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Ahead of the quarter finals I wrote ......

"Like most big tournaments and in CONCACAF terms this is big, which is why Mexico rested players for the Copa, the cream usually rises to the top at the business end , the US made it through yesterday in style and I expect Mexico and Panama to join them this evening. The trio have been the three main players in the Gold Cup in recent years and whilst they have failed to overly impress this time round, all should make the last four. I am not sure that there is any value in the odds on offer for El Tri, but do feel there is a little about Panama. My notes on them ahead of their match with the US can be read below, that finished 1-1 , two day's later Trinidad drew 4-4 with Mexico to finish top of Group C. Two things about that, one it means that like Cuba yesterday, T&T come into this on 48 hours less recovery time and having had the similar tough travel schedule and secondly, I do not think that Mexico wanted to play Panama in the last eight knockout stage, having struggled with them previously and not matching up that well physically. Los Caneleros will certainly give T&T far more of a test in that department than they have had previously and this looks a good match up to my eyes for Panama, who will get defenders Machado and Henriquez back from suspension, whilst losing midfielder Anibal Godoy to another, but a plus situation overall. The extra two days to prepare are huge , especially given how the two teams play and I want to stick with Panama and take them to reach the semis for the third Gold Cup running."

Despite making hard work of things, both made it through and they are, along with the US the three top teams in the Gold Cup. I do believe that Mexico are a little fearful of Panama (as I wrote above) and the six most recent h2h meetings have all been extremely close, two draws and four wins by a single goal (two each). I see this similar to the US-Panama game in that Los Caneleros are one of the very few CONCACAF teams that do not go into match ups with the "big 2" with an inferiority complex and physically, they have an edge against the Mexicans, they won both meetings at the 2013 Gold Cup, each by a 2-1 scoreline, with all four goals coming early in each half, imposing themselves from the kickoff each time. The four goals that El Tri conceded to Trinidad and Tobago are a worry , they look good going forward, but their system and formation leaves them vulnerable at the other end of the pitch when they open up as we saw not just there, but in the Copa and it feels like this match has been priced solely on reputation as opposed to anything we have seen either in 2015 or recent meetings.

Panama +0.75 ball 2.03 asian line/Sportmarket.

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