Mexico moved to within a victory of another Gold Cup crown after a dramatic win over Panama in extra time on Wednesday. Pulling off that feat will be a tough task, though, as standing in El Tri’s way in the title match are upstarts Jamaica who upset highly-favored United States in the tournament’s other semifinal.
Read on below for an in-depth breakdown of this blockbuster final and while you’re at it, you can check out our preview of the upcoming 2015-2016 English Premier League season here.[sc:Soccer ]
Jamaica vs. Mexico Gold Cup Final Preview
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
When: Sunday, July 26, 7:30 PM ET
Line: Jamaica vs. Mexico – view all 2015 Gold Cup Final lines
Betting on Jamaica
Jamaica’s quest for a very first Gold Cup title is still very much alive after recording a heart-stopping 2-1 victory against the United States on Wednesday. Darren Mattocks and Giles Barnes each scored within five minutes of the other in the first half to power the Reggae Boyz to the shock win.
[sc:Soccer240banner ]It was a fantastic display from the Jamaicans who reached their first ever Gold Cup final. To put Jamaica’s achievement into perspective, it is the first time that an American side has lost to a Caribbean nation on home soil in 46 years. In fact, the Reggae Boyz had beaten the United States just once in 22 previous matchups.
Key to Jamaica’s victory on Wednesday was its tremendous discipline. Manager Winfried Schafer’s strategy for the semis was for them to defend in numbers and hit the highly-favored United States on the counter-attack. That game plan was spot on as the Jamaicans took advantage of the Americans’ countless mistakes.
For the Jamaicans to prevail in the championship game against Mexico, they will need to be solid at the back once again. Through five matches in this tournament, Jamaica has only conceded three goals. In fact, Michael Bradley’s goal for the United States in the semifinals was the first goal that they have allowed in this tournament since the first half of their first game against Costa Rica.
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Betting on Mexico
Mexico barged into the final of the 2015 Gold Cup, hacking out a controversial 2-1 victory over Panama on Wednesday. Andres Guardado converted two late penalties to help Mexico clinch its eighth Gold Cup final appearance.
Key to Mexico’s deep run in this tournament has been its prolific offense. El Tri has scored 13 goals in this year’s Gold Cup, the best mark in the entire event. Mexico has attempted a whopping 95 shots on goal in five Gold Cup matches thus far. Leading Mexico’s offensive onslaught is the incredible Guardado. With his double against Panama, Guardado has now pushed his Gold Cup tally to five goals, just one goal behind Golden Boot leader Clint Dempsey.
For Mexico to grab the all-important victory against Jamaica, it needs to control the possession game in the final. They had 72% of the ball in their victory against Panama and that helped El Tri establish a 12-11 advantage in shot attempts. They will need to be more clinical, though, in their finishing in the final third this coming Sunday.
The Mexicans found it difficult to break down a stubborn Panama defense even with a man advantage for majority of the match. In fact, they only had five shots on target in this particular ball game. That simply won’t do against a Jamaica backline that has been simply superb this entire competition. The Caribbean nation has already recorded three clean sheets in this year’s Gold Cup.
That being said, the Mexicans will still fancy their chances in the final as they have fared extremely well against Jamaica in their past meetings. They are 13-2-2 against Jamaica in their all-time head-to-head matchups, outscoring the Reggae Boyz, 46-8, in those 17 matches.
Mexico beats Jamaica, 2-0.[sc:Soccer490banner ]
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