CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals: USA face surprise package Jamaica
Reigning CONCACAF Gold Cup champions the USA are closing in on a successful defence of their crown, but this summer’s surprise package Jamaica stand in the way of Jurgen Klinsmann’s men in the first semi-final.
The Stars and Stripes are obvious favourites to topple the Jamaicans, who are set to feature in their first ever Gold Cup semi-final, with the holders 19/5 with Coral to secure victory in 90 minutes and both teams to score.
Klinsmann’s side managed to progress from the group stages in a less-than-impressive manner but produced the emphatic thrashing many were expecting in their quarter-final clash with Cuba, impressively drubbing them 6-0.
The Americans showed stuttering form against Honduras, Haiti and Panama, but clinically dispatched Cuba to set-up a tie with Jamaica, with the USA’s German coach claiming he wanted a vast improvement last time out.
“We wanted them [his team] to take it really seriously,” Klinsmann stated.
“We didn’t want to waste anything. We didn’t want to fool around and kind of show off or anything like that. I made it very clear, if there’s somebody on the field that takes it lightly, we’re going to take him off after 10 minutes.”
The demanding coach will hope for much of the same against a Jamaican side that will be up for the fight in their maiden semi-final appearance, and are 7/1 to cause a shock by winning in 90 minutes.
Although, the holders will be confident of securing a second successive final outing with in-form forward Clint Dempsey back to his best at international level.
The former Premier League attacker took his tally for this year’s Gold Cup to six during the demolition of Cuba, superbly hitting his first ever international hat-trick, and he is 2/1 to fire his nation to a semi-final triumph in 90 minutes.
Under veteran German coach Winfried Schaefer, Jamaica have managed to come through the competition undefeated so far, and will be relying on London-born Houston Dynamo forward Giles Barnes in attack.
Barnes is 11/4 to net anytime again, having struck the decisive goal against Haiti in their quarter-final meeting, as Jamaica look to upset the odds and prevent USA reaching a possible mouth-watering Gold Cup final with rivals Mexico.
Betting tip: USA to win in 90mins and both teams to score @ 19/5