The Concacaf Gold Cup is rolling on. All 16 nations have played at least two matches now. The action has been full of surprises and goals galore! We take a look back on the 2021 Gold Cup: Matchday 2.
2021 Gold Cup: Matchday 2
Matchday 2 saw some nations punch their tickets to the quarterfinals! Six of the eight nations that can qualify for the quarterfinals were able to. However, no one team has locked in a spot in their group! Without any further ado let’s get into looking back at the groups and the matches from Gold Cup: Matchday 2.
Group A has had one of the biggest surprises in this 2021 Gold Cup. El Salvador is on a tear. They have won their first two matches over Guatamala and Trinidad and Tobago, and is the one side that punched their ticket to the knockouts after the second matchday. Mexico’s opening game draw to T&T was shocking, but they’d have the opportunity to bounce back against a weakened Guatamalan side. Here’s a look at how it all shook out in Group A on Matchday two.
El Salvador punch ticket to quarters vs T&T
El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago met in a match that was very one-sdided affair. From the jump El Salvador knew that if they won this match that they’d advance to the quarterfinals. T&T didn’t break right away, but El Salvador’s kept the pressure up and was able to find the lead before halftime.
Trinidad and tobago looked beat after the goal went in. As the match moved on to the second half they did little to impact the game and push for the equalizer. They had only two shots on target, neither of which looked too dangerous. El Salvador got a second goal right be fore the end of the match to put it away. Their win meant they would be through to the quarterfinals ahead of a final matchday vs Mexico. Trinidad and Tobago were still alive thanks to their opening game draw, but would need a miracle against Guatamala on the final day to make the Quarters.
Mexico get back to winning ways beating Guatemala
Mexico shocked many in their first match, but not in a good way. An opening game draw against Trindiad and Tobago does little to inspire any confidence. In their second match against Guatamala, they showed that that draw might just be a fluke. El Tri dominated Guatamala throughout the match, controlling the ball and scoring three goals. It was a complete game from a team that needed it.
Guatamala looked like a team that was not put together well. Their inclusion coming after Curaco souldn’t compete likely hindered their chances before a ball was even kicked. Their one shot on target against Mexico did little to scare the Concacaf giants. Mexico got a crucial three points heading into their final match that would determine the winners of Group A. Guatamala was eliminated with the loss from quarterfinals contention.
Group B has been dominated by the USMNT and Canada. Both sides won their matches on match day one against Martinique and Haiti. On matchday two there were more blowouts. Canada took it to Haiti, while the USMNT found their finishing boots against against Martinique. Heres a look at that action that saw Canada and USA punch their tickets to the quarterfinals.
Canada continue hot start beating Haiti
Canada has been waiting for an opportunity to show that they are a Concacaf team that is for real. Against Haiti they were able to show just why they want to be one of those sides. The Canuck’s were able to score four goals against a decent Haitain side leading them to another win. But the game was much more closer than the scoreboard indicated.
Haiti had the same number of shots on goal as Canada, four. The only difference was, Haiti scored once and Canada did four times. This match was one that showed taking and converting quality chances can be the difference in a win and a loss in this game. Canada punched their ticket to the knockout rounds, while Haiti were knocked out with a game to play.
USMNT score six in win over Martinique
After a drab 1-0 win in their first match, the USMNT needed to come out and show that they are worthy of being a favorite in this tournament against Martinique. They did just that in this match. The USA scored six goals from 12 shots on target in this match. It was clear that Martinique had trouble defending, but they actually did an okay job in their attacking sequences.
Martinique were able to get 13 shots off, five of which were on goal. They did a great job of threatening in their attack, but the USA was able to hit them on the counter and make them pay. Young USA striker Dike had a brace as he led the USMNT to a quarterfinals berth. Their final match against Canada would be for the top spot of the group! Martinique were eliminated with their loss.
Costa Rica has won both of their Group C matches so far, but so has Jamaica. Which of the two has looked the best? That is the question for the future. For now, both nations punched their tickets to the quarterfinals. Jamaica showed well against Guadaloupe; and Costa Rica did enough to hold off Suriname. Here’s a look at Matchday two in Group C.
Jamaica’s Burke and Blake shine in win vs Guadaloupe
Jamacia continued to show that they are going to be a problem in Concacaf for years to come. In this match against Guadaloupe they knew a win would mean a quarterfinals berth. Unfortunatly for them the game started off a bit rocky. An own goal saw them go down inside the first five minutes. However, this only made the Reage Boyz get into the match more.
Guadaloupe tried to keep a hold of the ball, and honestly didn’t do too bad a job at it. Unforutunatly they were not prepared for Jamaica’s ability to counter and pepper their goal with shots. Jamaica put seven shots on goal, and Cory Burke was able to tie things up for them both 10 minutes after they conceded. A wining goal wouldn’t come until the 87th minute for Jamaica, but their captain and goalkeeper Andre Blake kept them in a position to get all three points thanks to his saves. Jamaica moved on to the quarterfinals while Guadaloupe is out with a match to play for both teams.
Costa Rica secure quarterfinals spot beating Suriname
Costa Rica’s old guard was off to a good start after their matchday one win. Suriname looked to play spoiler in their second match, and it looked like they just might do that. A back and forth first half was a true contest but no goals came of it. When the second half began Suriname actually got on the front foot. They scored seven minutes in to give themselves the lead. Would Costa Rica respond or fall flat after that wakeup call?
Los Ticos woke up and quickly responded to going down. They found the equalizer six minutes after going down and then found the eventual game winning goal a minute after having equalized. It was a truly spectacular effort by Costa Rica, and one that helepd them make the knockout rounds. They’ll take on Jamaica on the final matchday to see who wins the group and who takes the runners up place.
Group D has had the most wild games at this 2021 Gold Cup. Panama specifically has been in some thrillers they drew their first match 3-3 against Qatar, and played in another thriller in this matchday two vs Honduras. Honduras has been the best side in the group so far, as they punched their ticket to the quarterfinals after two matches. Qatar has looked very good in this tournament as well, but will have everything to play for on the final matchday. Grenada was knocked out after two matches. Here’s a look at Matchday two in Group D.
Qatar smoke Grenada 4-0
Qatar looked like a very good team in their first match against Panama. They took the lead three times in that match, but only were able to take one point. In their second match against a struggling Grenada side they smelled blood in the water early on.
Grenada came out and failed to hold the ball or do anything with it when they did have it. This led to Qatar dictating the match, which they very much enjoy doing. Qatar scored three in the first half and one just after the second half started. They almost did enough to qualify for the knockout rounds, but will have to wait for their final match against Honduras to determine if they will make it or not. The loss for Grenada means they are disqualified form the knockout rounds.
Honduras win thriller vs Panama
Honduras had a convincing win in their first matchday game, while Panama played a thriller with Qatar. That energy from Panama’s first match carried over to the second one as this match was very back and forth. Both teams flew around the pitch and had just about the same amount of the ball. Honduras was fortunate enough to open the scoring, but Panama scored two after that, the second of which came right before the half.
As the match moved on in the second half, Honduras was getting the better of the chances. They were able to find the equalizer in the 61st minute, and then the eventual winning goal in the 65th. Their resiliance to come from behind and possibly win thier group in the process was huge. They punched thier ticket to th quarterfinals, while Panama stayed alive just barely heading into the final matchday.
Matchday three will round out the quarterfinals
Half of the field has already completed their matchday three matches! Groups A and B played on Sunday to show that Mexico win group A, while El Salvador are runners up, and the USA win Group B, with Canada finish runners up. They will be four of the eight to make it to the quarterfinals. Groups C and D will play their deciding matches on Tuesday, July 20!
Don’t miss that action, and get ready for the quarterfinals this coming weekend as the Gold Cup continues to move right along!
Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!
Follow our Union team on Twitter:
Doop on Union fans!
Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire