Panama – El Salvador Predictions
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Panama 2-2 El Salvador
Date: 05.07.2023 | Match at: 01:30 | League: NORTH & CENTRAL AMERICA: GOLD CUP – ROUND 3 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.33 | Bookie: Unibet.
Panama – El Salvador Predictions and Preview
- Firmly in the Group C driving seat, Panama have already assured themselves of a top-two finish, and need just a point against El Salvador to guarantee top spot. A pair of 2-1 victories against Costa Rica and Martinique have put Panama in a healthy position and set up a quarter-final date on Saturday as they continue to work towards boss Thomas Christiansen’s post-tournament aim of winning the whole thing.
- They’ve still got some way to go if they’re to lift a first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup title, but Christiansen will be keen to see his side keep their foot to the floor in search of top-spot, which should theoretically throw up an ‘easier’ quarter-final tie. They’d be wise not to look too far ahead though, as extending a negative H2H record against El Salvador (W21, D16, L24) would leave the door open to being knocked off their perch.
- Winning the group certainly isn’t assured yet for Panama, and El Salvador would like to think they’ll have something to say about it given their desperate need for victory if they’re to make the knockouts. There’s a burning sense of injustice within the camp too after their prior outing against Costa Rica was cut short in stoppage time by the referee when El Salvador were about to take a corner, prompting angry scenes at full-time after their last chance of victory was snatched away from them.
- They’ll have to channel that injustice here and cool heads will be the order of the day as they know only a victory coupled with a favourable result in the group’s other game opens up the door to qualification. History would suggest that’s far-fetched, as despite their superior H2H record, El Salvador have never beaten Panama either at the Gold Cup finals, or in a Gold Cup qualifier!
- Players to watch: Expect Panama’s José Fajardo to start fast again after he opened the scoring in their two prior group stage outings. He may be vying with Jairo Henríquez for an early impact as he seeks to replicate his strike after 15 seconds from a H2H back in November 2021.
- Hot stat: El Salvador have scored just twice across their last seven internationals, with both goals arriving after the 85th minute.