CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals: Mexico vs Trinidad & Tobago

2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Quarterfinals
Mexico vs Trinidad & Tobago
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Soccer, Univision
Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Georgia
All Betting odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Betting Line: Mexico -1 1/2 Even / T&T +1 1/2 -130
Total: over 2 1/2 -130 / under 2 1/2 Even
Three Way Betting Line: T&T +715 / Mexico -330 / Draw +370
(All three wagers include regulation and stoppage time only, not extra time or shootout)

Mexico takes on Trinidad & Tobago in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Atlanta Saturday.
Mexico takes on Trinidad & Tobago in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Atlanta Saturday.

Mexico has won 2 straight CONCACAF Gold Cups and looks to keep that streak going as they take on Trinidad & Tobago in Saturday’s quarterfinals in Atlanta. The winner will face either Panama or Cuba in Wednesday’s semifinals in Arlington, Texas.

Both Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago finished second in their groups. Mexico came in second to Panama in group A. Panama had 7 points and Mexico had 6. Mexico brought a B team to this event as the main squad played in the FIFA Confederations Cup  last month. It showed as Mexico was upset 2-1 by Panama in the first game of the group stage. El Tri would rebound with wins over Canada 2-0 and Martinique 3-1 Sunday.

Trinidad scored 4 points in group B and came in second to Honduras who had 6 points. Trinidad played El Salvador to a 2-2 draw in the first game of the group stage. The Soca Boys were upset 2-0 by Haiti and then beat Honduras 2-0 Monday. Honduras had already clinched the group and rested some key players.

Mexico leads the series 8-3-2 against Trinidad & Tobago. The two teams haven’t played since they were both in the final group of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. T&T earned a 2-2 draw in their home capital city Port of Spain in October of 2009.

Mexico is coached by Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre. Ironically, de la Torre’s first game as coach of the national team came at the Georgia Dome in February 2011 against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly. A loss to Trinidad could lead to his dismissal given that Mexico has struggled recently in World Cup 2014 qualification and failed to advance past the group stage at the Confederations Cup. Although they were in a tough group in the Confed Cup with Italy and host nation Brazil, that is little consolation to the rabid El Tri fans.

de la Torre will employ his usual 4-4-2 attack. Midfielder Marco Fabian has 3 goals in the tournament so far. Goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco started the games against Panama and Canada but was rested in the Martinique game. Moises Munoz started that game.

Trinidad and Tobago is managed by Stephen Hart. Trinidad did not make it to the final group for CONCACAF qualifying for next year’s World Cup, so they would like nothing more than to upset Mexico and make a run in the continental championship. Striker Kenwyne Jones has 2 goals and an assist in the Gold Cup so far. Midfielder Daniel can also be dangerous.

Mexico has been struggling to score lately, and de la Torre has said Mexico must improve for the Knockout stage or it could be a quick exit. Seats don’t get much hotter than de la Torre’s. There is no pressure on Trinidad and Tobago, as they aren’t supposed to win anyway. I look for a close game, with Mexico winning late perhaps in extra time or PK’s.

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