Our prediction for this Gold Cup 2017 match:
A place in the 2017 Gold Cup semis will be at stake when Costa Rica and Panama face each other at Lincoln Financial Field. Los Ticos kicked off their campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Honduras and following a 1-1 draw with Canada, Oscar Ramirez’s men rolled over French Guiana in their final group game. Important first-team regular Joel Campbell suffered a knee injury in the 1-1 draw with Canada and he will be sorely missed in Thursday’s football match against Panama. In Campbell’s absence a man to watch in Oscar Ramirez’s team will be experienced attacker Bryan Ruiz. Los Canaleros, on the other hand, book their place in the quarter-finals thanks to back-to-back wins over the likes of Nicaragua and Martinique, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Costa Rica. A close encounter appears on the cards and we predict that the game will go into extra time.
Highlighted Player (Celso Borges):
Celso Borges is an experienced 28-year-old central midfielder who currently plays for Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna and the Costa Rica national team. Borges was a youth prospect at Saprissa before making his making his professional debut at the age of 18.
He had a very successful career winning five national championships with Saprissa. Borges later had stints at various clubs before joining Deportivo in 2015 initially on loan and then permanently. He played in the 2005 U-17 FIFA World Championships and was considered among the best players of the tournament. His youth team exploits earned him a senior team debut in 2008 after which he became a regular with the national team.
Borges has already earned a total of 85 caps for Costa Rica and found the back of the net 19 times. He had a successful run with the national team in 2014 FIFA World Cup reaching the quarter-finals.
Highlighted Team (Panama):
Norway are a Nordic side that participated three times at the FIFA World Cup finals (1938, 1994 and 1998). The Norwegians were producing fine performances at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, with the team setting up a meeting with Italy in the last 16 of the showpiece tournament thanks to a 2-1 win over Brazil in their last group match.
However, the Azzurri proved to be a big catch for Norway and thanks to Bobo Vieri’s goal the Italians made it to the quarter-finals. Norway only once qualified for the European Championship finals, with the team suffering elimination in the group stages of the 2000 tournament in Belgium and Netherlands. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the most famous Norwegian player and it is well known that he helped Manchester United beat Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.
The “Baby-faced” striker scored the winner for the Red Devils in the dying seconds of the match. Norway play their home games at Ullevaal Stadion, which was opened in September, 1926. The capacity of the venue is 28.000.