Both teams head into this game with chips on their shoulders
If you're looking for two teams that are eager for a win, then this game is for you. As part of the quarterfinal round of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, Jamaica (Group C winner) and Panama (Group D runner-up) are a pair of teams that bear some bitterness heading into this game. Jamaica won their group but had a hard time in doing so. They started off with a win over Honduras, but finished Group C play with draws against both El Salvador and Curacao.
Points (5) and goal differential (+1) won the block for "The Reggae Boyz," and now they look to show that they can play at a better level against Panama. Speaking of the Panamanians; They also hit a roadblock coming out of Group D as they scored a combined six goals in victories over Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, but then ran into the defense of Team USA that held them scoreless in a 1-0 defeat. Now Panama is looking to rebound against Jamaica.
Jamaica vs. Panama
When: Sunday, June 30 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)
TV: FS1 and Univision
Three Things to Watch
This will be game No. 15 between these two nations with Panama currently enjoying a 6-2-6 (18 goals scored) advantage. Jamaica and Panama split the last two meetings during qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Overall Jamaica is 34-35-33 against CONCACAF's Central American members, while Panama is 43-20-21 against CONCACAF's island members. This match will be extremely competitive.
2. A tough challenge awaits them in the next round
The winner of this game will play the winner of the United States/Curacao, which takes place later Sunday evening. Team USA seems poised to win a seventh Gold Cup title as nobody has been able to defeat them. Curacao, on the other hand, has been one of the surprises of this year's Gold Cup. The semifinals will present another difficult challenge for whichever team win this match.
3. What's at stake for these teams
Panama is looking for their fourth semifinal appearance in this event as they reached the semifinals in three consecutive Gold Cups in 2011, '13, and '15. Jamaica reached the finals in the previous two Gold Cups so a win here would put them closer to a third straight title game trip, and give them their third semifinal appearance overall.
Both teams have proven that they can find the back of the net with little to no problem (10 combined goals so far), but Jamaica's struggles in that department over the last two games are concerning (one goal in their last two group games). And with Panama being the better defensive team, they'll seize on Jamaica's recent offensive shortcomings and find their way into the semifinals.
Prediction: Panama 2, Jamaica 1
— 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.