The quarterfinals of the Gold Cup 2021 they are already here. Four all-or-nothing duels for the most important trophy of Concacaf. In the contest remain the finalists of the most recent edition, Mexico and the United States, in addition to El Salvador, Honduras, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica and the surprising Qatar. Seven of the eight qualified for the Concacaf octagonal final heading to the 2022 World Cup are competing for the 2021 Gold Cup title.
Of the four matches that will take place on July 24 and 25 at State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Arizona) and AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas), two have antecedents in previous phases of the quarterfinals. The United States and Jamaica have already met in this instance on two occasions: 2011 and 2005. It is a classic in the area that, most of the time, has ended with a favorable result for ‘Team USA’. In those two games, the USMNT won: 3-1 in 2005, with a double from DaMarcus Beasley at Gillette Stadium; and 2-0 in 2011, at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Park in Washington DC
In addition, both teams have crossed paths in the final phases of the two most recent editions of the Gold Cup: The 2017 final ended in favor of those then led by Bruce Arena, by a score of 2-1, goals from Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris. Two years later, the US again dispatched the ‘Reggae Boyz’; now, in the semifinals held at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, with a score of 3-1, two goals included from Christian Pulisic. We cannot forget, however, the unsuspected elimination of the United States from the 2015 Cup, when the Caribbean surprised 1-2 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and reached the final for the title.
Mexico and Honduras is the other match that set a precedent in the quarterfinal phase. The previous match dates from the 2017 Gold Cup, when ‘El Tri’, commanded by Juan Carlos Osorio, won 1-0 with a score by Rodolfo Pizarro. ‘Aztecas’ and ‘catrachos’ also met in the semifinals of the 2011 tournament, in Houston. That night, Mexico needed extra time to eliminate ‘La H’: Aldo de Nigris and Chicharito Hernández were the authors of the 2-0 final.
Costa Rica and Canada will meet for the first time in the direct elimination phase of the Gold Cup, same case of Qatar and El Salvador, who will meet for the first time in an official meeting. Cuscatlecos and Qataris will reissue their friendly duel on July 4, when the Arabs triumphed 1-0 thanks to the signing of Almoez Ali.