A day after Panama secured Group A, Honduras were guaranteed to be Group B winners after Haiti failed to beat El Salvador – albeit controversially so – but it was a set of results that secured our maximum £128 profit from the predicted group winners bets.
Cuba vs. Belize – (10.30pm)
Cuba and Belize will meet in the penultimate group game of this years Gold Cup, and anything but a draw will ensure one of these teams is eliminated from the competition with out as much as a single point. El Salvador’s win yesterday guaranteed they’d be the first 3rd placed team to qualify with 4 points. Martinique sit 3rd in Group A on 3 points, and their goal against Mexico and 93rd minute winner over Canada vitally means their goal difference is -2. Cuba and Belize can both still qualify as the second best 3rd place team, but it’ll take 3 points and a few goals. Both sides have identical records and have goal differences of -6. A win for either side would need to be by 4 goals or more, which would guarantee progression via goals scored over Martinique. Belize put up a surprise show against Costa Rica, although the Costa Rican’s barely broke Cuba down all game and needed 2 moments of individual magic and a deflected goal to get past them. Cuba surprised everyone by netting against the USA, but they were the side in control for the first 45 minutes. A late penalty in the half totally changed the direction of the game, but Cuba still did a pretty good job on keeping the US quiet, their late collapse aside. This game is expected to be something of a snooze fest, but just because they can’t produce against the big two, I don’t see why they can’t produce against each other. Cuba have more quality going forward and more organization and size behind the ball, and I think we will still see an entertaining game but I expected Cuba’s small level of quality to show against inexperienced opposition that has never flirted with qualifying from a Gold Cup group before. Whilst Cuba will want to finish with a win, they’ll have to look past that and start thinking about putting the ball in the net a few times if they want to qualify. Belize were forced to sit back against the US and Costa, and did a good job, but against Cuba they’ll be very comfortable trying to get forward and there will be gaps. I’m not sure Cuba will get the 4-0 required, but I have a feeling they’ll have a serious go and come close.
Cuba win @ 2.00 with Coral
(If the odds do shift, Pinnacle have 1.95)