2015 Gold Cup Quarterfinals Preview. Who will make it to the Semis?
United States vs Cuba
It has not been a fair fight between these old rivals as United States leads the overall series 8-1-1, with the Cubans being beaten the last eight straight times. Five of those eight being in the Gold Cup. But none of that matters as the USMNT tries regain momentum after its draw last time out against Panama. The Cuba national team have now lost 4 players overall to defection but have not lost their fighting spirit. The Cubans, the ones that are left in the squad, have more than enough to spring a surprise but the smart money will be on the US to move on.
Jamaica vs Haiti
The Jamaicans historically has almost a 2 to 1 win ratio against the Haitians in all competitions. In the Gold Cup however this would be their first matchup against one another and an important matchup too with a semifinal berth awaiting the winner. In terms of form, while both are riding the high of a better than expected performance and placing within their respective groups. The edge has to be given to the Jamaicans as they have yet to taste defeat in this year’s competition. Their style of play share some similarities with the Jamaican squad employing a more direct approach in contrast with the varying wing play employed by the Haitians. I expect it to be close run thing but the Jamaicans will shade it in the end.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Panama
In the overall head to head matchup across all competitions, Trinidad & Tobago own a 10-5-4 advantage over Panama. Their only encounter in the Gold Cup was in the 2005 tournament which ended in a 2-2 draw. Panama certainly has their work cut out for them as they face a T & T squad that are riding the high of going toe to toe with the one of the giants of the CONCACAF, Mexico, and coming out with some credit in their 4-4 draw. There were some lapses in the backline however and the Panamanians will have to show vast improvement in order to capitalize on them. Panama however has proven thus far to be no pushovers so the game itself should be tight but I like Trinidad & Tobago to win by at least two goals in the end.
Mexico vs Costa Rica
Other than drawing the United States, I am not sure Mexico could have seen a worse quarterfinal opponent than their fellow Central Americans. Even though the Mexicans have beaten them 27 times in all competitions, the Costa Ricans have not lost to Mexico in their last three matchups. Luckily, both teams come into this contest with plenty to prove to both the viewing public and themselves. Mexico should have the edge with regards to firepower but not by much as the Costa Ricans to my eye has not brought everything together in their play in the group stage and are due to breakout. A fiercely contested game is on the horizon but ultimately El Tri will just have too much for Los Ticos