- Costa Rica and Canada clash in the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Sunday
- The winner will face either Mexico or Honduras in the semis
- Get the odds, preview, and prediction below
We’re now into the knockout stages of the Gold Cup and Sunday will bring an intriguing fixture between Canada and Costa Rica in Arlington, Texas. The Canucks finished as runners-up in Group B behind the US, while the Costa Ricans topped Group C with a perfect nine points.
These two sides have been relatively even in recent memory. Dating back to September of 2007, they’ve drawn in four out of five meetings, with the Central Americans coming out victorious in the remaining clash.
Costa Rica vs Canada Odds
|Costa Rica vs Canada||CRC -0.5 (+170) | CAN +0.5 (-300)||CRC +205 | CAN +170 | DRAW +195||Ov 2.5 (+135) | Un 2.5 (-170)|
Odds as of July 25th at DraftKings.
Costa Rica Breezes Through Group Phase
Los Ticos was very convincing in the group stages of the Gold Cup, bagging six goals in three games while conceding just twice. They started off the tournament with a 3-1 routing of Guadeloupe, then followed it up with back-to-back wins over Suriname and Jamaica.
In the Jamaican match, Costa Rican keeper Leonel Moreira was handed a red card in the 72nd minute just 20 minutes after the squad scored what would be the lone goal of the night. The backline did a terrific job of preventing the Caribbean powerhouses from equalizing, who were immensely putting on the pressure. By no surprise, Moreira will miss Sunday’s encounter due to suspension.
Celso Borges and Joel Campbell have been clinical for the Costa Ricans, both netting two goals apiece thus far. While Suriname and Guadeloupe weren’t the toughest opponents, outlasting a side like Jamaica is no easy task. Luis Fernando Suarez’s men should have no shortage of confidence heading into Sunday, especially considering the side hasn’t lost to Canada in 14 years.
Costa Rica under Ronald González hadn't won a game since November 2019. They went winless in 11 straight games.
Luis Fernando Suárez came in and won three straight and topped their group in Gold Cup, which includes a WCQ Octogonal rival. They'll face Canada. PURA VIDA 🇨🇷🇨🇷🇨🇷
— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) July 21, 2021
This is the ninth straight Gold Cup where Costa Rica has progressed to the quarterfinals, but they’ve only reached the semifinals once since 2011. Mexico has been their kryptonite, with El Tri beating them in 2015 and then in 2019 via spot-kicks. If La Sele does beat the Canucks, there is a very good chance the Mexicans will in fact be their opponent in the last four.
Canada Missing Key Figures up Top
While the Canadians did show well in the group stages with two wins before a 1-0 defeat to the US, they will be without a very important piece of their attack in the quarterfinals. Besiktas standout Cyle Larin, who’s scored a tournament-best three goals, picked up a muscle injury in the USA clash and has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) July 20, 2021
To make matters even worse, Toronto FC striker Ayo Akinola suffered an ACL injury in the same game and will likely be sidelined for the foreseeable future. With John Herdman already missing Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, this just adds to the unfortunate turn of events for the Canada boss.
Regardless, the Canucks will be feeling positive about how they’ve played to this point. Herdman’s squad buried Martinique and Haiti by 4-1 score lines and if Larin didn’t get hurt, there’s a high chance that Canada would have collected at least a point out of the States game because they frankly outplayed their North American rivals.
Heading into Sunday, the Canadians are enjoying an impressive run of form. The side has tasted defeat just once in nine games dating back to latter March. Missing their best attacker is a real blow, though. Vancouver Whitecaps man Lucas Cavallini will be looked upon to rise to the occasion and provide some brilliance up top in his second start of the tournament.
Costa Rica vs Canada Key Stats
|3-0-0||Record in Gold Cup||2-0-1|
|451||Completed Passes Per Match||476.7|
|3||Shots on Target Per Match||4|
|3-0-2||Form in Last Five Matches||4-0-1|
Costa Rica vs Canada Prediction
Both of these teams had very similar results in the group phase, but I really do believe that Larin’s absence on the Canada frontline will hurt them. The Costa Ricans are also thriving under their new manager and after falling short at this stage two years ago, they’ll be extremely motivated to progress here.
While recent meetings between the two have resulted in draws, take the hosts to win this fixture on Sunday.
Pick: Costa Rica +180