The first round of World Cup 2022 qualifying for the region occurred late March through tonight. Format was six groups of five teams, single round-robin (so half games home, half away). So 60 matches in theory, 56 in practice as St. Lucia withdrew to create an unbalanced group. Only group winners advance. Some people probably already know Tori Penso got a whistle a week ago (Puerto Rico v Bahamas). The only other truly noteworthy things are that with a couple exceptions, the bigger names didn't work this round at all (Marrufo, Barton, Ramos were all absent) and that the 56 matches were spread over ~40 referees. That last point should reinforce the idea from the other thread that politics is everything in CONCACAF. I guess it's also worth noting that most of the repeat referees were Americans who got two games because a bunch of these matches were played on neutral US soil and travel restrictions made assigning US referees easier. Anyway... Posting now because the final matches were played tonight and, remarkably, five of the six groups had matches between two teams that could could qualify as group winners on the final match day (though a couple situations were low probability for the underdog team). In effect, you had five single-game playoff matches to varying degrees all on the same day. These assignments were obviously made before that each match's context was fully known, but they were all made when the high import was a possibility. Figured it was worth looking at who got assigned: El Salvador : Antigua & Barbuda - HERRERA (CRC) Both teams were on 7 points heading in. Winner (El Salvador 3-0) advanced, though a draw also would have been enough. Canada : Suriname - SAGHAFI (USA) Both teams on 9 points. Winner (Canada 4-0) advanced, though a draw would have been enough. Played in Illinois so read into the assignment what you will. Curaçao : Guatemala - VILLARREAL (USA) This was maybe the big one. Both teams level on 9 points coming in with exact same goal difference. Match was drawn 0-0 so Curaçao advances on goals scored, 15-14. Interested in learning more about how this went because I imagine it was intense. Panama : Dominican Republic - LOPEZ (GUA) Panama on 9 points and DR on 7, so DR had to win. Panama won 3-0. Haiti : Nicaragua - MORRISON (JAM) Truncated group due to St. Lucia withdrawal. Both on 6 points. Winner (Haiti 1-0) advances, though a draw would have been enough. Trinidad & Tobago : St. Kitts & Nevis - ENCARNACION SOLANO (DOM) This one, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, didn't matter. T&T was on 5 points and St. Kitts on 9, so even with the win tonight Trinidad fell a point short. Now the fun moves to the two-leg second round playoffs. Home-and home over June 12 and 15 with the winners advancing to the Octagonal in September. Matchups are: St. Kitts & Nevis : El Salvador Haiti : Canada Panama : Curaçao Very curious to see who gets these six matches. You would think it's your top six referees but, well, it's CONCACAF.