As the next phase of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup commences, our next game features two teams heading in different directions. Haiti (1-0-0, 3 points) and Nicaragua (0-1-0, 0 points) will go up against one another in the latest game within Group B. The Haitians are coming off a close win over Bermuda, while the Nicaraguans were shut out by Costa Rica. The Haitians look to win two straight Gold Cup games for the first time in team history, while Nicaragua hopes to pick up three points in the standings.
Nicaragua vs. Haiti
When: Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
TV: FS1 and Univision
Three Things to Watch
1. Haiti looks to make history
The Haitians have never won consecutive Gold Cup matches. In fact, their win over Bermuda was actually the first time that Haiti has won an opening Gold Cup game. They posted a 0-4-2 record in their previous opening games, and their overall record is now 5-14-5. While Haiti still has a long way to go before they can start thinking about a championship, it was good to see them change team history.
2. Nicaragua must improve
They gave up four goals to Costa Rica but that's only the beginning of the story. Nicaragua only had 43 percent of ball possession, managed just seven shots, had the ball stolen from them 24 times, committed 10 fouls, and picked up a couple of yellow cards. Their defense can only do so much when the offense isn't moving.
3. Not too much history between these teams
This is only the eighth meeting between these teams with Haiti leading 4-1-2. These two teams split a pair of meetings back in 2017. Haiti has a 26-36-30 record against Central American teams, while Nicaragua has gone 21-30-11 against squads from the Caribbean. This game will be significant for both.
Unless Nicaragua can put some shots in the back of the net, this could be another low-scoring win for Haiti.
Prediction: Haiti 2, Nicaragua 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.