The Gold Cup Semifinals are tomorrow! Four nations still stand to be crowned the champions of Concacaf. The two favorites are still alive, while two of the four nations are quite surprising. Here’s your guide to the 2021 Gold cup Semifinals.
2021 Gold Cup Semifinals
The usual suspects made it to the 2021 Gold Cup Semifinals Mexico and the USA are on opposite sides of the bracket and could potentially meet up in a final on Sunday night. First, those nations have to get through Canada and Qatar respectively. Canada has long been an underdog in Concacaf, but there’s something different about this current team; they have real belief. Qatar is a guest nation at these games, and the current Asian Cup Champions are showing they can compete with some of the top teams in Concacaf.
It will be the USA vs Qatar, and Mexico vs Canada for a chance to make it to the 2021 Gold Cup final! Before we dive headfirst into previewing those games if you missed any of the action of the quarterfinals check that out as well here.
Now that we’re all up to speed, let’s preview the four remaining teams heading into these semifinals!
Qatar looks to keep its guest run going against a determined USA “B Team”
Qatar is no joke
The lone guest nation at this 2021 Gold Cup is Qatar. They have been on a good run of form all tournament. They cruised through their group winning two games and drawing one and defeated El Salvador in the quarterfinals. Now their real test is here as they play a Concacaf powerhouse in the USA. While this version of the USMNT isn’t their strongest team, it will be the crest on the shirt Qatar will be focused on beating. Qatar has scored 12 goals in this tournament. That’s the most any nation has put in the back of the net. They’ll need to keep those shooting boots on if they want to beat a USMNT side that’s only allowed one goal all tournament.
Can this USA “B Team” do it?
USA has what many consider to be their “B Team” at this tournament. This roster is one that has players that would be on the fringes of being with the USA in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Coach Gregg Berhalter is using this tournament to show him and his staff who are the players that can and can not make the jump. A look at who can to be a part of things moving forward. What better way than to have that type of team show themselves and how they play than in a major tournament?
This USA team cruised through their group winning all three matches and ground out a win against a good Jamacia side in the quarterfinals. They now turn their attention to a Qatar team that is lethal in attack but has been broken down by lesser Concacaf opponents. The USA will need to be good in their possession-based build-up. Working through the lines can beat this very good Qatar side.
What will happen in this match?
This match will be an interesting one to watch. Qatar can start fast and rally late while having little of the ball; the USA loves to have build-up play to create chances. This match could be one that does go into extra time or even penalties. The two conflicting styles of play will mean that both of these sides will need to be on their toes for the entire 90+ minutes. Will the champions of Asia shock a Concacaf powerhouse? Or will this USA “B Team” be able to show that they’re good enough to make it to a tournament final in their region?
Mexico will try to continue its dominance against underdogs Canada
Mexico has not let in a goal
El Tri doesn’t have their best team at this Gold Cup like other nations, but they are still the best team at this competition. They had a bit of a slip-up in a nil-nil draw in their first group game but followed it up with two straight wins in the group stage and a blowout in the quarterfinal to get to where they are now. This Mexico team, looks like a Mexico team, even without all of their normal starters. They are very direct in their attack and organized defensively. They’ll look to come out and dominate this match against a Canadian side that has shown well but has never beaten Mexico.
Canada’s an underdog on the rise
Canada is a team to watch out for in the future. They have some of the biggest stars in World Football repping their crest. While they might not be the best team in the region because of those players, they are showing that they’re an underdog on the rise. They have had a great Gold Cup so far. They won two out of three matches in their group but fell to USA with the top group spot on the line. The Canucks followed that up with a huge win over Costa Rica. Now they have to play Mexico. If they want to beat them, they’ll need to stay diligent defensively and get Mexico off the ball. Can they do the unthinkable and win this game?
What will happen in this match?
The winner of this match should be determined early on in this one. If Mexico comes out fly and has all of the ball and doesn’t allow a Canadian counter-attack, then it could be over early. If Canada can get some possession and stop Mexico’s direct attack, then things may be closer. I expect the former to happen. However, I’d love to be surprised!
Don’t miss the semifinals action!
The Semifinals take place tomorrow night! Qatar and USA will be up first followed by Mexico and Canada. Here’s a look at the times and where you can catch the action:
- Qatar vs USA | Thursday, July 29 @ 7:30 pm EST | FS1
- Mexico vs Canada | Thursday July 29 @ 10:00 pm EST | FS1
We at Philly Sports Network will have you covered with a recap of the action from the semifinals as well as a preview for the final that’s coming up this Sunday! Don’t miss the action and come back to us for analysis and reaction after the matches!
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Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire