Both teams have already advanced to the knockout stage
If both teams have already advanced to the next round then why make them play? Well somebody has to officially win the group, right? That's going to be the mission for Costa Rica and Haiti (2-0-0, 6 points) as they have already advanced to the quarterfinals. Both teams have been dominant in Group B. For Costa Rica, it's business as usual, but Haiti has been quite the surprise in this Gold Cup.
Haiti vs. Costa Rica
When: Monday, June 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)
TV: FS1 and Univision
Three Things to Watch
1. How Costa Rica advanced
The Costa Ricans came into this Gold Cup as one of the favorites and got to host their own opening game last weekend. They defeated both Nicaragua and Bermuda by a combined score of 6-1, and have been superior in every facet of the game. Costa Rica's offensive star is midfielder Elias Aguilar who has scored twice in this tournament. Goalkeeper Leonel Moreira has posted four saves despite the one goal surrendered. Now Costa Rica prepares for an uncertain test from Haiti.
2. How Haiti advanced
The Haitians have been in the Gold Cup before, but they're not always favorites in this tournament. But they have taken Group B by surprise thus far. They opened up the block with a 2-1 win over Bermuda, then followed it up a few days later by defeating Nicaragua 2-0. Their all-time Gold Cup record has now improved to 6-14-4 (18 goals scored), and have reached the quarterfinals for the fourth time in team history. But so far Haiti is 0-3 in the knockout stage, getting outscored 7-1 in those matches.
Haiti is winless (0-8-4) against Costa Rica so being able to get that first win will require the best performance from the team. Costa Rica made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 Gold Cup (losing to the U.S. 2-0), so history in this event is for sure on its side.
History wins as Costa Rica will take Group B but Haiti will keep it close and prove that this team is for real this year.
Prediction: Costa Rica 3, Haiti 2
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.