Copa America Centenario: Day 9 Predictions (United States vs Paraguay, Colombia vs Costa Rica)

Clint Dempsey

Another day of the Copa America brings us back to Group A and the final round of group matches: The United States will try to clinch their spot in the quarter finals against Paraguay, while Colombia don’t need to do much in order to ensure they finish top of the group against a very weak Costa Rica side.

United States vs Paraguay: The Americans only need a point to qualify, but Jurgen Klinsmann insists that his side will be going after the win, following their 4-0 thrashing of Costa Rica. They’ll be playing with the same lineup that featured in the first two matches, unless Clint Dempsey, scoring one of the goals, proves he’s unable to start due to a knock he picked up in the previous match. Paraguay, with one point, have no choice but to play a bit more openly than usual, scoring just once in the first two matches. However, their proud moment of the tournament has been holding Colombia to 0 shots at goal during the second half of their match, even if Colombia won 2-1. If Paraguay won’t win, it will be the first time since the 2001 Copa America that they have not advanced from the group stage.

Colombia vs Costa Rica: Costa Rica can still qualify, but it seems the odds are stacked against them, following the 4 goal loss against the USA. Cristian Gamboa and Marco Urena won’t be playing, and their record over the years against Colombia (losing nine of their last 11 matches) doesn’t really suggest they should be confident. Colombia need one point to secure the top spot in the group; their place in the final 8 is already clinched. Like in their previous matches, they’ll probably look to finish things early, scoring all four goals so far in the first half of their matches, while putting the game to sleep in the following 45 minutes.

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