Carlos Vela Mexico Costa Rica
Mexico forward Carlos Vela (11) dribbles the ball as Costa Rica forward Bryan Ruiz (10) defends during the first half at Orlando Citrus Bowl. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The final quarterfinal match of the 2015 Gold Cup kicks off on Sunday afternoon when two underachieving favorites to lift the trophy go head-to-head.

Mexico was an early favorite to win the entire tournament, especially after manager Miguel Herrera sent the equivalent of a "B squad" to Chile for the Copa America tournament in June. Herrera wanted his best players ready and rested for a run at the United States in the Gold Cup.

After a disappointing performance in Group play that saw two draws after a 6-0 thumping of Cuba in their first game, Mexico limps in to the quarterfinals as the second seed in Group C, and pitted against a tough Costa Rica side on Sunday.

As of writing this, there are just six teams left in the tournament, and there will be just four after Sunday. Costa Rica was a heavy favorite to make the final against the United States after a quarterfinal finish in the 2014 World Cup last year. However, Costa Rica also struggled through Group Play, and only one team will reach the semifinals next week.

Mexico has been disappointing in their last two matches. Miguel Herrera's men tied Trinidad and Tobago 4-4 in their last match in one of the wildest game's we've ever seen. Mexico surrendered a 2-0 lead, allowing three straight second half goals, before finding the go-ahead goal in the waning minutes of the match. Just as Mexico thought they had clinched the top seed in the Group, Trinidad and Tobago were stunned by a late stoppage time goal on the final play of the game.

Mexico could be in for some more trouble again on Sunday as Giovani dos Santos is expected to miss the match with an injury. Combine that with Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez's absence and El Tri will be lacking some firepower on the pitch.

Carlos Vela and Andrés Guardado will be asked to pick up the offensive load in Chicharito and dos Santos absence. Mexico still poses a strong midfield and one of the best goalkeepers in Guillermo "Memo" Ochoa. If the back four can play better than they did against Trinidad and Tobago, they will have an excellent opportunity to advance.

Similar to Mexico, Costa Rica has also disappointed thus far in the tournament. The highest ranking team in the CONCACACF region (yes, higher than the United States), has suddenly been playing poorly and are in jeopardy of an early exit from the tournament.

After finishing second in Group B behind Jamaica, Costa Rica slipped 27 spots in the newest FIFA rankings, dropping to No. 41 in the world. Costa Rica advanced to the quarterfinals without a single win in group play, as three straight draws got them out of group play with just three points.

Making matters worse, Costa Rica his historically horrific against Mexico. In their last 50 matches against El Tri, Costa Rica is 7-27-16. Los Ticos met Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup and were beaten soundly 4-1.

During their run in the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica prided itself on its defense. Captain Bryan Ruiz and Alvaro Saborio are a dynamic defensive duo, and typically Los Ticos has tremendous goalkeeper play. However, they have had numerous defensive lapses in this tournament, especially late in the game, and their back four has failed to live up to expectations.

If Esteban Alvarado can play well in net for Costa Rica, they stand a good chance to buck the odds and defeat Mexico.

Prediction: 2-1 Mexico

Betting Favorite: Mexico -0.5 goals
Over/Under: 2 goals.

Mexico and Costa Rica will square off on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 7:30PM EST from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The game will air live on Fox Sports One and in Spanish on UniMas. It can be live streamed here. If you prefer to watch the game on your mobile device, please download the Fox Sports Go app from your app store.

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