Saturday 29th June 2019

Event of the Day: Mexico versus Costa Rica

Our event of the day is the Gold Cup quarter-final between Mexico and Costa Rica at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Mexico are looking like a favourite to win the tournament after a flawless group stage. Meanwhile, Costa Rica finished second in their group after a shock loss to Haiti in their final group match. These two teams are some of the best in the CONCACAF federation so be sure you don’t miss this match. Mexico confirmed their status as a tournament favourite as they went 3-for-3 in the group stage. They are perennial contenders, having won seven tournaments since the competition became the Gold Cup in 1991. They looked at their strongest this year as they opened the competition with a 7-0 win over Cuba. That was followed by a 3-1 win over a young and eager Canada side. They completed their perfect group stage with a 3-2 win against Martinique. Their goalscoring has been spearheaded by 21-year-old Uriel Antuna. Antuna, who plays club football for LA Galaxy, only made his international debut on June 5th but already has four goals for the national side. This includes a hat-trick against Cuba and places him in joint second in the golden boot standings for the tournament. Young players like Antuna have had to step up for the Gold Cup as Mexico is missing a number of their more established international stars. While they, the 18th best side in the world, were drawn against Canada (74th in the FIFA rankings), Cuba (175th in the FIFA rankings) and Martinique (not a FIFA member), the young Mexican side could not be complacent, especially as Canada showed that they were there to compete.

However, they did what they needed to do and they did it well. They will also be able to avoid the United States until the final, which is a bonus to the young side. Their opponents today have not been as lucky. Costa Rica is a good team and have historically done well in the Gold Cup, reaching the final four six times. They looked on track to win their group after wins against Nicaragua and Bermuda before meeting Haiti in their final group match. Haiti, ranked 101st in the world, had been having an excellent tournament run of their own. Despite taking the lead in the 13th minute, Costa Rica allowed two second-half goals, losing 2-1 and finishing the group in second. They will need to rally and hold firm again if they want to stand a chance against Mexico. This is a match you won’t want to miss.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Cricket World Cup, where Australia face New Zealand at Lord’s. New Zealand, currently 5-1-1, play their penultimate game of the group stage and will look to secure their place in the semifinals. Australia, who have already qualified, will play to stay atop the standings. This is sure to be an exciting fixture. The second semi-final of the Super Rugby playoffs with the Crusaders hosting the Hurricanes at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Crusaders are the two-time defending champions and will be eager to make a third consecutive final. The Hurricanes were the last team to win a title before the Crusaders and will be eager to snap the Crusaders’ streak. This is one you won’t want to miss. The MLB comes to London today for the first of two games between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at the London Stadium. It is the first time the English capital has played host to MLB and is sure to be an exciting game. In the WNBA, the Washington Mystics face the Connecticut Sun at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington DC. On the PGA Tour, the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club continues with day 3 of the competition. It’s Northumberland Plate Day at Newcastle Racecourse in Newcastle, England. It is also the final day of the Nature Valley International at Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club in Eastbourne.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by Concacaf; Mexico

 

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