Group F of the 2018 CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Championship is settled. El Salvador is the winner and will advance to the next round of the competition. Everyone else in the group is going home.
But there is still the question of final standings in the group table to settle - and this game is the one expected to settle them (the remaining match in Group F is between El Salvador and Guyana - expected to be a win for El Salvador that leaves both teams exactly where they are in the table: top and bottom, respectively).
Per pre-tournament seedings, Cayman Islands were expected to finish bottom of this group. But the team has outperformed expectations, losing only to group-winner El Salvador up to this point in the tournament. A 3-2 win over Guyana established that the Caymans were not going to be completely overwhelmed in this competition. A 2-2 tie with Guatemala suggested the team might be closer to the second tier of competitors in championship than expected.
If the Caymans can beat Curacao by six goals, they will take second place in the group. That would be an unexpected result: results in Group F have not been as lopsided as elsewhere in the tournament and Curacao hasn’t lost a game by more than two goals so far in the competition.
Still, the Caymans will clinch third in Group F with a win or a tie, and it is a testament to the team’s demonstrated ability so far in the championship that this game can be expected to be competitive.
Curacao has an ambitious national men’s soccer program, one that has been achieving encouraging results at the senior level. The team at this tournament lost to both El Salvador and Guatemala, and has just a win over Guyana to celebrate at the moment. Those are not bad results, just more or less what was expected - as is a win over Cayman Islands, but Curacao is well aware that it will have to work hard to get three points from this game.