International football finals
In no less than three huge international football competitions, everything is coming to its conclusion on this weekend. The North American-Central American-Caribbean championship, the South American championship and the international women’s championship all see their finals on Sunday. Let’s take a look at the games before us and see if we can learn anything useful for some big betting wins!
Gold Cup: Mexico versus USA
This edition of the biennial football championship of the Northern Americas will be played between Mexico and USA, early Monday morning at 3 a.m. This will mark the fifth time the neighbouring countries will meet in the final. Both major powers in their federation are well-equipped with trophies from the past: Mexico won the Gold Cup in its current state seven times, while the USA is close on its southern neighbour’s tail with six cups in its trophy display.
Mexico came out a fairly logical first in its group A, but needed its share of luck on its way to the final. It only managed to get past Costa Rica after a penalty shootout session in the quarterfinals, and it needed extra time to squeeze a narrow victory out of Haiti in the semifinals. That’s not to say that Mexico is going into the game against its fierce rival with anything less than a mission to prove its historical edge (W34–D15–L19) over the USA.
On its way to the final, the USA rushed to the top of its group D with proverbial ease, and continued its form by putting aside Curaçao and Jamaica in the quarterfinals and semi-finals respectively. With Mexico, the USA gets the toughest challenge that it has met so far. Recent history, however, is in its favour: despite Mexico’s historical head-to-head domination, the USA has been on top recently, with 18 victories against 14 defeats since the eighties.
Copa América: Brazil versus Peru
In this year’s Copa América, South American powerhouses Brazil and Peru square off at Maracanã on Sunday at 10 p.m. That means that the Brazilians have home advantage, but in an international tournament, that may not necessarily mean all that much. Brazil won the Copa eight times, while Peru only managed to do so twice. The last time Peru was crowned champion was all the way back in 1975, while Brazil won as recently as 2007.
More recent history seems to be on Brazil’s side, too. Back on June 22nd, it gave Peru a solid 0-5 thrashing in the group A game. However, that victory came after a shock 0-0 draw to Venezuela a few days before that. Is it a sign that the current Brazilian selection is somewhat inconsistent in its efforts? Further indications are a goalless draw with penalty shootouts against Paraguay, followed by a 2-0 victory over big neighbour Argentina.
Peru, from its side of the tournament, managed to play all the way through to the final, despite coming from a third spot in group A, after a draw, a loss and a win. In its quarterfinal against Uruguay, it failed to pick up steam too, narrowly escaping a tournament exit by winning on penalties. A resounding 0-3 victory against title defender Chile must have given Peru a huge confidence boost heading into the final. Can it beat the odds against the biggest football nation?
International women’s football tournament: USA versus Netherlands
Both the USA and the Netherlands have a rare stunt in the make on Sunday: while the USA’s men have a shot at continental domination, the women trump that by aiming for nothing less than the world. Meanwhile, the Netherlands can write history by simultaneously becoming the continental as well as the world champion. The two cross words in the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday at 5 p.m. With such staggering historical gravity in the balance, this is sure to become the must-see game of the weekend!
The USA has made quite a name for itself in this tournament, though no acts shone as bright as their sportive exploits. With typical flair, the ladies breezed through their group phase, tallying 18 goals without conceding even once. The first dents in the USA armour came at the hands of Spain, host France, and England respectively, who all lost 1-2 in the end. With talents like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan on display, any opponent is in for a though evening…
Perhaps a more impressive journey through the tournament than that of the USA is the road taken by the Netherlands. Starting from an outsider position, the Oranje Leeuwinnen won all three of their games in group E, and fought onward through the knockout phase with deserving wins over Japan and Italy. More recently, they ended Sweden’s fairy tale, but only narrowly. Will Lieke Martens’s and Vivianne Miedema’s efforts suffice to beat the machine that is the USA?
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