In order for Martinique to qualify for the quarterfinals it would not only have to defeat Mexico, but do so by about 10 goals to make up the goal difference in the standings.
Les Matinino didn’t get those much needed three points, let alone double digit goals, but the two goals they did hang on Mexico were absolutely stunning, stealing the highlights in a 3-2 eliminating loss to El Tri.
Mexico opened the scoring via LA Galaxy starlet Uriel Antuna, whose 4th goal of the group stage snuck past keeper Loic Chauvet in the 29th minute.
Martinique however would equalize in the 56th, when start forward Kevin Parsemain hit a world class free kick off the underside of the bar in the top corner.
The tie was short lived however, as just five minutes later Raul Jimenez tapped in a pass from Rodolfo Pizzaro at close range to restore the Mexico lead. Pizzaro received a wonderful through ball from Carlos Salcedo, and the stretched Martinique defense left Jimenez all alone inside the six.
Ten minutes after that, if was Jimenez playing the role of benefactor when his flick on pass found a curling Fernando Navarro. The ensuing shot from Navarro barely found the side netting, as a charging Chauvet got a large piece of the ball, but wasn’t able to keep it out.
However, Martinique would not bow out without another highlight reel goal. In the 84th minute, Seattle Sounders man Jordy Delem charged to the top of the six, and smashed home a perfect cross from Daniel Herelle on the right wing. Herelle broke the ankles of his defender, giving him acres of space to send his cross in and find an unmarked Delem to pull a goal back at 3-2.
That however would prove to be the final scoreline, and Martinque’s tournament run would end as the third place team with Mexico claiming Group A with a full nine points.
In the first game of the night at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, Canada became the second team to put up a touchdown on Cuba in the group stage.
Lucas Cavallini scored a hat trick in the first half and Jonathan David scored the opener and finished with a hat trick of his own as Canada advanced into the quarterfinals for the second straight tournament.
David finished the group stage with five goals to lead all Gold Cup scorers while Cavallini notched four goals to tie him with Antuna for second.
Mexico and Canada advance to the quarterfinals against opponents from Group B. Haiti and Costa Rica have already advanced, and will play tonight at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ to determine who wins Group B and faces Canada while the runner up will face Group A winner Mexico.
Martinique leaves the tournament on three points, having scored five goals and aside from an opening 4-0 loss to Canada, played rather well throughout. Cuba on the other hand continues their slide were completely outmatched, being shutout three times and giving up 17 total goals.
The Group A/B quarterfinals will take place Saturday June 29th from Houston’s NRG Stadium.