The fourth and final group of the Concacaf Gold Cup finally steps on the pitch Tuesday as Group D takes center stage from Houston’s BBVA Stadium. Invited guest Qatar faces Panama (7 pm ET | FS1, TUDN, UniMás), while Honduras meet Grenada (9 pm ET | FS1, TUDN, UniMás) in the nightcap.
Here’s what you need to know about both matches in Group D.
It’s back to the future for Concacaf with Qatar joining the likes of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, South Korea, Ecuador and South Africa as an invited squad. And perhaps the pressure is on the 2022 World Cup hosts with South Africa and Ecuador the only invited sides not to make the semifinals in previous tournaments.
Coached by Felix Sanchez, the Crimsons are coming off a 1-0 friendly win over El Salvador on July 4 which extended their unbeaten streak to eight matches.
While Qatar are enjoying their first Gold Cup experience, Panama are making their 10th appearance and were twice runners-up (2005, 2013).
Under head coach Thomas Christiansen, Los Canaleros are 7-3-1 and qualified via a second-place finish in Nations League Group B. They are coming off a 3-0 friendly defeat to Mexico on June 30.
Along with Panama, Honduras are the co-favorites to finish atop Group D (with Qatar serving as the unknown wildcard) in their 15th Gold Cup excursion.
With Fabián Coito as coach, Honduras are tough to break down, as evidenced by a tight 1-0 defeat to the United States in the Nations League Semifinals which was followed by a third place finish via a penalty-kick shootout win over rival Costa Rica and a 0-0 friendly draw against Mexico.
The clear dark horse in Group D, Grenada are competing in their third Gold Cup, hoping to defy the odds and advance to the knockout round for the first time. The Spice Boys qualified via an unbeaten first-place run in Group A of Nations League B.
There are no current MLS connections, but standout Jamal Charles, who has 14 goals in 25 caps, had a brief spell with Real Salt Lake USL affiliate Real Monarchs.