Two Concacaf teams have booked tickets to the 2024 Copa América and two additional spots will be filled Tuesday night.
The United States and Panama advanced to the Concacaf Nations League semifinals after knocking aside Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica, respectively.
The other two Nations League quarterfinals will take place tonight with Mexico trying to overcome a 2-0 deficit against Honduras. El Tri will be without captain Guillermo Ochoa after the starting goalie was injured against the Catrachos in the first leg in Tegucigalpa.
In the fourth Concacaf quarterfinal, Canada welcomes Jamaica to Toronto with a 2-1 advantage from the first leg which was played in Kingston on Friday.
Americans, Panamanians cruise
Team USA – the two-time defending Concacaf Nations League champs – held off a late fightback effort from a game “Soca Warriors” side that played with a man advantage for the final 50+ minutes.
After U.S. defender Sergiño Dest was red-carded in minute 39 with his team ahead 1-0, the Caribbean squad went into attack mode. Reon Moore (minute 43) and Alvin Jones (57’) put their team ahead on the night, but T&T was unable to generate enough offense to make up the difference from the disastrous 3-0 loss suffered in the first leg.
The 4-2 aggregate win was enough for the Americans to advance to the Nations League semifinals which will be played in March. Along with the berth in the Concacaf Final Four (which will be played in March), the four teams that emerge from the quarterfinals are guaranteed an invitation to next year’s Copa América which will be played in the United States.
In Panama City on Monday night, “Los Canaleros” hardly broke a sweat in completing a 6-1 aggregate romp over Costa Rica. Panama is in the Concacaf Nations League semifinals for the second consecutive year and will be making an appearance in a Copa América for the second time (in 2016, the Central Americans failed to get out of the group stage).
Two additional Concacaf spots available for quarterfinal losers
Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s games, the four quarterfinal losers will have another chance to qualify for the Copa América, although that would be small consolation for Mexico who – at No. 12 in the FIFA World Rankings – is expected to challenge for the Nations League title.
Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and the two losers after tonight’s matches will take part in a single-legged playoff series to be held in Frisco, Texas, in March.
The match-ups for those two games will be determined after the completion of Tuesday’s matches.