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ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying - how United States can make Russia 2018

The final three games of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup take place on Tuesday.

Already qualified: Mexico, Costa Rica
Places to be decided: 1 automatic, 1 intercontinental playoff

Here, we take a look at which nations can still make it to Russia, and how they can get there.

The top three teams qualify directly, with the nation that finishes in fourth facing a two-leg playoff against either Australia or Syria for a place at the finals.

Mexico and Costa Rica are through so it comes down to a fight between Panama, United States and Honduras for the last automatic place and the playoff berth. 

3 (automatic). United States, 12 (a-Trinidad and Tobago) 
Guaranteed to qualify
Draw: As Panama's goal differential is seven worse, and Honduras' 12 worse, United States is all but assured of a place with a draw
Lose: If either Panama or Honduras wins, then United States drop into the playoff. If both win, United States would be out.
SPI chance to qualify: 93 percent

Pulisic woe vs Mexico 170611
Christian Pulisic will hope to fire the United States to his first World Cup finals.

4 (playoff). Panama, 10 (h-Costa Rica) 
As its goal differential is five better than Honduras, it only needs to match the result of its rival.
Win: Earns the playoff (and automatic if United States loses).
Draw: Is good if Honduras draws or loses
Lose: Only good enough if Honduras loses too.

SPI chance to qualify: 41 percent

5 (out). Honduras, 10 (h-Mexico)
That late leveller away to Costa Rica has made its job harder. It now has to get a better result than Panama just to make the playoff.
Win: It needs Panama to lose or draw (would go through automatic if United States loses too).
Draw: It needs Panama to lose.
Lose: Can only make the playoff if Panama loses by five more goals.
SPI chance to qualify: 11 percent

Dale Johnson has been an editor and journalist at ESPN for 18 years. You can follow him on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.


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