CONCACAF reveals play-in matchups for Copa America Centenario
CONCACAF on Thursday said the two final berths for the 2016 Copa America Centenario will be played in Panama in January.
Last week, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL and U.S. Soccer finalized plans to move forward with the summer event, with the final set for the Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, California, and one of the semifinals at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Two qualifying games -- Panama vs. Cuba as well as Trinidad and Tobago vs. Haiti -- will be played as a doubleheader on Jan. 8, 2016, at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. The winner of each match will advance to the Copa America Centenario.
The four playoff contenders earned their places in the matches by making the quarterfinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Panama earned the right to host the play-in event as the best finisher of the group, advancing to the semifinals and eventually finishing in third place. They will face Cuba, who had the fewest points in the Gold Cup group stage.
The one-off, 16-team tournament, which will include Mexico, the U.S. and four other teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) alongside 10 South American nations (CONMEBOL) -- former World Cup winners Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay among them -- will mark the 100th anniversary celebration of that continent's regional championship and the first time the South American championship will be played outside that continent.
Copa Centroamericana winners Costa Rica and Caribbean Cup champions Jamaica have also already secured their places in the event, while the U.S. and Mexico qualified automatically.