MX23RW : Monday, September 20 17:20:55| >> :600:1056696:1056696:
Jul 26, 2021 at 12am UK at AT&T Stadium
Costa RicaCosta Rica
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hoilett (18'), Eustaquio (69')
Vitoria (31'), Cavallini (38'), Akindele (83')

Preview: Costa Rica vs. Canada - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup clash between Costa Rica and Canada, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A spot in the semi-finals of the Gold Cup will be on the line on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, when Costa Rica take on Canada.

Los Ticos captured their group, winning all three of their games, while the Canucks dropped to second in Group B after a 1-0 loss in their last match against the USA.

Match preview

Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz celebrates scoring their first goal in the friendly against Belgium on June 11, 2018© Reuters

Playing in the last eight of this competition is something that the Costa Ricans are used to, having reached this portion of the tournament now on eight successive occasions.

Their experience seemed to come in handy in their opening three matches, as they were able to ease past Guadeloupe 3-1 before outlasting a tough Suriname team 2-1 and then fending off the Jamaicans 1-0.

Despite a lengthy weather delay in their final group game, their last match was a lively one, where the Costa Ricans were clinical once again in the final third, scoring with their only shot on target.

As the tournament goes on, not only is there added pressure, but with that comes a lot more intensity and a need to keep your composure, something that this team have struggled to do in their last two games.

Luis Fernando Suarez saw his side get three cards in both of those fixtures, but two of them were red, so discipline was a surprising issue for this squad with so much experience at this competition.

The quarter-finals of the Gold Cup have produced some painful memories for this team recently, as they were knocked out of this competition two years ago by Mexico in a penalty shootout, and they lost at this stage to El Tri in 2015, 1-0 in extra-time.

Canada manager John Herdman pictured June 24, 2019© Reuters

Los Ticos are not the only side to experience some heartache at the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup, as their opponents this weekend suffered a terrible collapse in the last eight themselves.

John Herdman and his side looked well on their way to making the final four of this competition in 2019, leading Haiti 2-0 in the quarter-finals before they were stunned with a trio of second-half goals, losing 3-2.

The Canucks have not made it beyond this stage of the tournament since 2007, but given their form this year, there is no reason to believe they cannot make it back there.

Canada looked strong in the opening phase, recovering from an early goal to beat Martinique 4-1 and then beating Haiti by the same score in their next match to assure their place in the quarter-finals.

In their final group game, the Canadians were slow out of the gate, and some sloppy tackling in their end of the field put the US in front after less than a minute, a lead that the Americans would not relinquish.

It took Canada until the second half to get into the game and generate some good scoring opportunities, but they failed to do enough to trouble keeper Matt Turner.

Seeing a zero beside the Canadian score was a rare sight to see, and only the second time in which they have failed to find the back of the net since Herdman became their coach.

Costa Rica CONCACAF Gold Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

Costa Rica form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Canada CONCACAF Gold Cup form:
  • W
  • W
  • L

Canada form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Costa Rica's Joel Campbell in action with Switzerland's Denis Zakaria on June 27, 2018 © Reuters

Goalkeeper Leonel Moreira will not be available for the Costa Ricans after being red-carded with less than 20 minutes remaining in their match against the Reggae Boyz, while defender Francisco Calvo missed that game following his expulsion versus Suriname.

Midfielder Bryan Ruiz scored his first international goal in their last match, his first for the Costa Ricans in over two years, while Ariel Lassiter, who scored in their opening Gold Cup game, notched his first assist of the competition on Tuesday.

Oscar Duarte started in central defence in their last fixture instead of the suspended Calvo, while Yael Lopez made his international debut and Allan Cruz was in the starting 11 for the first time, as was Alonso Martinez.

Canadian midfielder Ayo Akinola is unlikely to feature in this match after leaving their game against the Americans with a right leg injury and being replaced by his Toronto FC teammate Jonathan Osorio.

Cyle Larin has been in fine form for Canada with three goals in the group stage and 10 in the calendar year, a Canadian men's national team record, but he is out for the rest of the competition with a minor muscle injury.

That is a massive blow to the Canucks heading into this game, as they are already missing Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David as well.

CF Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette made his first start of the competition for Canada versus the US, Houston Dynamo striker Tyler Pasher came on as a substitute for his second career international appearance, while Alistair Johnston returned to his full-back position and Liam Fraser started in midfield alongside Richie Laryea.

Costa Rica possible starting lineup:
Alvarado; Lopez, Gonzalez, Duarte, Fuller; Cruz, Borges, Venegas; Brenes, Campbell, Lassiter

Canada possible starting lineup:
Crepeau; Miller, Vitoria, Johnston; Buchanan, Kaye, Fraser, Osorio, Hoilett; Larin, Cavallini

SM words green background

We say: Costa Rica 1-1 Canada (Costa Rica wins on penalties)

There is very little difference between these sides, who have shown to be clinical in attack as Canada have scored eight goals while Costa Rica have six, and they each have a good mix of youth and experience to count on.

Experience should benefit the Costa Ricans, who have been involved in two penalty shootouts this year, losing twice, so the third time should be the charm.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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