The quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup kick off on Saturday July 24th with a desert doubleheader in Glendale, AZ — closing out with an exciting match, as Mexico takes on Honduras.
Mexico hasn’t looked like its usual dominant self but managed to clinch first place in Group A with a 1-0 win vs a solid El Salvador. In its final group stage game, Honduras, who won its first two matches, could have avoided Mexico with a tie or win.
However, Qatar defeated Los Catrachos 2-0 and leapfrogged them in the standings, which meant Honduras finished second in Group D. Fans are in for a treat as this has been a competitive rivalry over the past few years. Currently, Mexico is the soccer betting favorite at -230.
Game: Mexico vs Honduras
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Time: July 24, 10 p.m. ET
Head to Head
Mexico has dominated this rivalry with an all-time 24-8-10 record. In the last five meetings between these two nations, Honduras has won once and Mexico has won twice, with two draws.
The most recent meeting was this June, in a friendly that finished 0-0. Honduras last beat Mexico in a World Cup qualifier, 3-2 in 2017. The last Gold Cup meeting was earlier that year, as Mexico defeated Honduras 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
Which Mexico Will Show Up?
Mexico’s Gold Cup got off to a less than stellar start. Despite outshooting Trinidad Tobago 30-4, El Tri couldn’t manage to score a goal.
After the 0-0 draw, Mexico responded with a 3-0 win vs Guatemala. Forward Rogelio Funes Mori bagged a brace and Mexico played closer to its potential.
In the final group stage game, Mexico looked out of sorts despite a 1-0 win. Finishing was once again a problem, like in the Trinidad game, as Mexico failed to put away a bunch of good chances.
El Salvador had a bunch of opportunities to tie the game, getting off 11 shots and hitting the post on a free kick. Mexico’s only goal came from an overlapping run by right back Luis Alfonso Rodriguez.
On 63 shots so far in the Gold Cup, Mexico has scored just four goals. I’m concerned about Mexico’s attacking play so far, but the defending Gold Cup champions are capable of finding an extra gear and have yet to concede a single goal.
Honduras Hopes to Recover from Lackluster Performance
Honduras played excellent attacking soccer through its first two games, scoring seven goals. Striker Romell Quioto is still joint-top scorer in the competition with three goals.
Los Catrachos handily defeated Grenada 4-0 in the opener. Then, Honduras came from 2-1 down in the first half to defeat Panama, 3-2. With the win, Honduras clinched qualification to the knockout stage but needed a result vs Qatar to finish first in Group D.
Also, with a win vs Qatar, Honduras would’ve won all three of its group games at the Gold Cup for the first time. What transpired, though, was a trainwreck of a performance. Credit to keeper Luis Lopez for keeping Honduras in the game, but Qatar broke down the Honduras defense with ease.
Qatar outshot Honduras 19-6 and Honduras didn’t even manage a shot on target in the match. Qatar’s first goal came courtesy of a thumping short distance strike from Hommam Ahmed and the Gulf nation easily could have had more.
Lopez saved an Akram Afif penalty in the second half but Qatar sealed the game in the 94th minute and won 2-0. Honduras simply cannot get away with a performance of that caliber vs Mexico.
Mexico, for all of its inconsistency during the tournament, does have a six match shutout streak. Honduras finished in third place in the inaugural Nations League but has had a poor 2021 record at 2-3-3.
Mexico failed to score more than one goal in its last four knockout Gold Cup quarterfinal games. Under 2½ goals has hit in each of those games. With Mexico’s woes in front of goal and its solid defense, I’d bet online on the under happening for a fifth straight time.