Group D play at the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup concludes with Panama (1 pt, 0-1-1) vs Grenada (0 pts, 0-2) in Orlando and Honduras (6 pts, 2-0) vs Qatar (4 pts, 1-0-1) in Houston. Panama needs a win to keep its hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals alive.
Meanwhile, Grenada would be happy to pick up points after two consecutive 4-0 losses. That’ll be a tough task though, as Panama is an enormous -2500 soccer betting favorite.
Game: Panama vs Grenada
Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
Time: July 20, 9 p.m. ET
Head to Head
Panama and Grenada have met twice and Panama has won both matchups. They last met in 2017 friendly, which Panama won 5-0. The other matchup finished 2-0, in 2011.
Panama Needs to Score Early and Often
Panama’s qualification hopes for the knockout round rest on its performance in this match and a Qatar loss vs Honduras. If Panama wins and Qatar loses, Honduras finishes first place in the group, and second is decided by a tiebreaker.
The first tiebreaker is goal difference, followed by goals scored and head to head. Because Qatar and Panama drew 3-3, head to head is not a factor. But, with Panama at a -1 goal difference and Qatar at +4, Panama must pile on the goals vs Grenada.
In its first two games, Panama has proven it can score goals. The only problem has been at the other end. Panama has scored five goals in two matches but conceded six. Grenada doesn’t pose an attacking threat in the same way Honduras and Qatar do, so Panama should feel confident playing a tactically attacking style.
A five-goal Panama win and Qatar loss would ensure qualification and Panama will be well aware of the task it faces. However, if Qatar wins or draws vs Honduras, Panama will be eliminated.
Panama was in the driver’s seat vs Honduras with a 2-1 lead heading into halftime. Following Romell Quioto’s opening goal for Honduras, Eric Davis converted a penalty in the 32nd minute and Cesar Yanis scored in first-half stoppage time. It was Yanis’s first international goal but it wasn’t enough to see Panama through to a victory.
Alexander Lopez hit a brilliant first-time strike off of a botched Panama clearance in the 61st minute and Quioto added a second goal minutes later. Panama’s defensive lapses have consistently come back to haunt it in the Gold Cup.
Reality Check for Grenada
Grenada qualified for the Gold Cup after winning its group in the CONCACAF Nations League B. Grenada also secured promotion to the top bracket of the Nations League and will have to get used to this level of competition.
While it’s no surprise that Grenada has been eliminated from qualification for the knockout round, its performances haven’t been encouraging. Grenada has allowed 32 shots through two matches and keepers Reice Charles-Cook and Jason Belfon have had a lot to do.
Qatar easily could have scored more vs Grenada but Almoez Ali missed a wide-open net and the Qataris were wasteful.
Grenada hasn’t looked particularly dangerous up top but has put five shots on target through two matches. Grenada will hope it can exploit a messy Panama defense to get on the scoreboard.
At -2500, taking the Panama moneyline represents poor value. The goal line, which is set at three goals, looks a lot more attractive.
This isn’t a typical game where it doesn’t matter how many goals Panama scores as long as it gets a win. Every goal counts for a potential tiebreaker vs Qatar, so bet online on Panama to beat Grenada by more than three goals in a match that could get ugly.