The Soccer Desk

Gold Cup Group A: Mexico and Panama Advance

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Predictably, both Panama and Mexico did enough to move on to the 2013 Gold Cup quarterfinals.  Panama’s play was less than impressive, but Mexico played with far more urgency, picking up three hard fought goals against Martinique.

Panama   vs.   Canada

In what was possibly the most unexciting match of the 2013 Gold Cup, Panama played to a 0-0 draw, eliminating the Maple Leaves from the tournament, While Panama locked in the top spot in Group A.  Canada needed a win to stay alive in the tournament, although their chances of moving on even with a victory were minimal.  At the end of the day, there was a lot of passing, a ton of missed opportunities and one or two calls that didn’t go Canada’s way.

Specifically, the Canadians were hard done by in the very beginning of three minutes of stoppage time. when Haber was fouled strongly inside the penalty area.  Despite the strong contact, the ref made nothing of it and the Canuck’s best chance to pick up three points was now past.

Martinica    vs.   Mexico

Unlike the previous match, Mexico’s clash against Martinique was full of excitement.  The Mexicans needed a win against a team that had gone farther than anyone had thought they would.  They would. but it wouldn’t come easy.

Martinique actually had the first chance of the match, but the gifted ball was deflected away.  It would instead be Mexico that got on the board first, after Martinique keeper Olimpa made a brilliant save, but the rebound was picked up by Fabian, who blasted it into the back of the net.  The Mexicans wouldn’t make things easier for the French overseas department, scoring a second goal in the 34th.  Montes would take a shot from distance, that, along with Joe Corona’s goal yesterday, might be one of the best of the tournament.

Even with a 2-0 lead, the match took an unexpected turn in the 43rd.  After a hard challenge in the box from Mexico, Martinique would be awarded a penalty, which their leading goal scorer Parsemann would put away with ease.  The first half whistle would blow with the score 2-1, with Martinique pressing for an equalizer.

Unfortunately, the equalizer would not come, and in the 90th minute, Mexico would put the match away with a brilliant strike from Ponce, who picked up his first international goal.

For Mexico, they advance to the quarterfinals, just maybe not the way they wanted.  Panama gets that honor, finishing on top of Group A.  The Mexicans will gladly take second place after a rocky start to the tournament.  Martinique meanwhile is still very much alive with only a -2 in the goal differential.  They’ll have to wait until Group C action wraps up on Tuesday.

The Soccer Desk’s 2013 Gold Cup Gold Cup coverage continues tomorrow with Group B action.  TSD will also be on hand in Hartford tomorrow evening for Group C press conferences as well as news out of the USMNT camp.

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(photo courtesy of soccerbyives.net)

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