Grenada Grouped with Honduras, Panama and Qatar in the Concacaf Gold Cup Group Stage
Grenada was drawn in Group D of the Concacaf Gold Cup 2021 Group stage following the official draw on Monday Night in Miami in a made-for-tv live event. In a challenging campaign ahead, the Spiceboyz (ranked 20in Concacaf) will face Concacaf 4th ranked Honduras, 8th ranked Panama and honorary invitee and FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar in their group.
Honduras has made 14 appearances in the Gold Cup with their best finish in the first Gold Cup in 1991, when they lost 4-3 in a penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw in the Final against the United States. Honduras also reached three consecutive semifinals in 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Panama has made 10 appearances in the Gold Cup, reaching the finals in 2005 and 2013. For Grenada, it is the third time in our history and the first time since 2011 that our nation will appear in the Gold Cup. Jamal Charles contributed six goals in the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League (CNL), as he led Grenada to a first-place finish in its group in League B. Grenada’s persistent defense conceded just four goals in six CNL matches, which should make any opponent cautious at next summer’s tournament.
Concacaf Development Officer and former Grenada international star Jason Roberts was part of Monday’s draw ceremony. In a previous Concacaf interview,he said, “I am really proud first,of all as a Grenadian that we qualified for this Gold Cup. I think it says a lot about the development of our football, the players that we have, the exciting and attacking football that we play. I think the Gold Cup is a great opportunity for us to showcase the quality that we have throughout the team, and for the young players it is a great chance to show what they can do on the biggest stage. I know in Grenada the whole country is captivated and very excited.”Roberts further stated that he believes Grenada has the tools to achieve something special next summer.
Also appearing during the event was Concacaf President Victor Montagliani who spoke of the Tournament’s transformation stating, “We expanded last year’s Gold Cup and it was a huge success in showcasing outstanding football from our region. We want to build on that for the 2021 edition and believe the introduction of the Prelims and an exciting new format for the Knockout Stage will provide a great spectacle next year.”
In Grenada, Technical Director of the Grenada Football Association Jerry Alexis also participated in the live draw along with other team officials via the online Concacaf platform.
President of the Grenada Football Association in commenting on the draw stated that, “Our players have shown a passion and hunger for success which has brought us thus far. The spirit and passion of the Grenadian people for football and our beloved Spiceboyz has also played a key role. I look forward to our team digging deep and producing something extraordinary next year in the USA.”
According to Concacaf, the 2021 Gold Cup will begin on July 2, 2021 in the United States with a Preliminary Round, which will include12 Concacaf Member Associations competing for the final three spots in the 16-team Group Stage. The Group Stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will kick off on July 10, 2021. The 12 Concacaf national teams, which qualified directly through their performances in the Concacaf Nations League group stage, the guest participant, AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar, and the three Prelims winners have been divided into four groups and will play as follows:
Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao and Winner Prelims 9
Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique and Winner Prelims 7
Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname and Winner Prelims 8
Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada and Qatar.
The Knockout Stage, to be played among the top two finishers in each group,will for the first time in Gold Cup history see teams on opposite sides of the bracket meet from the quarterfinals onwards. In previous editions,teams have only competed against opponents on the same side of the bracket until the Final. This change will add further unpredictability and excitement to the competition, which was expanded from 12 to 16 teams for a hugely successful 2019 edition.Concacaf will announce venues, kick-off times, schedule, and other details for the 2021 Gold Cup in the coming months.