[This is the fourth in a multi-part series on the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.]
The CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers started out with a preliminary round of 22, then another round of 24, followed by a group stage for 12. We now reach the final group of six - USA, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Trinidad & Tobago. I expected this Hexagonal to be the most competitive and closely-matched of all the previous Hexagonal groups. It did not disappoint in the slightest. The bare facts say that USA and Mexico clinched places in the World Cup finals with a round to spare. In reality, everyone had to sweat as the fortunes of each participant swung on finely poised matches decided under dramatic circumstances. How much closer could you get than a goal scored on the final kick of the final game in the final matchday that would change the destiny of two national teams?