Guatemala – Canada Predictions
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Guatemala 0-0 Canada
Date: 02.07.2023 | Match at: 02:30 | League: NORTH & CENTRAL AMERICA: GOLD CUP – ROUND 2 | Tip: Under 3.5 Goals | Odds: 1.36 | Bookie: Unibet.
Guatemala – Canada Predictions and Preview
- With their first opening round win in a CONCACAF Gold Cup since 1989, Guatemala raced into a surprise lead of Group D ahead of the second round of fixtures. The group’s highest-ranked nation in Canada now awaits in a first H2H meeting since 2015, as boss Luis Fernando Tena looks to build on a triumphant Gold Cup debut victory over Cuba (1-0) which he described as “just enough, but fair”.
- Fernando Tena revealed the players were “inspired by” and “felt the support” of a healthy cohort of Guatemalans in the stands, and as the team moves to Houston, a city which boasts one of their largest expatriate communities in the USA, the crowd could be even more favourable as they look for their first Gold Cup win as pre-match outsiders in ten starts (D3, L6).
- That ironically began with a 3-0 loss to Canada in the 2007 quarter-finals – one of just two occasions in the last 20 years that the Canadians made the last four of the tournament. John Herdman’s side squandered their advantage as ‘co-hosts’ of 2023 by failing to win the only match of the tournament on Canadian soil, drawing 2-2 with tiny island nation Guadeloupe who are 15 places below them in CONCACAF’s national team rankings and not even recognised by FIFA!
- Ominously, Canada were knocked out at the group stage the last time they co-hosted the Gold Cup (2015), though that was far less of a surprise as they were not a top-100 FIFA nation at the time (compared with #47 today). Another early exit is the last thing Canadian football needs just days after the national governing body admitted it is considering filing for protection from bankruptcy.
- Players to watch: It was an international debut to remember for Guatemala winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who shrugged off multiple defenders to set up the match-winning goal against Cuba. He’ll likely be aiming to outshine his former Cardiff City teammate Junior Hoilett, who assisted Lucas Cavallini’s second-half goal against Guadeloupe as he continues to pursue a repeat of his four direct goal contributions (G2, A2) from the 2021 Gold Cup.
- Hot stat: All but one of the eight matches in June involving either nation produced fewer than 2.5 total goals.