For the Mexicans, they will need to carry on for this match without Guardado being on the pitch. The former El Tri captain received a red card in the match against Uruguay last Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. If Mexico is able to pull through and secure three points, they will be just two games away from winning their first non-CONCACAF tournament on the senior level since the 1999 Confederations Cup.
It does not help their cause that the veteran midfielder Rodolph Austin will not be present on Thursday. Since the 31-year-old-Austin picked up a red card in the match against Venezuela on Sunday. Fellow veterans Jobi McAnuff, Garath McCleary and Je-Vaughn Watson will be expected to step in for Austin's in this crucial match.
The Caribbean nation will need Giles Barnes to step up in this match and use his speed and strength to try and find gaps in the defense. Plus the midfield will need to dig deep and find a way to contain El Tri's offense by keeping possession.
At times, the Rose Bowl capacity can go higher than 100,000. If the Rose Bowl opens its attendance to that size then expect 95,000 Mexican fans to show up. El Tri fans are loud, rowdy and are not afraid to throw things onto the field if they do not like something. The Reggae Boyz will need to find a way to ignore Mexico's fans in the match and get a result.
Jamaica's head coach Winfried Schafer will be hoping that his team is able to beat El Tri for the first time in almost a decade. However, his players will have to face two challenges on Thursday. First, the Caribbean nation will have to do their best to contain the 11-Mexican players on the field. Last but not least, they will need to block out the loud and passionate pro-Mexican crowd that will be expected at the Rose Bowl.
Besides that victory the Caribbean nation has been able to earn three more wins. As for Mexico, they have defeated Jamaica 18 times. In those defeats, the island nation struggled to get any offensive going; El Tri went on to shutouts the Jamaicans 14-times.
These two CONCACAF nations will be facing each other for the 24th time on Thursday. The Reggae Boyz last victory against Mexico was in 2008, in a home World Cup Qualifier. Former Jamaican playmaker Ricardo Fuller scored the winning goal in the 34th minute, to escape with a 1-0 win.
For the Mexicans if they beat Jamaica on Thursday they will clinch their spot in the quarterfinals. So El Tri's head coach Juan Carlos Osorio will make sure to have his team ready to get a result at the Rose Bowl. Plus Mexico has history riding on its side for this match.
Jamaica's easiest road to the next round is by beating Mexico. If they accomplish that goal that will only be the fifth time in 24 games that the Reggae Boyz has defeated El Tri.
However, the Mexicans would need to do their fellow CONCACAF nation a favor by beating Venezuela in their finale of the group stages at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. If Uruguay and Venezuela tie and Jamaica tie then the road becomes really complicated. The Caribbean nation will need to win their last game by an amount of goal and hope Mexico does the same.
The Reggae Boyz would prefer that La Celeste beat La Vinotinto. If that happens, then Jamaica's last game against Uruguay will be a must win. Since the South American nation will have three points and the Jamaicans will have one, a victory will give them four points.
If Jamaica earns a tie it is not the end of the world, but their route to the quarterfinals will be filled with complications. The first favor they will need is for Uruguay to not allow Venezuela to pick up the full three points on Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Reggae Boyz cannot afford to leave the Rose Bowl without any points. If El Tricolor defeats Jamaica, then their Copa America will be over. The Jamaicans are currently in third place of group C with zero points and a negative one goal differential. Another defeat will mean the island nation will only be able to finish with three points max.
Andrés Guardado, Jesús Corona and Oribe Peralta sent the Reggae Boyz back down to reality. The Caribbean nation got to the final after upsetting the United States 2-1 in the semifinals at the Georgia Dome. For the Jamaicans, they will have to channel the defiant attitude they showed when they eliminated the USMNT on Thursday against El Tri.
These two nations have faced on a big stage just last summer that was the 2015 Gold Cup Final. The Mexicans ended the dream of the Jamaicans with a 3-1 sobering defeat at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 26th, 2015.
Hello, and welcome to VAVEL USA's live coverage of Mexico versus Jamaica in the Copa America Centenario at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Thursday. My name is Jorge Belon and I will be providing updates for you as well as coverage for the game. The match will start at 10 PM Eastern Time and make sure to stay tuned here for updates.