Our prediction for this Gold Cup match:
Costa Rica will be aiming to clinch top position in Group C when they take on Jamaica on Wednesday morning. Los Ticos booked their place in the Gold Cup quarter-finals thanks to a 2-1 win over Suriname, and they are now on a quest to win first place in their group. Defender Francisco Calvo and attacker Kendall Waston are both banned for the match. A man to watch in the home team will be former Arsenal attacker Joel Campbell, who has already netted two goals at the 2021 CONCACAF championship.
The Reggae Boyz, have been impressive at the tournament as well, with the team beating both Suriname (2-0) and Guadeloupe (2-1) to seal their spot in the playoffs. Anyhow, a close encounter is on the cards at Exploria Stadium, and we are tempted to put our money on draw. There should be no absentees in the away team.
Highlighted Player (Keylor Navas):
Keylor Navas is an exceptionally gifted goal keeper who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Costa Rica national team. The 29-year-old rose through the youth ranks at Saprissa before making his professional bow with them in 2005.
After a successful stint with them, he ventured into Spanish football with a move to Albacete and then to Levante. His exploits at Levante earned him a move to Real Madrid where he quickly established as a first-team regular. Despite coming within seconds of moving away from the club to accommodate David de Gea, Navas became a crowd favorite with outstanding displays in 2015-16 season.
Navas has played over 60 games for Costa Rica having made his debut in 2008. He has represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where Costa Rica were a losing quarter-finalists. Their progress in the tournament is largely attributed to the success of Navas under the sticks.
Highlighted Team (Jamaica):
The Reggae Boyz are enjoying in their 2014 Copa Centroamericana title and are looking forward to their second-ever entry into the Copa America. Jamaica took positives from their debut in the competition last year in Chile despite going out in the group stage and will now be willing to make one step further.
The country had more success later in the summer when Winfried Schafer’s men knocked off the United States in the semi-finals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Reggae Boyz were ultimately stopped in the final as they lost to Mexico, but the ticket to 2016 Copa America was enough of a reward itself as four highest finishers were guaranteed a place at the competition.
Jamaica stepped onto the international scene with a 2-1 win over Haiti in 1925 and have so far qualified only once for the FIFA World Cup in 1998. It was not until 1965 that Jamaica made their first attempt to qualify for the World Cup though.