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Have Canada qualified for Copa America 2024? Playoff score, result vs Trinidad & Tobago as Messi matchup looms

Canada will have one more chance to qualify for the Copa America for the very first time on Saturday.

Interim head coach Mauro Biello will lead his team in a one-off CONCACAF Nations League playoff fixture against Trinidad and Tobago, these two sides having dropped into this effective play-in series following defeats at the quarterfinal stage of the Nations League late last year.

Canada held a 3-1 first-leg advantage over Jamaica but went on to lose on away goals following a 4-4 aggregate draw, while Trinidad and Tobago were bested over two legs by the United States, the host nation of this year’s Copa America.

Les Rouges won admirers for their performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but the chance to build on that by pitting themselves against the best sides in North and South America is one they are desperate to take.

The stakes are simple enough: whoever wins this match will be playing at the Copa America in June; the losing team will not. And what’s more, whoever wins will also have the honor of opening the tournament on June 20, with a potential matchup against Argentina and Lionel Messi on offer. 

MORE: Full schedule of matches at the 2024 Copa America

Have Canada qualified for Copa America 2024?

Canada’s place at the 2024 Copa America will be determined by the result of their match against Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The winner of this CONCACAF Nations League fixture will enter Group A at the Copa America this year. The losing team will not qualify for the tournament.

The Sporting News will update this page once Canada’s fate is known.

Have Canada played at the Copa America before?

Canada have never before taken part in the finals of the Copa America.

The tournament used to be exclusive to South American nations but began to invite other participants around 30 years ago. The 2024 edition will see all 10 teams from CONMEBOL, South America’s football confederation, plus six nations from CONCACAF: USA, Mexico, Jamaica, Panama, and the winners of the Canada vs. Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica vs. Honduras playoff games.

What group will Canada be in at 2024 Copa America?

During the draw on December 7, 2023, Canada learned their landing spot at the Copa America should they manage to qualify.

It was determined at the draw that the winner of the playoff between Canada and Trinidad and Tobago would enter Group A alongside defending champions Argentina. While that is a daunting task, matches against Peru and Chile could present a more achievable opportunity to qualify for the knockout stages.

Had Canada made it through to the Nations League semifinals and qualified directly, their FIFA ranking of 48th in the world would have been good enough to make them a Pot 3 participant. Yet instead, they would be an automatic Pot 4 side as a playoff participant, making their possible pathway that much more difficult.

MORE: Read all about Group A at the 2024 Copa America

Group A

  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Chile
  • Canada/Trinidad and Tobago

MORE: Will Lionel Messi play at Copa America 2024? Latest updates on Argentina icon

Group A schedule, matches at Copa America 2024

Should they qualify, Canada will have the honor of opening the tournament on June 20 against defending champions Argentina.

From there, they will face Peru in what will likely be a must-win encounter before they close out group play against Chile.

Date Time (ET) Match Location
June 20, 2024 8 p.m. Argentina vs. Canada/Trinidad  and Tobago Atlanta, GA (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
June 21 8 p.m. Peru vs. Chile Arlington, TX (AT&T Stadium)
June 25 6 p.m. Peru vs. Canada/Trinidad and Tobago Kansas City, KS (Children’s Mercy Park)
June 25 9 p.m. Chile vs. Argentina East Rutherford, NJ (MetLife Stadium)
June 29 8 p.m. Argentina vs. Peru Miami, FL (Hard Rock Stadium)
June 29 8 p.m. Canada/Trinidad and Tobago vs. Chile Orlando, FL (Exploria Stadium)

Canada bracket, possible route to final at 2024 Copa America

Should Canada qualify as one of the top two teams from Group A, they would progress to the quarterfinals, where they would face one of MexicoEcuadorVenezuela, or Jamaica, depending on how the two groups shake out (the winner of Group A faces the runner-up in Group B, and vice-versa).

If Canada finish top of Group A, their quarterfinal match will be on July 4 and take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. If they come second in Group B, they will play their quarterfinal on July 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Should they win that knockout tie, they will progress to a semifinal on July 9 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. That game could well be against world champions Argentina.

If Canada get to the semifinals and then lose, they will enter the third-place match against the other semifinal loser. That game will be held at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 13.

Win their semifinal, and Canada would, of course, reach the final. That takes place on July 14 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

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