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Gold Cup Rewind: Mexico held to scoreless draw by Guatemala; Trinidad and Tobago advance; and more

photo by Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports


After cruising to victory in its first group game, Mexico found out the hard way that it will have to get out of autopilot in order to secure advancement to the next round.

Mexico was surprisingly and frustratingly held to a scoreless draw by Guatemala in the two nations’ second CONCACAF Gold Cup match on Sunday night. El Tri was better from the run of play and had a man advantage during the final 14 minutes, but never found an answer for Guatemalan goalkeeper Paulo Motta and was held scoreless for the first time in 32 Gold Cup games.

The Mexicans had several chances to take the lead in the Group C affair at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, but failed to capitalize on them. Hector Herrera came close to finding a late winner for Mexico with a right-footed shot that was denied by the crossbar.

Mexico now sits in second place in the group with four points, and will have to secure advancement to the quarterfinals when it takes on leaders Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday.

Guatemala is in third place with one point.

In Sunday’s earlier Group C showdown in the same venue, Trinidad and Tobago punched its ticket to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Cuba. Sheldon Bateau found the winner on a rebound in the 17th minute, and Andre Boucaud added an insurance goal via a volley just before halftime.

Trinidad and Tobago has collected a full six points from its first two games in the competition, and has now advanced to the knockout rounds in each of the last two Gold Cups. Cuba is in last with zero points, but still has a chance to advance.

There was a lot more drama in the pair of Group B matches that were played on Saturday, as each game at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas, had its outcome changed by a 92nd-minute goal.

The first of the late tallies came in favor of Jamaica, which extended Canada’s misery by winning, 1-0, off a header from Rodolph Austin. The Jamaicans had other quality chances in the match, including on a Giles Barnes free kick that nipped the crossbar and a Kemar Lawrence effort that was cleared off the goal line.

In Saturday’s nightcap, Costa Rica and El Salvador played to a 1-1 draw after Dustin Corea struck in stoppage time. Corea slipped a shot past Costa Rica goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, and it negated Bryan Ruiz’s 60th-minute effort.

The results left Jamaica in first place of Group B with four points. Costa Rica is in second with two points and a better goal differential than El Salvador. Canada is in last with one point and no goals scored.


What do you think about Mexico being held scoreless by Guatemala? Impressed by what Trinidad and Tobago has done so far? Which 92nd-minute goal was more dramatic, Austin’s winner or Corea’s equalizer?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Well, the klinsman style of play against Mexico has been working like a charm for every concacaf squad for years now. Park the bus and hope for a draw. Way to play Guatemala….

    • Hahaha, you are tripping if you think JK has or would ever park the bus against a awful Mexican team. But if that helps you sleep at night keep thinking that. I don’t usually respond to treasure trolls but itit’s becoming to habitual for Mexican fans to make excuses for their poor team that I just couldn’t help myself smdh

      • You got me all wrong here little lady. You have been a soccer fan for a couple months while live an breath Football. I’m a USNT supporter and will die for my Chivas over any squad including USNT. So if you like it or not watch JK’s games against Mexico’s A squad and see how the bunker for counters are set up. I’m sure your boyfriend will agree …just ask him.

      • Little lady?? I’m a grown man over here slim and again if you’d take off your prideful goggles you’d know that the US doesn’t bunker!! Your the only Mexican fan I know that says as much so clearly you not as knowlegable about the game as you think you arewhich is fine but don’t comment on a a US thread when your el tri can’t even beat lowly Guatemala and subsequently struggling to make it to the knockout rounds haha….clown!

      • You watch your tone when you speak to a man like the princess. You are really not listening. “I am a USNT supporter and die hard Chiva fan”. I understand you females like to argue but watch what you say or you can get your ovaries smacked right out of you. Go make me a sandwich

  2. Is it possible for Mexico to face Haiti in the knockout rounds? Haiti, Jamaica and Honduras are all teams that could play with and beat Mexico. Also why was Cuba invited to this tournament? Mexico 6-0 beat down of Cuba isn’t so impressive after all since they’re not up to par with anyone at this Gold Cup.

  3. Gary P. Haitian players aren’t that desperate to leave “dirt poor Haiti”. It a int that difficult lol. Talk what you know.

  4. Starting to loo like Mexicos problems qualifying may not just have been an anomaly. They have played poorly this year also. Too bad 7 Guatemalan players didn’t defect like the Cubans then they could have trounced on them also. I think the Mexico of old will show up …but starting to wonder if there’s a real problem there

    • International soccer is a different beast. If you get complacent, you get had.

      International soccer is the one venue for little-known, hungry players to showcase themselves. If they show well and prove themselves against respected opponents from respected leagues they could wind up with fat contracts in first-world nations. MLS scouts in particular are all over these games, looking for good buys. When Haiti played the US the other night, I saw a team of very good athletes playing out of their minds, trying to make a statement…and the first thing they did at the end of the game was go and trade jerseys with the USA guys with an eagerness I just haven’t seen from CONCACAF opponents before. The Haitians absolutely knew who the USA guys were; they idolized them enough to want those jerseys…and that’s different. It also means we have a bulls-eye on our chest and everybody wants to take us down now and we’re going to get a deathmatch every time we play.

      Of course, when you’ve gone toe-to-toe with the world’s best at the World Cup and you’re fresh off wins against Germany and Netherlands, you get that kind of respect. When your MLS games are in Hi-Def and broadcast all across the CONCACAF region…well, we may see a poor relation to the EPL or Bundesliga; the islanders and Central Americans see the big time.

      Mexico’s lived with that bulls-eye on their chest for awhile now. Mexico also does not have great athletes. They have great technicians, very polished soccer players, but they do not have much size or speed and when your opponents are playing out of their mind and you aren’t (the Mexicans have just never seemed that hungry until they get to the World Cup)…well, matches get way tougher.

      • And what young Haitian wouldn’t want to leave that dirt poor country and make good money while living in the US? An MLS contract can literally be life changing and maybe even life saving for players from poor countries. Sometimes those of us born here tend to forget that the US is still a beacon of hope for literally hundreds of millions of people all over the world.

      • Haiti already has men playing in France in Ligue 1 and some of the lower French levels. I wouldn’t be surprised if their entire team was playing abroad somewhere. I think their motivation is probably the same as every other soccer player…play in the best leagues for the best money, not just so they can escape Haiti. With their speed, they are definitely an underrated side when playing at full strength. I hope they make it through.

  5. Most competitive Gold Cup I can remember in a long time in the Group stage. TNT could win their group over Mex with a tie. Jamaica could edge out CR. Honduras still could fail to advance. It’s crazy.

    • Costa Rica could go out if they lose tonight to Canada as well. Unlikely…but weirder things have happened, and the Ticos kinda opened that door when they only got two points in their first two. Costa Rica is playing like crap without Pinto.

      Laughing at Mexico never gets old, but Guatamala didn’t just park the bus, they dug a ditch in front of the goal and filled it with burning pitch. They PILED behind the ball and hacked away enthusiastically any time a Mexican player tried to advance and were frankly lucky not to finish with 6 or 7 players instead of 10…the guy the Mexicans really could have used was Alan Gordon, since they were dropping balls into the box virtually at will, they just couldn’t power through the pile of humanity to score. Unfortunately for Mexico, they do not have an Alan Gordon and International rules do not allow for loans…last night, they probably wished they had him. Ugly soccer on Guatamala’s part, but if they beat Cuba in a couple nights – which they likely will – they probably do advance.

      Really would not shock me if T&T pulled the upset over Mexico, either, and won Group B. I think Jamaica will absolutely truck El Salvador and win Group C and Jamaica looks stronger to me even than Trinidad and Tobago.

      What does that do to the bracket, I wonder? Dunno…but with all these matches in bam-bam-bam succession, and as brutal and physical as they’ve been, there’s going to be some sore teams limping into the knockouts. We may grump at Klinsmann for how many guys and lineup he plays…I suspect we’ll be very glad of that in a week or so.

      • Yeah, just a foot shorter, which is kinda the point.

        When all 10 field guys are piled into the box, it’s kind of hard to find Peralta’s head.

      • Klinsmann was also very prescient in saying how hard it would be to score in the tournament because so many teams would park the bus. Because the US will play the third place team from one of the other groups, that likely means El Salvador or Guatemala. Then, in the semis, it looked likely before the tournament that the US would be playing Costa Rica, but it could be Jamaica. It really is topsy turvy.

      • If Jamaica beats El Salvador, it sends Costa Rica to Mexico’s side of the bracket and sets up what is most likely a US-Jamaica semi on this side of the bracket.

        There is practically no chance for Mexico to finish 3rd because even if they lose, el Tri trucked Cuba 6-0. Guate would have to put something like 8 past Cuba to make up the GD.

        Cheer for Jamaica and to send los Ticos to Mexico’s side.

      • Costa Rica would be playing the same way. If Herrera were coaching somewhere else, people would be saying the same thing about Mexico. Mexico just sucks

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