With one round of matches complete at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, every team knows what they need to do to stay in contention for a place in the quarter-finals. The second round of matches begins with Costa Rica meeting Canada in Group A. Both teams won their opening games of the group and know a second win in this match will guarantee them a place in the next stage of the tournament.
Costa Rica have won the CONCACAF Gold Cup twice in their history, the last coming back in 1989. Canada have also won the competition twice with their last victory coming more recently, in 2000. However, Canada have been knocked out at the group stage in each of the last three tournaments.
Costa Rica Form
With Honduras and Canada in the group, this was never going to be straightforward for Costa Rica but they got off to the best start thanks to a 1-0 win over Honduras.
This result has placed Costa Rica in a very strong position heading into their final two matches. A win in this game and they are sure to be in the quarter-finals, with a great chance of topping the group. Lose this game and with a match against French Guiana still to come, they should still qualify.
Costa Rica have lost just 2 of their last 16 games in all competitions and are undefeated in their last 4, 3 of which have come in World Cup qualifying.
To get 3 points from their opening game in the group against French Guiana was always going to be important and Canada did just that thanks to a 4-2 win.
Having failed to win a single game in the 2013 and 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup events, this was a massive victory for Canada and gives them some confidence ahead of this match. It’s now 4 games without defeat for Canada, a run which includes a good 1-1 draw against Scotland.
The last time these teams met was in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and they played out a 0-0 draw.
Costa Rica will be hoping Johan Venegas recovers from the injury which forced him off against Honduras. Even if he fails to make it, Oscar Ramirez is unlikely to make many changes to the starting XI which defeated Honduras.
Canada will be sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who went off with a facial injury against French Guiana. With him off the field, Canada conceded 2 goals, so Octavio Zambrano will be hoping he is fit.
Top Betting Tips
When assessing the two teams, it is difficult to see anything other than a Costa Rica win in this match, which can be backed at 5/6 with Ladbrokes.
One of Costa Rica’s strengths is their defending and although they were on the back foot for much of the game against Honduras, they did not buckle under the pressure. Canada looked good going forward against French Guiana but will find Costa Rica a different proposition. Costa Rica to win the match to nil is 8/5 with Ladbrokes.