The final matchday for the 2021 Gold Cup group stage has come to a close! We now know the eight nations that will make it to the quarterfinals. Before we speak on that, let’s take a look back at the action that took place on the field in the 2021 Gold Cup: Matchday 3.
Gold Cup: Matchday 3
This group stage has had plenty of ups and downs for all 16 nations that competed in them. In these final group stage games, we saw matches of consequence and matches that didn’t matter at all. In both types of games, there was heated contest and pride on the line. Here’s a look back at the 2021 Gold Cup: Matchday 3.
In Group A one match would determine first and second place in the group, while the other was one of two nations already eliminated from the knockout rounds. Mexico and El Salvador fought for the top spot in group A, while Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago played a consolation game full of team pride.
Mexico outlast El Salvador, win group
El Tri opened up their 2021 Gold Cup with a misstep against Trinidad and Tobago and a win vs Guatemala. They entered their final match of the group stage actually in second place. El Tri needed a win against El Salvador to secure first place in the group. El Salvador won both of their first two matches against Guatemala and T&T a win or draw against Mexico would see them take the top spot. After a heated contest, it was Mexico that came ou on top.
In a very back and forth game Mexico did just enough to beat El Salvador. In what felt like a rare away game for El Tri, El Salvador brought the pressure on and off the pitch with a crowd pulling for El Salvador. The main difference in the match was the lone goal for Mexico in the first. Mexico wins the group, El Salvador finish as respectable and runners up.
Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago play to a consolation draw
In a game that meant nothing for both sides, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago met to play their final match of Gold Cup 2021. The action was still spirited as both wanted to give their fans and nation a good showing. Unfortunately for both nations, they couldn’t find any points in their first two matches. This final game was one where both sides looked to go for it.
Trinidad and Tobago found the opening goal of a game in the first half. The match was back and forth the entire time. It truly was a fun consolation game. Guatemala fought for an equalizer in the second half as the match ended 1-1. A fitting end to these two nations who are now out of the competition.
The final matchday in Group B was similar to that of Group A. the USA and Canada both knew they were through to the quarterfinals, but had to play a match to see who would finish first and second in the group. Martinique and Haiti played a spirited contest to end their 2021 Gold Cup.
USA do enough to beat Canada and win group
The USA and Canada both had big wins on matchday two, but it was Canada who came into the final day of Group B play on the upper hand. A Canadian win or draw would be enough for them to win the group; whereas the USA needed to win to take that top spot from Canada. It didn’t take long for the tables to turn in favor of the USMNT.
20 seconds into the match the USA found the lone goal of the match thanks to a tidy finish from Shaq Moore. The rest of the match was frustrating for both teams. The USA’s lone goal was the only shot they had on target all match. Canada produced 14 shots but only three were on target and none looked good enough to go in. The USA ended up taking the tops spot in Group B with Canada finishing as runners-up.
Haiti defeat Martinique in a good contest
Martinique and Haiti were both knocked out after the second match of Group B play. Both nations struggled to beat the USA and Canada in their first two matches. This effectively meant that they would not be able to advance to the quarterfinals. With one more match to play, both sides came out and played a good contest.
Haiti opened the scoring in the first half and went on to dominate the game. Martinique was able to find an equalizer in the second half against the run of play, but soon after conceded again. Haiti would come away with the win in a match that got ugly at the end with cards coming out for both sides.
Group C followed the trend on the final matchday of the 2021 Gold Cup. Costa Rica and Jamaica played one another to see who would take first and second place in Group C. Suriname and Guadaloupe played one another and one nation found their first-ever win in their history at the Gold Cup.
Costa Rica best Jamaica to win group in long final game
Costa Rica and Jamaica came into the final matchday knowing that the winner would win Group C and the loser would be the runners up and have to face the USA in the quarterfinals. This match would be one that started later than anticipated after a long weather delay. Jamaica rested players for the quarterfinals, but still gave one hell of a game to a strong Costa Rica side.
The match was back and forth for the entire match, but Jamaica actually had more of the ball. They wanted to build up play and break down Costa Rica. It proved to be enough to hold the game to a draw in the first half. Costa Rica came out with fire in the second and found the game’s only goal inside the first 10 minutes o the second half. That was enough to guarantee them the win and the first-place finish in Group C, while Jamaica took the runners up spot.
Suriname ger first-ever Gold Cup win over Guadaloupe
Suriname and Guadaloupe were both out of the 2021 Gold Cup after just two matches. Like many other nations in this competition, this did not stop them from playing a very good-spirited match to end their time at this competition.
Suriname had never won a Gold Cup match before but found a way to do so in this one. They scored inside the first 15 minutes, but could not hold that lead for long as Guadaloupe equalized in the 20th minute. A soon following red card for Guadaloupe kept the door open for Suriname, and in the 78th minute, they found their winning goal! Suriname got their first-ever Gold Cup win to end their 2021 run, while Guadaloupe exited the tournament with no points at all.
Three of the four nations in Group D entered the final match still alive. The winner of Honduras and Qatar would end up the winner of the group. Should there be a tie in that match and Panama find a win against Grenada, then they’d shift the balance on who would make the knockout rounds. A wild Group D had a fiery finish.
Visitors Qatar win group after beating Honduras
Honduras and Qatar entered the final match of Group D play at the 2021 Gold Cup knowing that the winner would win the group. For Qatar, a loss would open the door for Panama to knock them out of knockout round qualification should they win. This was evidently the driving force in their play against the top team coming into matchday three, Honduras.
Honduras was allowed to hold the majority of possession, which was bold by Qatar. Usually, Honduras likes to hit their opposition on the counter-attack, but Qatar showed they wanted to beat them at their own game. Qatar scored the opening goal in the match just 25 minutes in and could’ve added a second in the 41st if not for a missed penalty. Honduras was stunned. Qatar added the Group winning goal in second-half stoppage time. Qatar win the group and Honduras finish in second; Honduras now has to face Mexico in the quarterfinals!
Panama beat Grenada but fail to make knockouts
Panama knew that they needed to win to have a chance to make it out of Group D. They also needed Qatar to lose to Honduras by multiple goals for things to fall their way. Grenada was already knocked out of the competition but looked to play spoilers to Panama.
Panama dominated the game and took care of their business They scored two goals in the first half and added a third in the second half. Grenada did find one goal after going 3-0 down but looked thoroughly beaten on the day. As Panama saw the result come in from the other Group D match happening simultaneously, they knew their run was over in this Gold Cup, as Grenada’s was over.
On to the Quarterfinals
The final eight are set! The quarterfinals of the 2021 Gold Cup will feature some very strong teams! The normal finalists are there in the USA and Mexico. Could destiny have them meet in this edition of the final? Maybe, but there are other nations who look to put a stop to that first.
Don’t miss any of the action from the quarterfinals this Saturday and Sunday! We’ll have you covered with previews and recaps of everything that goes down from this frantic tournament!
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