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Gold Cup roundup: USA, Mexico earn blowout wins in first games

June 19, 2019

The 2019 Gold Cup has featured several blowouts and few upsets through each country’s first game.

The Tico Times recaps the first match day for each group.

Group A: Mexico demonstrates its prowess

Mexico exceed high expectations with a 7-0 thrashing of Cuba on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Uriel Antuna scored a hat-trick in just his third appearance with the senior national team. The 21-year-old took advantage of being in the right place at the right time, but that’s a testament to a Mexican attack that decimated Cuba’s defense.

Mexico will face its toughest Group A test on Wednesday night against Canada, which earned a convincing victory of its own in a 4-0 decision over Martinique. Keep an eye on 19-year-old striker Jonathan David, who has the ability to test El Tri‘s back line and keep the match interesting.

Group B: Costa Rica on top, Nicaragua sends home players

As we’ve covered extensively, Costa Rica enjoyed a 4-0 win over Nicaragua at the National Stadium on Sunday.

Earlier that day in La Sabana, Bermuda gave Haiti a scare but fell, 2-1, after allowing a pair of second-half goals. Frantzdy Pierrot scored a brace for Haiti to prevent an upset against the Gold Cup first-timers.

Nicaragua will be shorthanded when it faces Haiti as the country’s soccer federation sent home three players — Marlon Lopez, Carlos Montenegro and Carlos Chavarria — for disciplinary reasons following the defeat in San José.

Group C: Jamaica wins in historic match

Jamaica survived a late Rubilio Castillo goal to beat Honduras, 3-2, in Kingston. The triumph capped a successful first Gold Cup match day in the Caribbean.

Leon Bailey had a disappointing debut for the Reggae Boyz, but Jamaica still put itself in position to claim top spot in the group. Up next is El Salvador — which beat Curaçao 1-0 — in Houston, and all eyes will be on the 21-year-old winger.

Honduras was unfortunate to fall into Jamaica’s group, as the Central Americans played an away match despite being a seeded team. Still, Honduras can remain in contention for a quarterfinal berth with a win against Curaçao.

Group D: United States rolls, but tougher tests await

The United States dominated Guyana, as expected, with Tyler Boyd’s brace leading the North Americans to a 4-0 victory.

It only gets harder, though, as the U.S. now faces a Trinidad & Tobago side that will be desperate for a win following a 2-0 defeat to Panama. Normally, a USA-Trinidad & Tobago match wouldn’t have too much intrigue, but remember the Soca Warriors defeated the United States in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

Assuming no upsets, Group D is setting up for a decisive meeting between Panama and the United States next Wednesday in Kansas City.

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