1 July 2019
Jamaica and Panama will face-off at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for their first Gold Cup encounter in the 21st century.
Even though they’ve pulled off just one triumph in Group C (W1, D2), Jamaica finished top of their respective group to qualify for the Gold Cup quarter-finals for the third time in a row. After beating Honduras 3-2 on the opening matchday, the Reggae Boyz have struggled to replicate the same performance in the remaining two games in the group stage, scoring just one goal while producing barely six shots on target across those matches. Poor attacking displays backed by a stubborn defending has seen five of Jamaica’s last six games producing under 2.5 goals, with three of those matches featuring under 1.5 goals. Also, all three of Jamaica’s previous wins have been settled by a narrow one-goal margin, with Theodore Whitmore’s players taking a first-half lead in two.
Finished as runners-up in Group D, Panama have won both of their opening two games at the competition by a comfortable two-goal margin before suffering a narrow 1-0 loss to the United States. Notably, those two wins at the Gold Cup were Panama’s only triumphs in 13 games since the World Cup fiasco (W2, D3, L8), and also the only two in which they’ve scored over 1.5 match goals in eight outings since the turn of the year. Still, placed as slight odds-on favorites to win in this contest, Los Canaleros will look to stretch their unbeaten run against Jamaica to seven-games (W4, D2). However, Julio Dely Valdés has yet to find a solution for his team’s defensive problems that have seen them keep just one clean sheet in their last five games while allowing over 1.5 goals per match three times across those fixtures.
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