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Costa Rica at 100% capacity for qualifiers vs. Canada, US

February 11, 2022 GMT
Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas clears a ball during a qualifying soccer match against Panama for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez)
Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas clears a ball during a qualifying soccer match against Panama for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez)
Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas clears a ball during a qualifying soccer match against Panama for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez)
Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas clears a ball during a qualifying soccer match against Panama for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez)
Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas clears a ball during a qualifying soccer match against Panama for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Carlos Gonzalez)

Costa Rica’s Estadio Nacional in San Jose will have 100% of its 35,000-seat capacity available to fans for its final two home qualifiers next month against Canada and the United States.

The Costa Rican Football Federation announced the decision Thursday.

Costa Rica hosts Canada on March 24, plays at El Salvador three days later and closes at home against the U.S. on March 30.

Canada, seeking its first World Cup appearance since 1986, leads North and Central America and the Caribbean with 25 points and can clinch with one win. The top three nations earn berths for this year’s tournament in Qatar and the fourth-place nation advances to a playoff in June against the Oceania champion, likely New Zealand.

The United States, trying to get back to soccer’s showcase after missing out on 2018, is second with 21 points, ahead of Mexico on goal difference. Panama is fourth with 17 points, followed by Costa Rica with 16 and El Salvador with nine.

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Jamaica (seven) and Honduras (three) have been eliminated.

The U.S. has lost its last nine qualifiers at Costa Rica, including a 4-0 rout in 2016 that led to the U.S. Soccer Federation firing coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

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