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2019 Gold Cup Group A Recaps - Mexico Tops Canada While Martinique Downs Cuba

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Soccer: CONCACAF Gold Cup-Mexico at Canada Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Canada is on the rise in CONCACAF, but Mexico reminded the Canucks they still have some ways to go.

Andres Guardado posted a second half brace for El Tri enroute to a 3-1 victory to solidify Mexico’s place atop the group and likely into the quarterfinals.

Roberto Alvarado opened the scoring just before halftime, when he roofed a rebound at close range in the 40th minute. A cross into the box fell to striker Raul Jimenez, whose initial shot was saved by Milan Borjan, but Alvarado had a wide open net and needed all of it as his shot struck the underside of the crossbar and went into the net.

Mexico carried that 1-0 advantage into halftime and continued to attack, this time led by their captain Guardado. In the 54th minute, no one stepped up to pressure the midfielder, who entered as a first half substitute, and he rocketed a shot into the top corner past a diving Borjan.

Canada clawed their way back into the match in the 75th minute when Jonathan David capitialized on an error at the back and charged towards goal. David ended up finding a wide open Lucas Cavallini in the middle of the box, who slotted home as Memo Ochoa tried to get back into position.

The two-goal El Tri lead was immediately restored however, as just two minutes later it was Guardado again on the scoresheet as his shot from the middle of the box took a heavy deflection and found the back of the net for the 3-1 final scoreline.

It was an overall terrific display from El Tri, who had double the amount of passes than Canada and nearly double the amount of total shots, though only a 6-4 margin for shots on target.

In the first game at Sports Authority Field in Denver, Martinique kept their Gold Cup hopes alive thanks to a man of the match performance from Kevin Fortune.

Fortune assisted on the first two goals for Martinique, scored by Joris Marveaux in the 40th and Stepane Abaul in the 70th before tallying his own goal to cap things off in the 84th minute.

A terrific backheel from star forward Kevin Parsemain finished off a 1-2 combination, springing Fortune into the box to slot home the final goal past Sandy Sanchez in net for Cuba.

Mexico is all but assured a spot in the next round, needing only a point in their final match against Martinique to secure the top spot in the group. A win would all but assure Canada a quarterfinal spot unless Martinique can also win and make up the goal difference. If Canada and Martinique draw their final match, Canada would advance on the tiebreaker so Martinique would need a big upset in their final game. Cuba needs a blowout win combined with a blowout loss from Martinique but making up a 12-goal swing to catch Canada seems unlikely.

Group A concludes this Sunday, June 23rd from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, when Canada-Cuba square off at 600pm Eastern and Martinique-Mexico meet in the nightcap at 830pm Eastern.