Saturday’s Gold Cup ActionThe group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup was a lively, enjoyable affair. There was an average of 3.4 goals per game, and although the big guns of the US and Mexico topped their groups with ease, there were shocks too.
Curaçao, tipped here as rank outsiders to win the competition at 250/1, made it through their group ahead of good Central America opposition in El Salvador and Honduras, while third favourites Costa Rica failed to top their group as they lost their final match against Haiti.
Haiti vs. Canada
Canada will have been delighted to see Haiti turn around a 1-0 deficit to beat Costa Rica and finish top of Group B. Although they will not take the Haitians lightly, John Herdman’s men are 4/11 to march on to the semi-finals - and 8/11 to win this match in normal time.
Canada opened the competition with a 4-0 win over Martinique - a result that looks much more impressive than it did initially, as Martinique went on to give Mexico a real scare. They also lost 3-1 to Mexico and demolished a dismal Cuba 7-0.
Jonathan David and Lucas Cavallini scored nine goals between them in the group stages, and the Canadian attack should have too much for Haiti, who only edged past minnows Bermuda and Nicaragua before springing their surprise on Costa Rica.
There appears to be real promise in this Canada side, and they look a fair bet to win the game in 90 minutes.
Tip: Canada at 8/11
Prediction: Canada 3, Haiti 0
Mexico vs. Costa Rica
The headline clash of the quarter-finals sees two World Cup regulars face off in Houston. Mexico are the 11/10 favourites to win the competition, whose draw has been designed specifically for Mexico and the US to avoid each other before the final.
Mexico are 2/5 to win this match, and El Tri should have enough quality to get them to the semi-finals despite facing a more dangerous opponent than they would have liked at this stage.
Uriel Antuna and the superb Raul Jimenez have spearheaded Mexico’s attacking efforts, but there remain concerns over Gerardo Martino’s side’s defensive capabilities. Although they have won all their last seven matches, scoring at least three in every one, they have only kept one clean sheet in that time. That was against Cuba - probably the worst side at this Gold Cup.
Costa Rica have not reached the final of the Gold Cup since 2002, and that run is likely to continue here. But they can give Mexico a scare by getting on the scoresheet.
Tip: Mexico to win and both teams to score at 13/5
Prediction: Mexico 3, Costa Rica 1