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Gold Cup Rewind: Canada eliminated after failing to score again; Jamaica takes Group B

photo by John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO

Everything was set up for Canada to do well. The Canadians were playing at home, had the motivation of knowing that a win would see them finish in second place, and were playing an opponent that had yet to taste victory.

As has been the case in recent years, Canada did not deliver.

Canada was eliminated from the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday night after failing to score again in a goal-less draw with Costa Rica at BMO Field in Toronto. The result extended a Gold Cup goal drought from the run of play that dates back to 2009 for Canada, and left Benito Floro’s side in last place of Group B with just two points.

Costa Rica, meanwhile, secured advancement to the knock-out phase after moving to second place with a third consecutive tie.

The Canadians played well in the match and had chances to go ahead, but were just not able to muster up that final bit of quality. Marcus Haber scored in the 68th minute but was ruled offside, and Costa Rica cleared a ball off the goal line nine minutes before the final whistle.

With the early exit, struggling Canada now cannot reach next summer’s Centennial Copa America.

In Tuesday’s earlier Gold Cup game at BMO Field, Jamaica edged El Salvador, 1-0, to top Group B. Garath McCleary scored against the run of play in the 73rd minute, improving the Reggae Boyz to a 2-0-1 record.

Jamaica ended the match knowing it had already booked a place in the quarterfinals, and was facing an El Salvador side that could have taken first place with a victory. The Jamaicans did enough defensively to earn their second straight cleansheet, however, and are now one step closer to fulfilling their goal.

Jamaica already knows who it will play in the next round, as it will take on Group A runner-up Haiti in the second quarterfinals match played at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, on Saturday. El Salvador, meanwhile, has to wait to see if it is one of the two best third-place finishers in the tournament.

The Costa Ricans will learn who their foe in the next round is on Wednesday night when Group C action wraps up. They will take on the second place team from that group at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Sunday.

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What do you think of Canada’s latest disappointment? Surprised to see Costa Rica without a win in the group stage? How far can Jamaica go?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Sad to see Canada suck so much they were formidible foe at one point. Though I think Mex will win due to our crappy back line, in the long run the U.S. might have to merge with conembol if the U.S. Ever wants to challenge itself

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    • Canada was a formidable foe at one time because we were that bad not long ago. All physicality and not skills. Canada just stay way behind.

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    • I would love to see the US and Mexico go to a fair CONEMBOL and leave 1.5 WC slots for CONCACAF with the runner-up facing Oceania or Asia to get in. Even though it would mean the end of automatic qualification to the Cup, it would be much better competition and a realistic shot at earning a protected seed.

      Unfortunately, we probably would not get a fair CONEMBOL. We would likely face the same sort of turn a blind eye officiating we must overcome in CONCACAF. The difference is we would face this at elevation in Bolivia, or against Chile and Argentina. Some of it would likely be from the sort of federation politics and historical resentment that fuels the CONCACAF officials, and some would be as the “outsiders”, but it would be nearly impossible to overcome in 1/3 to 2/3 games against South American foes.

      Reply
  2. As things stand, here are the U.S. quarterfinal opponents.

    If there is a winner in the Guatemala – Cuba game, the U.S. will play that winner.

    If Guatemala – Cuba draw, the U.S. will play El Salvador.

    Assuming we advance to the semifinal, the U.S. will play the winner of Haiti – Jamaica.

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    • Mexico, with a win today, will play Panama in the quarterfinal. A draw or loss gets them a date with Costa Rica, who, while they only earned 3 draws in their group, are still the top-ranked team in CONCACAF.

      Regardless, Mexico – Costa Rica are in the same bracket.

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      • So, in the most likely scenarios, Mexico gets Panama, then probably Costa Rica and finally probably USA. If they pull this off, then they have earned it.

      • Not to nitpick, but Costa Rica is no longer the top-ranked team in CONCACAF. For the July rankings their stellar world cup wins became less weighted, and they dropped like a stone to 41 in the FIFA ranking (USA 34, Mexico 40 in the same rankings). Every other ranking system has them below the USA and Mexico as well (as, I think, they should be).

      • All 3 of the top teams have not played to their expectations. Honduras, the 4th best on paper, didn’t even come out of group play.

    • Trying to figure this out. If Mexico loses and Guatemala wins tonight, they are tied for 2nd/3rd place in Group C. The US would play the 3rd place team in Group C this Saturday, which could be Mexico depending on the tiebreaker with Guatamala?

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      • Yes, but the tiebreaker is goal differential, and Mexico is +8 over Guatemala, so I didn’t include this possibility.

      • It’s unlikely that Guatemala beats Cuba by a lot and that TNT beats MEX by alot, but if that happens, then the first 1/4 final would be USA-MEX.

  3. Why is Canadia so bad at football? It’s not a rhetorical question…they were in a manageable group, sure they had their chances to score in all 3 games, but the quality of play overall is abysmal…lots of kicking and running, clueless in midfield, can’t string two passes together…

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    • seriously unlucky, no belief and terrible management (coaching staff & CSA). they have a good enough player pool (and even more uncommitted) to be consistently getting out the GC group stages and challenging for hex spots but routinely fall to Central American/Caribbean teams that are full of belief, grit and luck. seriously believe that they could make the switch any year now and become one of the top 4-8 teams in Concacaf but its miserably frustrating to watch them fail so regularly.

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    • Canada is pretty good at football. They have the second oldest league in the world, and would absolutely demolish almost any nation besides the US. They suck at soccer though.

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  4. “The result extended a goal drought from the run of play that dates back to 2009 for Canada…”

    Seriously? That’s crazy! Is that some kind of record for international football?

    Reply

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