Costa Rica vs Jamaica match is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET in a showdown for the top spot in Group C at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Gold Cup is an international competition that is held every year to determine the champion of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean; it does not include teams from South America, who compete in the Copa America.
Jamaica and Costa Rica are level heading into their weeknight matchup, having secured six points each on a plus-three goal differential and already punched their ticket into the knockout stage; Costa Rica has scored one more goal, which has momentarily put them atop the group as a tiebreaker. After tonight’s matchup, however, the definitive victor of Group C will be known.
Costa Rica vs Jamaica | The Match
Jamaica has scored two goals in each of its first two matches, defeating Suriname 2-0 and Guadeloupe 2-1. Four different players have scored, and three players have provided assists on Jamaica’s goals in the competition. They have basically split the possession stat through their opening matches, though they are not dependent on dominating the ball to win— instead, they like to use their pace through the midfield and along the flanks to provide service to either of their two strikers in a 4-4-2 formation.
Costa Rica convincingly won both of its opening fixtures, though they are yet to keep a clean sheet in the group stage. They defeated Guadeloupe 3-1 in their opening match, benefiting from a Steve Solvet-Red Card, then took down Suriname 2-1 a few days later despite a Red Card of their own. Costa Rica showed its resiliency in this match, bouncing back from a 52nd-minute opening goal to score in the 58th and 59th minutes, giving them a lead that would remain unharmed until the final whistle.
Costa Rica is playing without its best player and starting goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, who was ruled out with a shoulder injury that he suffered during his domestic duties with Paris Saint-Germain in France. Navas burst onto the national scene during the 2014 World Cup as a member of a side that reached the quarterfinal after topping Uruguay, Italy, and England in group play, and after saving two penalties in the game that ultimately sent them to the quarterfinal.
Jamaica has a star goalkeeper of its own in Andre Blake, a 6-foot-1 member of the Philadelphia Union that was named Major League Soccer’s Goalkeeper of the Year and elected to the end-of-season MLS Best XI.
Whoever wins this match will secure the top seed in Group C and will take on Canada, who finished behind the United States for second in Group B, in the first round of bracket play on Sunday. The loser will line up against the USA on Sunday as well.
If there is a draw, Costa Rica will secure the top seed by virtue of the tiebreaker they hold, and Jamaica will set up a date with the USA as the runner-up. Although they are not internationally acclaimed outside of CONCACAF, the USA is the favorite to win the Gold Cup, and both teams will be playing to avoid them.
Costa Rica vs Jamaica Pick
According to DraftKings, Costa Rica is a slight favorite at +148 while Jamaica is +190 to win the match, and there is a longshot of a draw (+210).
Although both teams have played relatively evenly thus far, Jamaica enjoyed a better run of form during friendlies and qualifying matches prior to the tournament; for that, look for the underdogs to shock Costa Rica and secure the top spot in the group ahead of Sunday’s games.
Pick: Jamaica (+190)