Jamaica vs. Canada Preview
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona
When: Thursday, July 20, 2017, 7:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 1
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Betting on Jamaica (+182)
Two years ago, Jamaica shocked a lot of people when they made a stunning run to the Gold Cup final. The Reggae Boyz are on course to duplicate that feat this year and they have their resolute defense to thank for that. The Jamaicans conceded just once in Group C, even holding reigning champions Mexico to a goalless draw. Goalkeeper Andre Blake has been solid between the posts for Jamaica, already recording two clean sheets in this tournament.
Knockout matches tend to be tight and nervy affairs and Jamaica has the right man for such a pulsating matchup. Darren Mattocks has been in fine form, scoring two of Jamaica’s three goals at the Gold Cup. Mattocks, who bagged the Reggae Boyz’s lone goal in the critical draw against El Salvador, has plenty of experience leading the line for Jamaica. The Portland Timbers forward has netted 14 times in 39 appearances for the Jamaican national team. One of those goals came in the 3–1 defeat to Mexico in the 2015 Gold Cup final.
Betting on Canada (+145)
Even with just one victory in the group stages, Canada managed to sneak in to the quarterfinals of the 2017 Gold Cup. Canada’s win against French Guiana coupled by their credible draws against Costa Rica and Honduras helped them book a last eight showdown with Jamaica. Offense has been the main calling card for Canada in this tournament with the North American outfit scoring five goals in their opening three matches.
Providing the impetus for the Canadian attack is teen phenom Alphonso Davies. The 16-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder has been brilliant in his first senior international tournament, scoring three of Canada’s five goals in this year’s Gold Cup. Help is on the way for Davies with Cyle Larin making his much-anticipated return against Jamaica. Canadian men’s soccer team coach Octavio Zambrano decided to recall Larin to the national team after the young forward was arrested last month for driving the wrong way down an Orlando street.
It will be interesting to see how Larin fits with Zambrano’s preferred 4-3-3 formation. What’s for certain is that Larin will provide much-needed experience to the Canada frontline. Larin has scored five goals in 20 appearances for Canada and is one of the top forwards in the MLS. The Brampton native has scored 39 goals in 76 appearances for Orlando City FC.
Canada (+145) prevail via penalties to reach their first Gold Cup semifinal in 10 years.
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