their goal difference of -13 being so inferior to other teams, it is highly unlikely that the Dominican Republic has any chance of making the next round. Although it could technically still happen.

Panama finds itself in a similar position but the odds are slightly more in their favour. A big win over Brazil is needed, combined with a Puerto Rico defeat to Colombia, to swing a 7-goal margin. A 2-1 win over Brazil and a 6-0 defeat for Puerto Rico would decide third place on discipline.

Puerto Rico is poised to get third place because of their superior goal difference. The Blue Hurricane could still snatch second place in Group B with a win over Colombia, or they could be knocked out if they lose that match combined with an Argentina win, Costa Rica avoiding defeat by more than one goal, and Paraguay avoiding defeat.

Colombia is currently second and would only slip to third if they lose to Puerto Rico. A draw would guarantee Las Cafeteras a Quarterfinal spot, but with their goal difference, they would need a heavy loss combined with an Argentina win to knock them out of likely third-place contention.

Just like DR and Panama, El Salvador is not eliminated yet but will need a big win over Paraguay to stand any chance of making the Quarterfinals. If Canada pummels Costa Rica, and lowers their goal difference enough, La Selecta could also jump Las Ticas. But crucially it's going to probably have to be a 4-to-6 goal win over Paraguay.

With matchday three taking place over three days, all these permutations will change.

It all starts on Monday night, though. If Argentina cannot win against the Dominican Rep. that will change the results needed in Groups B and C. Should the Albiceleste win, then five points – or four points plus a tiebreaker – becomes the magic qualifying figure.

3rd place rankings:

Argentina | 4 points | -1 GD (3-4) | 6 Cards
Puerto Rico | 3 points | -2 GD (2-4) | 4 cards
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*Paraguay | 3 points | -3 GD (1-4) | 7 cards
*El Salvador | 0 points | -8 GD (0-8) GD | 5 Cards

2nd place but could still drop into 3rd
Costa Rica | 3 points | -2 GD (2-4) | 4 cards