Canada 2-0 Trinidad and Tobago (Mar 23, 2024) Game Analysis

Canada beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 on Saturday in Frisco, Texas to secure a spot in this year’s Copa América where they will play the tournament’s opening match against Lionel Messi and World Cup champions Argentina.

Cyle Larin and Jacob Shaffelburg each scored for Canada in a Concacaf Nations League playoff match that was a qualifier for the June 20-July 14 Copa América being held in 14 cities across the United States.

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The game was Canada’s second and final chance to secure a Copa América berth after failing to do so last November when they lost a Nations League quarterfinal to Jamaica.

Canada will open the tournament against defending champions Argentina on June 20 in Atlanta, before taking on Chile five days later in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and then Chile on June 29 in Orlando, Florida.

Canada celebrate Cyle Larin’s opening goal against Trinidad and Tobago.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Canada dominated the first half yet managed just two shots on target before the break. Trinidad and Tobago had a great chance to go ahead early on from a Levi Garcia breakaway but he dragged his shot wide to the right in the 18th minute.

Larin found the breakthrough for Canada in the 61st minute when the all-time leading scorer for the men’s national team fired home from the centre of the box and into the far corner. The goal was Larin’s 29th for the national team.

The game opened up in the closing minutes when Shaffelburg sealed the deal with a powerful stoppage-time shot he sent into the top left corner to seal the win.

In the other Concacaf Nations League playoff, Costa Rica rallied past Honduras 3-1 to complete the 16-nation field for the Copa América.

Costa Rica will begin on June 24 against Brazil in Inglewood, California, play Colombia four days later in Glendale, Arizona, and close the first round against Paraguay on July 2 in Austin, Texas.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.