At last the four best teams have done their jobs. Some have smashed their way through to the semifinals, and some merely survived. This is where it gets harder to predict.
Costa Rica vs. United States
This is going to be a simply thrilling Saturday night in Phoenix. On one hand you have the sleeping American giant, fresh off absolutely dominating El Salvador. Then you have Los Ticos, who just barely scraped through against Panama. However, El Salvador is hardly on Panama’s level.
Costa Rica is missing four key players to injury, and star goalie Keylor Navas has not been allowed to come to the Gold Cup as he is in Real Madrid’s squad for the club’s preseason tour. The US are also without players that play for a European clubs, as Christian Pulisic, Fabian Johnson, and John Brooks are not able to come. The Americans should be able to get through to the final, as they can exploit Costa Rica’s lack of healthy wingers and second-string goalkeeper. Pick: USA
Mexico vs. Jamaica
Mexico brought their B-team to this Gold Cup, as many players including Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela were subject to CONCACAF’s international playtime restrictions as they had taken part in the Confederations Cup recently. It hasn’t hindered El Tri yet as they face a full strength Jamaican team that made the final in 2015. Mexico’s midfield presence should dominate Jamaica, and the high press they’ve been utilizing should cause problems. Pick: Mexico
So what did you think of my predictions? Let me know in the comments below! Be sure to like and follow if you enjoyed!
Welcome back to Upon Further Review, where today I review my CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage and quarterfinal predictions. Here goes.
Group A contained the likes of Costa Rica, Canada, French Guiana, and Honduras. I predicted Costa Rica to top the group. The Ticos did so without a loss. I then said Honduras would finish second with Canada third. The teams swapped positions in real life unfortunately. Everyone would’ve anticipated French Guiana to finish bottom and they did so. However, the hilarious drama created by the French overseas department fielding the ineligible Florent Malouda brought a smile to many fans.
Group B consisted of Panama, Nicaragua, the United States, and island Martinique. Go right down the line as I correctly predicted the USA to top the group with Panama, Martinique, and Nicaragua following.
Group C was the most obvious outcome of them all.I predicted Mexico to top the group and Jamaica second. The final spots were a toss-up and I got them right, putting El Salvador third and Curaçao fourth.
The first quarterfinal featured an intensely boring game between Costa Rica and Panama where Los Ticos did as I predicted, vanquishing the bronze medalists of 2015.
Second and third quarterfinals. US and Mexico win comfortably. Next.
Finally, Jamaica and Canada faced off in the quarter everyone wanted to see. An early goal from Shaun Francis opened the scoring. Jamaica doubled their lead in the 50th minute before Junior Hoilett gave Canada hope 11 minutes later. No further goals were scored and Jamaica moves on, completing my perfect sweep of the quarters.
Group stage score: 10/12.
Quarterfinals score: 4/4
Semifinals predictions will be out later today.