The first full night of 2021 Gold Cup action saw Canada convincingly start the tournament with a four-goal takedown of Martinique in Group B, a lukewarm win for the U.S. men’s national team over Haiti and a positive showing from El Salvador in Group A.
Canada’s offensive fireworks brought an eventful start to Group B, but the USMNT struggled to an underwhelming 1-0 win over Haiti in the night’s second match.
Alex Roldan joins a group of MLS-based players as El Salvador starts its Gold Cup campaign. El Salvador dominated the match Sunday against Guatemala, and lies at the top of Group A, which includes Mexico.
Canada 4, Martinique 1
Cyle Larin 16′, Jonathan Osorio 20′, Stephen Eustaquio 26′, Theodor Corbeanu 89′) – (Emmanuel Riviere 10′)
Martinique opened the scoring in the 10th minute, but it didn’t take long for Canada’s formidable attack to take over in a 4-1 opening win against Martinique.
The Canadians scored three goals in the span of 10 minutes to continue the first half. The left side of Canada’s attack looked particularly impressive, even without star left back Alphonso Davies, who exited Canada camp injured.
Pacos Ferreira midfielder Stephen Eustaquio scored his first Canada goal in the 26th minute.
New England Revolution winger Tajon Buchanan assisted Jonathan Osorio’s goal. Buchanan started for Canada and earned his first international assist.
El Salvador 2, Guatemala 0
(Alex Roldan 81′, Joaquin Rivas 90+6′)
El Salvador capitalized on Mexico’s struggles against Trinidad & Tobago in the Group A opener. Two U.S.-based players, Alex Roldan and Joaquin Rivas, scored late for El Salvador.
Roldan, Seattle Sounders teammate and brother of USMNT midfielder Christian Roldan, scored from just outside the box in the 81st minute. FC Tulsa striker Rivas sealed the win deep into stoppage time with a second goal.
El Salvador now stands top of Group A with its next match coming against Trinidad & Tobago. If El Salvador can keep pace with a win, it sets up the final group stage match with Mexico with first-place in the group up for grabs.
USMNT 1, Haiti 0
Sam Vines 8′
The USMNT looked to have a fast start when fullback Sam Vines scored a wide-open back-post header in the first 10 minutes. What followed, however, didn’t quite match up.
Haiti defended effectively and found a few scoring chances in the second half. The UMSNT struggled to move the ball past Haiti and generated few clear chances at goal. To make matters worse, right winger Paul Arriola exited in the 14th minute with an injury.
Some debuts and strong performances from substitutes provided a silver lining for the USMNT. Gianluca Busio entered in the second half and showed his poise and ability to distribute. James Sands and Eryk Williamson also made their USMNT debuts and brought more energy in the middle of the field.