Concacaf W Gold Cup Matchday 3 Recap; Quarterfinals are set!

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USWNT, W Gold Cup
United States forward Sophia Smith (11) and Mexico defender Cristina Ferral (15) watch as Mexico defender Greta Espinoza (14) clears the ball during a CONCACAF Gold Cup women’s soccer tournament match, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

The Concacaf W Gold Cup has had a very successful group stage! The eight Concacaf nations and the four Conmebol nations involved have created good competition and fought to show that they are the top nations between the two federations. After two matchdays, top teams were asserting themselves and underdogs were rising. The final matchday would produce even more bonkers results!

USWNT, W Gold Cup
United States forward Sophia Smith (11) and Mexico defender Cristina Ferral (15) watch as Mexico defender Greta Espinoza (14) clears the ball during a CONCACAF Gold Cup women’s soccer tournament match, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Concacaf W Gold Cup Matchday 2

Group A

Argentina 3 – 0 Dominican Republic

Argentina played the hardest matches of their group stage in their first two games. They battled Mexico to a draw and lost to the USWNT. Their third game of this W Gold Cup came against a team already eliminated from knockout contention, the Dominican Republic. In their matches against USA and Mexico the Dominican Republic scored no goals and conceded 13, this did not bode well for them coming into the final match.

Argentina dominated the match for the first half-hour but couldn’t find a goal. Dalila Ippolito scored just after that point to give Argentina a needed lead. If they could hold on they would secure a spot in the quarterfinals. Two more goals came in the second half for Argentina, all while holding the Dominican Republic to just two shots!

USA 0 – 2 Mexico

Group A’s winner would be decided in the rivalry match that is USA vs Mexico. The USWNT came in at the group’s top, but Mexico was nipping at their heels. Our own Regina Ham recaps this match, and the shocking result, in full below:

Mexico won Group A at this W Gold Cup taking seven out of nine possible points. They won two matches and drew one. Their undefeated run and top standing in the group could be their launching pad for a title run. The USWNT has looked a lot better than they did at last summer’s World Cup, but there seems to still be something missing from this squad. Can they put it together in the quarterfinals to go on a run to win the W Gold Cup?

Final Group A Standings

  • Mexico | 7 pts | +10 GD | Quarterfinals
  • USA | 6 pts | +7 GD | Quarterfinals
  • Argentina | 4 pts | -1 GD | Quarterfinals
  • Dominican Republic | 0 pts | -16 GD | Eliminated
United States forward Sophia Smith, front, falls while vying for the ball against, from back left to right, Mexico defender Rebeca Bernal, midfielder Alexia Delgado and defender Cristina Ferral during a CONCACAF Gold Cup women’s soccer tournament match, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Group B

Colombia 2 – 0 Puerto Rico

Colombia came into this W Gold Cup looking to emulate their red-hot form at last summer’s World Cup. They did so in their first match, but faltered in their second, falling to rivals Brazil. They knew they needed a win or draw against Puerto Rico to secure a place in the quarterfinals. Purto Rico also fell to Brazil but beat Panama. They had three points coming into the final day and needed to collect points to get to the knockout rounds as well safely.

With both nations needing points to make it out of the group, it was clear that this would be a very open game. It was back and forth throughout, but Colombia showed its quality. Their stars Catalina Usme and Linda Caicedo scored early in both halves, and their defense was stout. Colombia would take a 2-0 win and make it to the knockout rounds to face the USA. Puerto Rico would have to wait to see if their point total was enough to get them through after Group C’s matches.

Brazil 5 – 0 Panama

Brazil started this W Gold Cup with two 1-0 victories. They found ways to win in games when they were favored and when they weren’t. coming into their final group stage game against Panama, they knew they were through to the quarters. Panama was still alive but just barely; they needed a win and lots of help to be able to make the knockout rounds.

Brazil didn’t take this match lightly. They came out and scored three goals before the 25th minute. The match was basically over at that point, but As Canarinhas went on to score two more goals in the second half. It was a display of dominance by the Group B winners, putting a team with everything to play for out of their misery. With their victory, Brazil will face off against their bitter rivals Argentina in the W Gold Cup quarterfinals!

Final Group B Standings

  • Brazil | 9 pts | +7 GD | | Quarterfinals
  • Colombia | 6 pts | +7 GD | | Quarterfinals
  • Puerto Rico | 3 pts | -2 GD | Eliminated
  • Panama | 0 pts | -12 GD | Eliminated
World Cup, W Gold Cup
Brazil’s Debinha kicks the ball past France’s goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, right, to score their first goal during the Women’s World Cup Group F soccer match between France and Brazil in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, July 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

Group C

Canada 3 – 0 Costa Rica

Canada is another nation at this W Gold Cup that has been perfect. Their first two matches in Group C play saw them score 10 goals and concede none against El Salvador and Paraguay. They already clinched a knockout round place, but their third opponent Costa Rica was in a different boat. Costa Rica lost to Paraguay but beat El Slavador. They came into the match with three points and a +1 goal differential. They needed a win, draw, or a loss by two goals or less to move on.

Those two goals Costa Rica could concede came inside the first half hour. Canada dominated the game and stifled Costa Rica. Las Ticas was not able to create a single shot in the match. Disaster struck for them in the second half when they conceded a third goal. The match would end 3-0. Canada would move on to face a third-place finisher, but who?

Costa Rica and Puerto Rico were tied on points, goal difference, goals scored, and fair play points. This meant a live draw, essentially a coin flip, was needed to determine who would move on as one of the two third-place finishers to take on Canada. Costa Rica‘s name was picked from the live draw meaning they, not Puerto Rico would move on to the quarterfinals.

Paraguay 3 – 2 El Salvador

The final match of the W Gold Cup group stage was a game where one team needed a win to advance to the knockouts, and the other was already knocked out. Paraguay needed a win as their points total and goal differential would be the same or worse than Costa Rica’s with a draw or loss; El Salvador was already out but looked to play the spoilers!

This game was as close as a game could get. Both nations fighting to play openly and score! Paraguay scored in the first half to take the lead, but El Salvador came back to tie it with 20 minutes left in the game. That’s when things got crazy. The two nations swapped goals between the 83rd and 86th minute, and it looked destined to end in a draw. However, in the second half of added time, Jessica Martinez scored the winning goal for Paraguay. Paraguay was through to the knockout rounds to take on Group A winners Mexico despite El Salvador’s effort to knock them out!

Final Goup C Standings

  • Canada | 9 pts | +13 GD | Quarterfinals
  • Paraguay | 6 pts | -2 GD | Quarterfinals
  • Costa Rica | 3 pts | -2 GD | Quarterfinals
  • El Salvador | 0 pts | -9 GD | | Eliminated
World Cup, W Gold Cup
FILE – Japan’s Jun Endo (12) and Canada’s Ashley Lawrence (10) battle for the ball during a women’s soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Sapporo, Japan. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo, File)

On to the Quarterfinals!

The Concacaf W Gold Cup is on to its knockout rounds! Starting with the quarterfinals this weekend! There are four tantalizing matchups! Here’s a look at the first-ever knockout round matches at the W Gold Cup:

  • Canada vs Costa Rica | Saturday, March 2 | 7 pm EST
  • Brazil vs Argentina | Saturday, March 2 | 10:15 pm EST
  • Mexico vs Paraguay | Sunday, March 3 | 5 pm EST
  • USA vs Colombia | Sunday, March 3 | 8:15 pm EST

Rematches from the group stage, one of the biggest rivalry matches in world football, two up-and-coming nations, and giants from Concacaf and Conmebol meet with the right to go to the semifinals on the line! Who will move on and who will fall? Tune into the action on Paramount+ to find out!

FILE – U.SS. midfielder Lindsey Horan (10) passes the ball to forward Alyssa Thompson (9) past Colombia midfielder Lorena Bedoya during the second half of an international friendly soccer match Oct. 29, 2023, in San Diego. Horan apologized for comments she made about American viewers in a recent interview, saying the remarks were “poorly expressed.” (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)

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Mandatory Credit: AP Photo/Ryan Sun