And so there are only four left. The Gold Cup semi-finals will be played over Tuesday and Wednesday night with a route to the final on the line for Haiti, Mexico, Jamaica and the USA. There are two clear favorites, two heavyweights, from these match-ups, but this is a tournament that has already seen a number of upsets. Will there be any more? Here are four tips for the Gold Cup semi finals.
Haiti v Mexico
University of Phoenix Stadium, Tuesday July 2
This has been a tournament of several shocks, but Haiti pulled off the biggest upset by coming from 2-0 down at half time to beat Canada 3-2 in the quarter finals. They arrive in the final four with momentum behind them, but will come up against a Mexico side favoured by many as the favourites to win this summer’s Gold Cup.
Mexico claimed three wins from three in the group stages, but needed a penalty shootout to get past Costa Rica in the quarter finals. El Tri are missing a number of their best players - Javier Hernandez, Hector Herrera, Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela just to name a few - for this tournament and that robbed them of firepower against a higher calibre opponent, like Costa Rica.
In Haiti they will not come up against a high calibre opponent, though. Mexico dismantled Haiti in their last meeting, winning 4-0. Despite their shock win over Canada in the last round, there’s little reason to believe Haiti can cause El Tri problems here. Mexico should take their place in the Gold Cup final with relative ease here.
2u - Back Mexico To Win To Nil @ +105
1.5u - Back Over 2.5 Goals @ -125
Jamaica v USA
Nissan Stadium, Wednesday July 3
Working out the mood in the American soccer-sphere ahead of this Gold Cup semi final isn’t easy. Some are positive. The USA have, after all, won all four games they have played at the tournament so far. What’s more, they have yet to concede a single goal. However, with the exception of the game against Trinidad & Tobago they have failed to dominate any of those matches.
Indeed, their quarter final performance against Curacao was well below par. An opponent that should have been swatted aside with little issue ended up causing Gregg Berhalter’s side real problems. In Jamaica, the USA will face a much higher calibre of opponent. That has many feeling pessimistic.
The form of the Reggae Boyz has been somewhat patchy at this Gold Cup so far, winning two and drawing two of their four fixtures. They will be without influential centre back Damion Lowe for the match. That could disrupt their defensive structure and help open things out for the Americans. This is a replay of the last Gold Cup final and Jamaica stand between the USA and a first final meeting with Mexico since 2011. Jamaica will fancy their chances. They are worth a punt.
0.5u - Back Jamaica to Win @ +650
0.75u - Back Gyasi Zardes Anytime Goalscorer @ +162