My how the tables have turned. After only 1 matchday, Gold Cup supporters were already thrown for a loop as Mexico stumbled and Canada came up just short. Beyond that, there were not too many surprises. Let’s take a look at how things played out and where each team stands.
Martinique 1 – Canada 0
The first match of the tournament indicated that we are not in for a normal tournament. We’ll let the goal do the talking:
Fabrice Reuperne with a thunderous strike in the 93rd minute to give Martinique the victory. While many were surprised at Martinique’s victory, we at WGF were not. We actually had Martinique ranked higher than Canada prior to this match, which was something you would not have seen anywhere else. We predicted a draw, but Martinique came through in the end. This win is huge for their chances of advancing.
Result: Martinique by 1
Panama 2 – Mexico 1
What is wrong with Mexico? They obviously brought a less than ideal squad after so many matches in June, but this is beyond expectation. Panama opened the scoring on a PK and Mexico were able to draw level just before the half. But shortly after the 2nd half began, Panama scored a beautiful goal to take the lead for good. There were a lot of boos as Panama players seemed to milk any contact down the stretch. But 3 points are 3 points and Panama sits atop Group A. Given remaining matches against Canada and Martinique, Panama shouldn’t have any trouble qualifying to the Knockout stage.
Prediction: Mexico by 1
Result: Panama by 1
Here are your Group A Standings and subsequent xCRO predictions for the rest of the Group Stage. Martinique still looks likely to finish 3rd, but 3 points may be enough to advance. Any further points would be almost a guaranteed place in the Knockout Stage.
Trinidad and Tobago 2 – El Salvador 2
This was probably the most exciting match in the first round of matches. Both teams are evenly matched and the result showed. WGF was in attendance for this match at Red Bull Arena. What a great atmosphere it was. The El Salvador fans were pretty rowdy:
In the end, the teams ended all level and with their dreams of advancing in tact.
Honduras 2 – Haiti 0
As expected Honduras showed their class in Group B. We indicated that Group B was technically the “weakest” group, but it certainly would be competitive. Haiti had plenty of opportunities to make a statement in this game, but they just could not find the back of the net. Honduras added insult to injury with a second goal in the final 15 minutes. Haiti’s chances of advancing took a hit, but they certainly are not out of it yet.
Prediction: Honduras by 1
Result: Honduras by 2
Honduras is looking very strong to advance and shouldn’t have much trouble doing so. The rest of the group is completely up for grabs, but given that there are likely to be some draws, the 3rd place team from Group B may be the one to not advance. Here’s how things look:
|Trinidad and Tobago||8.3%||29.5%||34.2%||28.0%|
Costa Rica 3 – Cuba 0
This was a rather expected result and uneventful game. Costa Rica simply wore down Cuba over the course of the match. Despite going into the half 0-0, Cuba just couldn’t hold on, surrendering 3 goals. Group C is simply a 2 horse race between the USA and Costa Rica. Cuba is the lowest ranked team in the group. Believe it or not, this group features 3 of the 6 teams which received a bye to the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. It didn’t matter here.
Prediction: Costa Rica by 3
Result: Costa Rica by 3
USA 6 – Belize 1
Belize at least fared a little better than Guatemala did when they were trounced 6-0 in the USA warmup game. After USA took a 2-0 lead, Belize struck back with a fantastic header by Ian Gaynair. The glory of Belize was short-lived, as Chris Wondolowski completed his hat trick just a minute later despite having his name spelled wrong on his jersey. The floodgates opened in the second half as the USA poured in 3 more goals. Belize getting a goal has to be huge for team morale. Their showdown with Cuba could give them an opportunity to advance to the Knockout Stage.
Prediction: USA by 4
Result: USA by 5
Nothing really changed in Group C. USA looks strong to take the first spot. Costa Rica should finish 2nd. The other two teams will be left to fight for scraps. xCRO still likes USA to win the group in all 1000 simulations.
We hope you enjoyed our Gold Cup update. Matches continue today, and we’ll be back to provide more analysis soon. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @We_Global for all updates.