Mexico beat Martinique to reach Gold Cup quarter-finals


Mexico beat Martinique to reach Gold Cup quarter-finals

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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CHARLOTTE, United States (AFP) — Mexico beat Martinique 3-2 on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup as winners of Group A ahead of Canada.

The Canadians advanced with a 7-0 romp over winless Cuba, fuelled by hat-tricks from Lucas Cavallini and 19-year-old forward Jonathan David in the first match of the day's double-header at Bank of America Stadium.

Heavily favoured Mexico were tested by Martinique on the way to a victory that saw them complete group play with three wins from three matches.

Uriel Antuna put Mexico up in the 29th minute, and they seemed comfortably in control before Kevin Parsemain curled in a superb free kick in the 56th minute to knot the score at 1-1.

Goals from Raul Jimenez and Fernando Navarro put Mexico back in front, and a late header from Jordy Delem wasn't enough for Martinique.

Mexico, who made six changes to the side that defeated Canada, saw their best early chance go begging as Andres Guardado was off-target from a cross by Jimenez.

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Antuna made it 1-0 with a sparkling effort, collecting a Guardado pass and running through on the right flank to fire a left-footed shot that went through a defender's legs and in at the near post.

Martinique goalkeeper Loic Chauvet maintained the margin when he denied a well-timed blast from Jimenez, tipping it over the crossbar shortly before half-time.

After Martinique pulled level, Mexico responded as Jimenez slotted home a cross from Rodolfo Pizarro in the 61st and Navarro struck in the 72nd.

Martinique continued to press and made it 3-2 on Delem's header of a push, however, and pulled a goal back through Delem's goal, off a cross from Daniel Herelle.

Mexico remained perfect under Argentinian manager Gerardo Martino with seven wins.

Mexico, seeking an eighth title in the regional championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean, will face the runners-up from Group B in the quarter-finals - either Costa Rica or Haiti who were due to play each other late yesterday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

Canada will play the Group B winners.

In Los Angeles on Saturday, the US kicked their Gold Cup campaign into high gear by steamrolling Trinidad and Tobago 6-0, avenging a 2017 defeat that sent the Americans crashing out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The US were not only seeking for advancement to the next round of the Concacaf Gold Cup, but also redemption for that 2-1 loss in their last meeting which sent shockwaves around the football world.

The 2017 Gold Cup champions US opened their 2019 campaign with a 4-0 win over Guyana. They stepped up their attack against Trinidad on Saturday night, scoring five goals in the final 24 minutes of the contest at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gyasi Zardes and Aaron Long each scored twice and Zach Steffen stopped three shots for the shutout of the Americans, who had just three players in their line-up who played in that stunning upset two years ago.

One of those was Christian Pulisic, who scored in the 73rd minute. The other two were Paul Arriola and Michael Bradley. Arriola also scored against Trinidad.

In the other Group D match Saturday, Panama defeated Guyana 4-2.

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