Copa Centroamericana Preview: Matchday 4
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Action from the Copa Centroamericana  match between Honduras (white jersey) and host Panama on January 17, 2017, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Imagenes en Costa Rica)

2017 COPA CENTROAMERICANA – MATCHDAY 4
Estadio Rommel Fernandez – Panama City, Panama
January 20, 2017

Nicaragua v Belize, 4:00 p.m.
Nicaragua leads all-time Copa series: 2W-2D-1L (8GF, 6GA)

Last Copa meeting: January 22, 2013 (at San Jose, Costa Rica) – Nicaragua 1, Belize 2 – First Round

Nicaragua (0-1-2, 1pt. … 2GF, 4GA)
- 2017 Results: 1-2 loss v Honduras (own-goal, Henry Figueroa 20’); 1-2 loss v Panama (Bryan Garcia 30’); 0-0 draw v Costa Rica
- Appearances: 14 (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- Best Finish: Fifth Place-1 (2009)
- Record: W-4; D-5; L-33; GF-26; GA-114
- Leading Scorer: Jose Emilio Palacios (4 goals … 2003: 1, 2007: 3) and Samuel Wilson (4 … 2007: 2, 2009: 2)
- Winless in 13 straight Copa matches (0W-3D-10L) … 7-match losing streak ended in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw v Costa Rica … Last Copa win: 2-0 v Guatemala in 2009 fifth-place match to qualify for 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup
- Scored 1 goal or fewer in last 13 Copa matches (6 total goals over that stretch … shutout 7 times)
- Prior to 0-0 draw v Costa Rica, conceded at least 1 goal in 12 straight Copa matches
- Daniel Cadena, who assisted on Bryan Garcia’s goal in 1-2 loss v Panama, scored 1 goal in each match of a two-game friendly series v visiting Trinidad & Tobago last month (1 in 2-1 win on Dec. 27; 1 in 1-3 loss on Dec. 30)
- Juan Barrera: 1 career Copa goal (scored in 66’ of 1-1 draw v Belize on January 26, 2009) … also has 1 goal in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, scored for Real Esteli in a 1-1 draw v Tigres on September 18, 2012
- 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Overall Record: W-5; D-0; L-1; GF-15; GA-5
- 2018 WCQ Scorers: Carlos Chavarria, Raul Leguias (3); Juan Barrera, Luis Fernando Copete, Luis Galeano, Manuel Rosas (2); Norfran Lazo (1)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 1 (2009)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Record: W-0; D-0; L-3; GF-0; GA-8 

Belize (0-1-2, 1 pt. … 1GF, 6GA)
- 2017 Results: 0-0 draw v Panama; 0-3 loss v Costa Rica; 1-3 loss v El Salvador (Deon McCaulay 43’)
- Appearances: 11 (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- Best Finish: Fourth-1 (2013)
- Record: W-1; D-6; L-24; GF-19; GA-71
- Leading Scorer: Deon McCaulay (5 goals - 2007: 2, 2013: 1, 2014: 1, 2017: 1) … McCaulay has scored Belize’s last 3 Copa goals, dating back to 2013 … McCaulay has 3 Copa goals v Nicaragua
- Scored 1 goal or fewer in last 8 Copa matches; shutout in 6 of those outings
- Winless in last 8 Copa games (0W-1D-7L) … Last win: 2-1 v Nicaragua on January 22, 2013
- In 2014 edition, lost each of 3 matches against teams that ultimately qualified for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup (0-2 v Honduras, 1-2 v Guatemala, 0-2 v El Salvador)
- Deon McCaulay was the joint-top scorer in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Luis Suarez (Uruguay) and Robin Van Persie (Netherlands) … 11 goals each
- Never scored more than 3 total goals in a single Copa Centroamericana tournament (3 in 2001, 2007, 2009 & 2011)
- 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Overall Record: W-2; D-3; L-1; GF-7; GA-6
- 2018 WCQ Scorers: Deon McCaulay (4); Elroy Kuylen (2); Harrison Roches (1)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 1 (2013)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Record: W-0; D-0; L-3; GF-1; GA-11 

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Honduras v Costa Rica, 6:30 p.m.
Costa Rica leads all-time Copa series: 5W-3D-4L (16GF, 11GA) 

Last Copa meeting: January 27, 2013 (at San Jose, Costa Rica) – Costa Rica 1, Honduras 0 – Final

Honduras (3-0-0, 6pts. … 5GF. 2GA) … qualified for 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup
- 2017 Results: 2-1 win v Nicaragua (Eddie Hernandez 23’; Erick Andino 69’); 2-1 win v El Salvador (Rubilio Castillo 62’, 90’); 1-0 win v Panama (Eddie Hernandez 36' pen)
- Appearances: 14 (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- Best Finish: Champion-3 (1993, 1995, 2011)
- Record: W-33; D-11; L-14; GF-106; GA-48
- Leading Scorer: Wilmer Velasquez (16 goals … 1997: 6, 2005: 6, 2007: 4)
- Tied with Costa Rica for most goals scored in Copa history (106)
- After losing 2 consecutive Copa matches, has now won 4 straight for first time since 2007-09
- Won opening 3 Copa matches for first time since 2009
- Conceded 1 goal or fewer in 21 of last 22 Copa matches
- Each of Honduras’ 2017 Copa scorers -- Andino, Castillo and Hernandez -- scored their first-ever Copa goals in this edition
- Hernandez is first Honduran to score 2 goals or more in same Copa since Jorge Claros & Ramon Nuñez in 2011
- Milton Nuñez is only Honduran to score at least 1 goal in five different editions of the Copa Centroamericana (13 goals … 1995: 1, 1997: 1, 1999: 3, 2001: 3, 2005: 5).
- 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Overall Record: W-3; D-2; L-3; GF-9; GA-8
- 2018 WCQ Scorers: Romell Quioto (3); Alberth Elis, Oscar Garcia, Eddie Hernandez, Emilio Izaguirre, Antony Lozano, Mario Martinez (1)
- Conceded 1 goal or fewer in last 5 WCQs
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 12 (1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Record: W-18; D-7; L-19; GF-67; GA-58

Costa Rica (1-2-0, 5pts. … 3GF, 0GA)
- 2017 Results: 0-0 draw v El Salvador; 3-0 win v Belize (Jose Guillermo Ortiz 25’, 64’; Johan Venegas 51’); 0-0 draw v Nicaragua
- Appearances: 14 (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- Best Finish: Champion-8 (1991, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2014)
- Record: W-36; D-15; L-8; GF-106; GA-35
- Leading Scorer: Rolando Fonseca (19 goals … 1993: 1, 1995: 3, 1997: 4, 1999: 5, 2001: 3, 2007: 3) … all-time leading Copa scorer
- Unbeaten in last 11 Copa games (7W-4D-0L)
- Jose Guillermo Ortiz made his international debut in Sunday’s 3-0 win v Belize, scoring 2 goals
- Holds Copa records for most titles (8), most wins (36), most draws (15) and tied with Honduras for most goals scored (106)
- Shutout twice in same Copa for first time
- Conceded 1 goal or fewer in 31 of last 33 Copa games
- Attempting to become first team to win 3 straight Copa titles
- In 2014 Copa final, rallied for a 2-1 win over Guatemala as Bryan Ruiz (28’) and Juan Bustos (56’) netted after Carlos Ruiz (25’ pen) struck for first goal
- 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Overall Record: W-7; D-1; L-0; GF-17; GA-3
- 2018 WCQ Scorers: Christian Bolaños (4); Joel Campbell, Ronald Matarrita, Bryan Ruiz, Johan Venegas (2); Randall Azofeifa, Johnny Acosta, Celso Borges, Cristian Gamboa, Marco Ureña (1)
- Conceded 1 goal or fewer in each of 8 WCQs, including 5 shutouts
- Scored 2 goals or more in 5 of 8 WCQs
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 12 (1991, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Record: W-16; D-15; L-19; GF-76; GA-63

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Panama v El Salvador, 9:00 p.m.
All-time Copa series is even: W: PAN 3, SLV 3; D: PAN 4, SLV 4; L: PAN 3, SLV 3 (Each side has scored and conceded 8 goals)

Last Copa meeting: September 13, 2014 (at Los Angeles, California, USA) – El Salvador 0, Panama 1 – Third Place Match

Panama (1-1-1, 4pts. … 2GF, 2GA)
- 2017 Results: 0-0 draw v El Salvador; 2-1 win v Nicaragua (Roderick Miller 8’; Josiel Nuñez 12’); 0-1 loss v Honduras
- Appearances: 13 (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- Best Finish: Champion-1 (2009)
- Record: W-19; D-13; L-18; GF-54; GA-50
- Leading Scorer: Jorge Dely Valdes (6 goals … 2001: 6)
- Copa record 16-game unbeaten streak snapped in Tuesday’s 0-1 loss v Honduras (9W-7D-1L)
- Conceded 1 goal or fewer in 16 of last 17 Copa matches, including 11 shutouts
- Scored 1 goal or fewer in 9 of 10 all-time Copa games v El Salvador
- Shutout El Salvador in last 5 Copa meetings, dating back to 2005
- Blas Perez is only Panamanian to score at least 1 goal in more than two Copa Centroamericana editions (3 … 2011: 1, 2013: 1, 2014: 2)
- Armando Cooper: 2 career Copa goals, including 1 in 17’ of 2-0 win v Nicaragua on January 16, 2011
- Alberto Quintero: 1 career Copa goal (scored in 59’ of 3-1 win v Guatemala in 2013 fifth-place match)
- Jose Gonzalez (Arabe Unido) is joint-top scorer in 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) with Hirving Lozano (Pachuca) & Cristian Techera (Vancouver Whitecaps) on 5 goals each
- Edgar Yoel Barcenas (Arabe Unido) has 2 goals and team-best 3 assists in 2016/17 SCCL
- Enrico Small (Arabe Unido) was top scorer in 2016 Panamanian Apertura (16 goals), scoring 1 goal in 2-0 win over Plaza Amador in final
- 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Overall Record: W-4; D-2; L-2; GF-8; GA-5
- 2018 WCQ Scorers: Luis Tejada (2); Abdiel Arroyo, Felipe Baloy, Armando Cooper, Fidel Escobar, Gabriel Torres, own-goal in favor of (1)
- Posted shutouts in 6 of 8 WCQs
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 9 (1993, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Record: W-10; D-14; L-10; GF-47; GA-43

El Salvador (1-1-1, 4pts. … 4GF, 3GA)
- 2017 Results: 0-0 draw v Costa Rica; 1-2 loss v Honduras (Rodolfo Zelaya 10’); 3-1 win v Belize (Gerson Mayen 15’; Juan Barahona 20’; Henry Romero 23’)
- Appearances: 14 (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- Best Finish: Third Place-5 (1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2013)
- Record: W-21; D-14; L-26; GF-61; GA-69
- Leading Scorer: Raul Diaz Arce (7 goals … 1991: 4, 1993: 1, 1995: 2)
- Rafael Burgos had scored at least 1 goal in each of previous three Copa Centroamericana editions, but is not on 2017 roster
- Scored 3 goals for first time in a Copa match since beating Belize, 5-2, on January 16, 2011 (14 matches)
- All 4 goals in 2017 Copa scored in first half … prior to 2017 Copa, had not scored a first-half goal in 13 Copa games
- Rodolfo Zelaya’s 10’ goal in 1-2 loss v Honduras was his first-ever Copa goal, but he does have 8 in CONCACAF Gold Cup play (including 1 v Costa Rica in 2011 & 1 v Panama in 2011)
- Gerson Mayen, Juan Barahona & Henry Romero scored their first-ever Copa goals in Tuesday’s 3-1 win v Belize
- Nelson Bonilla: 1 career Copa goal (scored in 50’ of 1-0 win v Belize in 2013 third-place match)
- Richard Menjivar: 1 career Copa goal (scored in 67’ of 1-0 win v Honduras in 2014 first-round match)
- 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Overall Record: W-3; D-3; L-4; GF-12; GA-16
- 2018 WCQ Scorers: Nelson Bonilla (5); Alexander Larin (2); Arturo Alvarez, Jonathan Barrios, Darwin Ceren, Irvin Herrera, Pablo Punyed (1)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Appearances: 9 (1996, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
- CONCACAF Gold Cup Record: W-7; D-6; L-15; GF-24; GA-49