Group D play in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup continues as Panama takes on Honduras on Saturday in Houston.
Panama’s tournament got off to a thrilling start, for neutrals at least. All six goals of its 3-3 draw vs Qatar were scored in the second half and Panama came back on three separate occasions.
Honduras easily defeated Grenada 4-0 in its opener and currently leads Group D. A Honduras win here would clinch a quarterfinals berth. At +105, Honduras has just under 50 percent implied soccer betting odds to do just that.
Game: Panama vs Honduras
Location: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Time: Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET
Head to Head
Honduras has dominated the all-time series with 25 wins to Panama’s 12. Recently, this has been a competitive rivalry.
Since 2010, Panama actually leads the series 4-3, with five draws. But, the most recent meeting was won 1-0 by Honduras in 2018. Panama last beat Honduras in 2016. Of the last nine meetings, only one has been decided by more than a one-goal margin.
Panama Resilient vs Qatar
After a two-hour weather delay, Panama vs Qatar got off to a slow start. Then, in the second half, the goals started flowing.
Qatar’s Akram Afif scored the first goal of the match with a 48th-minute volley. Just three minutes later, Panama striker Rolando Blackburn answered with a brilliant header.
Panama’s defense once again unraveled on Almoez Ali’s 53rd-minute goal. Blackburn answered once again with a 58th-minute finish off of a low cross.
Panama’s defense cheaply gave away a penalty to Qatar in the 63rd minute, which was cheekily converted on a “Panenka” by Hasan Al Haydos. Panama won a penalty of its own in the 79th minute that Eric Davis slotted home to level the score at 3-3.
Certainly Panama’s defensive effort was concerning, but coming back three times in one game is not easily accomplished. Weather delay or not, expect Panama to be more motivated vs a tough Honduras side.
Superb Start for Honduras
With four goals on four shots on target vs Grenada, Honduras was ruthlessly efficient. Grenada had a pretty good chance in the 13th minute when forward Jamal Charles was in clear on goal but he couldn’t convert. Honduras defended well and kept a clean sheet in its first regulation win of 2021.
Four different players scored for Honduras as veteran striker Jerry Bengtson scored his 22nd international goal. Edwin Solano added a second in the 52nd minute. Insurance goals in the 85th and 87th minutes from Johnny Leveron and Romell Quioto put the game away.
Honduras recently finished third in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League and has been one of North America’s best teams in recent years. Honduras may be well on its way to a knockout berth after getting bounced in the Group Stage in 2019.
When these teams last met in the Gold Cup, in 2015, the game finished in a 1-1 draw. There have been five draws in the last 10 meetings between the teams, who are similar in quality.
Panama is looking for its first win vs Honduras since 2016 and it won’t be easy with a rejuvenated Honduran side. As Panama has only one point following its draw vs Qatar, it’ll be well aware of the necessity to get a result here. Bet on Panama to cover the +½ goal line and draw or win.
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