Costa Rica vs Canada: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

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Canada travel to Costa Rica on Thursday evening knowing a victory would seal their return to the World Cup stage.

John Herdman’s side remain top of the Concacaf qualifying table, impressively maintaining an unbeaten record after 11 games. Now a growing force in international soccer, Canada will look to get the job done here and qualify for their first World Cup since 1986 and just their second-ever.

As for Costa Rica, they’re five points behind Mexico in the final automatic qualification spot, which is likely too big of a gap to close. But Los Ticos are just a single point behind Panama in the intercontinental playoff spot and will be eyeing that as their way to a third consecutive World Cup finals.

Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s clash:

When is kick-off? Thursday, 24 March, 10.05pm (EST)
Where is it being played? Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica
What TV channel is it on? OneSoccer (Canada), Paramount+ (US)
Highlights? OneSoccer YouTube channel

Oviedo is in the squad but remains a doubt for this first fixture.Oviedo is in the squad but remains a doubt for this first fixture.

Oviedo is in the squad but remains a doubt for this first fixture. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Oviedo has been called up for Costa Rica but is a minor fitness doubt for the Canada match. Other than that, Los Ticos, are at full strength for this critical clash.

Ismael KoneIsmael Kone

Kone has received his first call-up after impressing with Montreal. / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Alphonso Davies is back in training with Bayern Munich following an extended absence with myocarditis but wasn’t ready in time for a call-up in this window. Samuel Piette (ankle) and David Wotherspoon (ACL) are also out.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ Cristian Gutierrez and CF Montreal’s Ismael Kone have both been called up for the first time.

Canada have won the last two meetings between these nations by a 3-0 aggregate scoreline, marking a sharp turnaround in fortunes in this fixture. Prior to the recent double, the Canucks had tasted victory in just one of their previous nine meetings with Los Ticos.

Even so, it’s pretty close in the overall series, with Costa Rica picking up eight wins to Canada’s six, with the other nine meetings ending level.

The days of Canada being the Concacaf whipping boys are long gone and they’ve already proven they can dig out results even when Davies is out.

Costa Rica is one of the toughest away days in the region but whether it be Mexico or the United States, Herdman’s side haven’t been intimidated in this qualifying cycle, home or away.

Costa Rica need the points far more, but Canada will be eager to hold onto their unbeaten record and finish top of the group – what a statement that would be. This one will run with the form book.

Prediction: Costa Rica 0-1 Canada

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