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
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.