Mexico vs. Guatemala
The CONCACAF Gold Cup moves from the group stages to the Quarterfinals and “knockout soccer”, this match sees Mexico try and continue their march to a 6th CONCACAF Gold Cup title when they take on a tough Guatemalan side at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Mexico comes into this match as winners of Group A and the most dominant side in the competition by miles, they ended the group undefeated and had 14 goals scored without reply until Costa Rica found a consolation goal in the final match of the group. The word to describe this team is “Juggernaut”, they seem to be getting better and better with each performance and Coach José Manuel de la Torre hasn’t had to make a single adjustment. The star of the show is Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, who leads his team and the competition with 5 goals, we learned how good this player is during the season with Manchester United and he has just carried it over to this competition. Other important players have been Giovani dos Santos and Rafael Márquez, especially Márquez with his experience and versatility. The team had 5 five players suspended due to questionable drug tests, but it hasn’t effected the team in the slightest and they look on a mission to not only win this competition but send a message to the whole of CONCACAF. As for Guatemala, they qualified for this stage by being one of the two best 3 rd place sides. It’s great that they’re going further in the tournament but this match up acts as no prize, this will be a very difficult fixture, especially for a side that only found their “scoring boots” against a less then impressive Grenada. If Coach Ever Almeida and his charges are going to pull off a shock result they will have to play a physical game like they did against Honduras but be much more disciplined and avoid the red cards, they will also need Carlos Ruiz, Marco Pappa and the emerging Henry Lopez to play with a similar aggression and fearlessness they showed in their last match.
Although Guatemala have been a roadblock for teams in the past I don’t see them bothering Mexico in the slightest, as this team has simply been amazing. I’m going with the OVER in this match, as I think Mexico is capable of hitting this alone.