Costa Rica take on hosts United States in the first Semi Final of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup – Semi Final – Sunday 23rd July – 02:00 UK Time
Best Odd of: 3/1 at Sky Bet
Best Odd of: 9/4 at Sky Bet
Best Odd of: 1/1 at Sky Bet
2002 runners-up Costa Rica won this competition three times in its previous incarnation as the CONCACAF Championship. In fact, they were the last winners of that tournament in 1989, before it became the Gold Cup.
The current FIFA-ranked 26th best team in the world weren’t expected to do much in this competition. They came in to it having one just once in their last seven, but seem to have found some form to get them to the last-four.
A 1-0 win over Honduras in their first Group A match was followed by a 1-1 draw against 2000 champions Canada. Their final group match was against debutants French Guiana, which they convincingly won 3-0.
In the Quarter Final, they beat two-time runners-up Panama 1-0 thanks to a 77th minute own-goal.
After coming into the competition on a run of below-average form, they prepare for the Semi Final on an unbeaten run of seven matches.
Five-times champions, and hosts, United States were heavily favoured to do well before the competition started and they have lived up to expectations so far.
Ranked 35th in the FIFA rankings, they entered the competition unbeaten in eight matches in 2017. They have added four more to that in this tournament, making it twelve games unbeaten. In fact, their last defeat was a 4-0 away loss to their Semi Final opponents Costa Rica.
Despite the expectation from a home crowd, they started off with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Panama. That was followed by a tough 3-2 victory over unranked nation Martinique. They upped their game for the last group match, beating Nicaragua 3-0.
A solid first half performance was enough to see them past El Salvador in the Quarter Final, winning 2-0 with both goals coming before the break.
Head to Head Record
There have been 34 meetings between these nations since August 1975. Costa Rica have a slight advantage, having won 15. USA have won 14, and five have finished level.
Costa Rica have an even bigger advantage in more recent meetings, having won six of the last ten and three of the last four. The United States have won three of the last ten, with one draw in that time.
The most recent meeting came during 2018 World Cup Qualifying, in November 2016. Costa Rica were the home side on that occasion and ran rampant to win 4-0.
However, despite their head to head advantage, Costa Rica have never beaten the United States in this competition. Since being reincarnated into the Gold Cup, these sides have met seven times. USA have won six and the other was a draw.
Betting Odds and Predictions
United States will start this match as favourites, mostly due to them being the hosts of the competition. However, Sky Bet offering odds of 1/1 shows they aren’t a heavy favourite.
The draw is priced at 9/4, which we will ignore because there has only been one draw between these sides in the previous ten meetings.
We are mostly interested in the 3/1 on offer for Costa Rica. They may effectively be the away team for this match but they have a recent advantage over the United States, while also being ranked nine places above them in the FIFA rankings. They may have a poor head to head record in this competition but their first Gold Cup win over USA could come here.
You can also get odds of 7/4 on Costa Rica winning in the Draw no Bet market, with your stake returned if the match does finish level.
Only one match in the last seven meetings have seen both teams score, and both have defended well in this competition. Sky Bet price it at 8/11 for both teams not to score in this match.
Four of those last seven meetings have finished 1-0, with two victories apiece. It’s 17/2 for Costa Rica to win 1-0 here, and 9/2 for USA to win by the same scoreline.
The past two meetings have both ended 4-0. Punters can get 100/1 on Costa Rica repeating their November 2016 success, whilst it’s 40/1 for USA to win by the same score they did in June 2016.
Top Betting Tip
Despite USA being the hosts, and therefore the home team, we believe Costa Rica will continue their superior head to head form and pick up the victory. Sky Bet are offering odds of 3/1 for Costa Rica to win in their Match Result market.