Jeffrey Webb is happy with the success of the region’s best football nations at the 2014 World Cup.
The George Town native serves as FIFA vice president and the president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football and is in Brazil catching all of the matches. The Cayman Islands Football Association chief says a record three CONCACAF teams advanced to the Round of 16.
“Having four teams there (in the World Cup) and three teams through to the Round of 16 is absolutely brilliant for CONCACAF,” Webb said. “Our target was to get two teams to the Round of 16 and, of course, into the quarterfinals. So they’ve actually out-done my expectations.”
The quarterfinals start on July 4, with France facing Germany in Rio de Janeiro at 11 a.m. Cayman time before Brazil tackle Colombia in Fortaleza at 3 p.m. Matches continue on July 5 as Argentina challenge Belgium in Brasilia at 11 a.m. before the Netherlands battle Costa Rica in Salvador at 3 p.m.
Costa Rica has been one of the tournament’s biggest surprises. Los Ticos won their group behind the brilliance of keeper Keylor Navas and striker Joel Campbell before edging past Greece in the Round of 16. Most of the other teams are also coming off narrow victories, from Neymar and Brazil needing penalty kicks to advance to Lionel Messi and Argentina requiring goals deep into extra time.
Aside from Costa Rica, the other CONCACAF nations who played in Brazil were Mexico, Honduras and the United States. Honduras lost all of its games while Mexico and the US were group runners-up and were eliminated by the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively, via late goals.