Decisive QFs begin with USA-T&T and Costa Rica-Panama
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Decisive QFs begin with USA-T&T and Costa Rica-Panama

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MIAMI, Florida – The final step to advance to the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League Finals and qualify for the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 begins on Thursday with a pair of quarterfinals first leg matches of teams in League A.

United States vs. Trinidad and Tobago

The United States and Trinidad and Tobago will meet in the first leg of their League A quarterfinal series at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Trinidad and Tobago reached this phase of the competition by finishing as the second-place team out of Group A during the group stage.

The Soca Warriors were excellent in earning three wins in their first three matches before a 5-3 defeat to Curacao on the final matchday. Still, the Trinidad and Tobago attack was firing on all cylinders and scored 10 goals across their four matches.

Among the stars were youngster Nathaniel James, whose two goals each served as game-winning scores, in the 87th minute in the 1-0 home win versus Curacao and in the 89th minute in the 3-2 comeback victory against Guatemala. Reon Moore is another player who stood out for the Caribbean side with two goals.

Trinidad and Tobago will now take on a U.S. team that is the two-time defending champion of the CNL and will be hungry to defend their title.

While the likes of 2022-23 CNL Finals stars Christian Pulisic and Timothy Weah are unavailable due to injury, the U.S. still has plenty of talent to choose from, such as attacking midfielder Gio Reyna and Folarin Balogun.

Reyna had both assists in the 2-0 U.S. victory versus Canada in the 2022-23 CNL Final, with Balogun on the end of one of the goals.

These two teams last met in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, with the U.S. winning 6-0. The last 10 encounters have seen the U.S. own a 7W-1D-2L advantage, while all-time the U.S. have 21 wins, Trinidad and Tobago have four wins and there have been four draws.


History and Statistics in CNL USA vs Trinidad


Costa Rica vs. Panama

Familiar foes Costa Rica and Panama will once again meet, this time at the Estadio Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica in the first leg of their League A quarterfinal match-up.

Panama claimed the top spot in Group A to earn their quarterfinal spot and a date with the Ticos. The Canaleros compiled a 3W-1D-0L record in the group stage, allowing just two goals.

Seven different players found the back of the net for Panama, with Eric Davis the lone man to score twice.

Like much of their run to the Final of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, Panama were paced by MF Adalberto Carrasquilla and winger Edgar Barcenas, and no doubt those two will be called upon to provide order in the Panama midfield in what should be a challenging environment in San Jose.

Panama can also look to their last contest in Costa Rica for inspiration, as they pocketed a 1-0 win on a Jose Fajardo goal to win their group in the 2022-23 CNL and advance to a first ever CNL Finals.

Costa Rica will be seeking to avenge that defeat and return to their first CNL Finals since the inaugural edition in 2019-20.

Veteran playmaker Joel Campbell leads the way, while young players like Manfred Ugalde, Jewison Bennette and Brandon Aguilera will be ones to watch.

The last 10 meetings between the two sides have been favorable to Panama, with six wins for the Canaleros and just two for the Ticos, including a 2-1 Panama victory in last summer’s Gold Cup. All-time, Costa Rica lead the series with a 26W-14D-14L edge.


History and Statistics in CNL Costa Rica vs Panama