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Eight teams are left standing in the Gold Cup. With two good matches and teams such as Mexico and Jamaica playing good football, the...
There are tough losses and then there’s what happened to Canada Tuesday night. Literally a fraction away from securing a spot in the knockout...
The consensus before the Gold Cup was this Jamaican team was the best assembled in quite some time. Still they were a popular pick to finish behind Honduras in the group. Monday night the Reggae Boyz dispatched Honduras with a 1-0 victory on the back of a Ryan Johnson goal to seal the group win and set up a match against the second place team in group C – currently slated as the USA. While Jamaica won group B Guatemala booked passage to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 win pushing them past El Salvador as a third place team. The results puts the rest of the quarterfinals lineup on the line Tuesday night when group C finishes with Canada and the USA needing results to advance.
It was suppose to be the toughest test of the Gold Cup for the Mexican national team. It was suppose to be the true barometer for figuring out if El Tri is “for real.” A 4-1 win over Costa Rica should put any concerns to rest.
Heading into the final round of group stage games I thought it would be a good idea to survey where the teams stand. While group A seems to be a foregone conclusion, groups B and C are much less settled. Teams can still jump from third to first and change the landscape of the knockout rounds. So let’s take a look at where things stand heading into tonight’s action.
Its games like this that make you wonder about the U.S. soccer team. With a group C win in their grasp the Yanks dropped a shameful 2-1 result to Panama, putting the team in jeopardy of having a much tougher road to the finals. While the U.S. failed to take advantage Saturday night, their neighbors to the north took care of business against Guadeloupe early with a 1-0 victory to take a big step towards assuring passage to the next round.
A night after Mexico clinched their spot in the knockout stage Jamaica parlayed a Friday night victory into a spot joining El Tri in the quarterfinals. Jamaica overcame Guatemala’s physical and disruptive style and took advantage of being up a man to dispatch the Central American nation 2-0 in the night’s opening match. Honduras finished the night notching the most lopsided victory of the Gold Cup – and that’s saying something – scoring seven unanswered goals against Grenada to put them in control for second place in group B.
Note to every team in the Gold Cup: if you play Mexico build a big first half lead if you want to win the match. For the second straight match El Tri played a close first half – this time taking a 1-0 lead over Cuba into the locker room – only to explode in the second half for their second straight 5-0 victory. Before El Tri took care of business against another overmatched opponent, fellow group A favorite Costa Rica needed a stoppage time bailout goal from Randall Brenes to rescue a point from El Salvador and keep their hopes of winning the group alive.
Just hours ahead of their second group stage match against Cuba reports are circulating that five Mexican national team players have failed a drug test and have been removed from the squad pending further investigation. The five include Guillermo Ochoa, Maza Rodriquez, Antonio Sinha, Edgar Duenas and Christian Bermudez. Rumors are circulating that Ricardo Osorio also failed the test but that has not been confirmed.
The USA took the first step towards returning to the Confederations Cup getting their Gold Cup campaign off to a positive start Tuesday night. Putting in a workmanlike effort the USA took care of opening round business with a 2-0 victory over a very game Canadian squad Tuesday night. While the USA got a well-earned victory they’re joined at the top of group C by Panama who took care of a 10-man Guadeloupe squad 3-2 in the early game.
Jamaica sent a statement Monday night that they’re a force to be reckoned with in group B while popular favorite Honduras played to a less than stellar 0-0 draw against rival Guatemala Monday night at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.
On the first day of Gold Cup action Mexico and Costa Rica confirmed what many already knew: they’re the class of group A. With a pair of 5-0 wins, Costa Rica and Mexico put on dominant showings – in Mexico’s case for 45 minutes – getting both teams off to a great start in their quest for CONCACAF dominance.