Canada (+310) vs. Costa Rica (+110), Draw (+229)
It’s hard to believe Costa Rica are in this position, but it’s win or go home for the Ticos in their last game of the 2015 Gold Cup Group Stage tonight (8:30 PM Eastern at BMO Field in Toronto). Making matters worse, Costa Rica will be facing Canada in Canada.
Costa Rica drew their first two games in the tournament against Jamaica (2-2), and El Salvador (1-1). The tie with El Salvador was especially painful for the heavily favored Ticos, who looked to have the full-three points secured only to surrender a last-minute goal.
After their impressive 2014 World Cup performance, Costa Rica were a solid favorite to win Group B in the 2015 Gold Cup; now they are fighting for their tournament lives.
The team has shown very little on offense, and has been a mess on defense, surrendering goals due to lack of focus and discipline. But manager Paulo Wanchope knows it’s not over yet.
“We remain optimistic,” Wanchope said in his press conference. “We want to advance in what has turned out to be a very tough Gold Cup. And as we’ve seen, other favored teams have had a rough time as well.”
Canada has only one point after drawing against El Salvador (0-0) and losing in the injury time to Jamaica (1-0). The tournament co-hosts are still looking for their first goal. But, like the Ticos, their entire tournament outlook will change if they can pull out the win tonight, and that has the Canadian side excited for their first game on home soil.
“There’s a sense of urgency,” said Canadian captain Julian de Guzman during the pre-game presser. “We realize the situation we’re in at this point. I mean [Tuesday’s] game is pretty much like a final. This time we’re at home. We’ll have the support of our fans”.
Costa Rica and Canada have drawn two of their last three meetings, though Costa Rica took the last match, a 2013 friendly, by a score of 1-0. Look for a desperate (and ultimately much stronger) Costa Rica side to eke out another one-goal win tonight.
Pick: Costa Rica +110.
(Photo credit: Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa [CC BY 3.0 br (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/br/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)