Costa Rica vs Panama Match Analysis & Prediction
17/11/2023 6:00 am
Panama will be looking to extend their winning run in competitive action to three matches when they travel to Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Ayman to face Costa Rica in the first leg of the CONCACAF Nations League quarter-final tie on Friday.
During the opening phase of this competition, Panama topped Group A with 10 points, winning their previous game 3-0 over Guatemala, while Costa Rica were one of four pre-seeded teams, thus earning a bye into the last eight.
It is entering a new era of Costa Rican football as they seek to make the semi-finals of this tournament for the second time in three appearances.
A good portion of the squad chosen for this match will be names that many may be unfamiliar with, as Gustavo Alfaro prepares for his first game as manager following a three-year spell with the Ecuador national team.
Costa Rica have struggled defensively of late, conceding four goals in their previous international friendly against the United Arab Emirates , losing that game 4-1, while this team gave up eight strikes in four Gold Cup contests this past summer and allowed 11 in their three World Cup fixtures last November and December, the most among the 32 teams in the group stage of that tournament.
Not only have there been issues defensively for this team, but they have not been able to generate much in the attacking third either, particularly in Costa Rica, where they have yet to score in two home games played this year (1-0 defeats to Panama and Guatemala).
Since the start of 2021, Costa Rica have been eliminated from their previous three knockout stage matches in either the Gold Cup or Nations League, failing to score in any of those games, although they did net twice in their third-place encounter with Honduras at the inaugural Nations League (2-2) ultimately losing on penalties.
It was a solid group stage for Los Canaleros at the Nations League, as they avoided defeat in that phase of this tournament for a second successive campaign.
Thomas Christiansen has built them into a contending team who, despite some strong tournament displays in the region, have yet to clinch a CONCACAF title, losing the 2023 Gold Cup dramatically to Mexico (1-0).
Judging from the selections made by their Danish coach ahead of this game, it is a win-now mode for Panama, with these players often featuring together in past CONCACAF tournaments, having qualified into at least the semi-finals of the previous Nations League and Gold Cup competitions respectively.
Panama have been outscored 3-0 in their only two matches played beyond the Nations League group stage, conceding two goals on three targeted efforts against Canada in the semi-finals earlier this year before losing the third-place encounter to Mexico 1-0.
Costa Rica vs. Panama Head to head
In the 51 previous meetings between these two teams, Costa Rica have claimed 27 victories while Panama have won 15, and they have drawn in nine. Panama have scored 43 goals and conceded 102 in the process.
03/09/2021Panama0Costa Rica0Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers
28/01/2022Costa Rica1Panama0Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers
03/06/2022Panama2Costa Rica0Concacaf Nations League
29/03/2023Costa Rica0Panama1Concacaf Nations League
27/06/2023Costa Rica1Panama2Concacaf Gold Cup
Costa Rica Team News
The most notable absentee for Costa Rica in this opening match will be captain Keylor Navas, who has barely played for his club side Paris Saint-Germain since Gianluigi Donnarimma joined.
Alexandre Lezcano is seeking his first international cap, while the other two goalkeeper chosen Kevin Chamorro and Patrick Sequeira have eight and two appearances respectively.
Costa Rica's Last 5 Matches
01/07/2023El Salvador0Costa Rica0Concacaf Gold Cup
05/07/2023Costa Rica6Martinique4Concacaf Gold Cup
09/07/2023Mexico2Costa Rica0Concacaf Gold Cup
08/09/2023Saudi Arabia1Costa Rica3Friendlies
Panama Team News
From matchday three to four at the Nations League group stage, Christiansen made just one change to his starting XI as Jose Luis Rodriguez came into the fold, with Alberto Quintero relegated to the bench.
Goals from Adalberto Carrasquilla, Eric Davis and Abdiel Ayarza propelled Panama to a comfortable victory over Guatemala in their previous game, with Orlando Mosquera stopping just one shot for his first clean sheet of the competition.
Panama's Last 5 Matches
08/09/2023Panama3Martinique0Concacaf Nations League
11/09/2023Guatemala1Panama1Concacaf Nations League
14/10/2023Curacao1Panama2Concacaf Nations League
18/10/2023Panama3Guatemala0Concacaf Nations League
Costa Rica vs. Panama: Odds and Predictions
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