GOLD CUP: Mexico continue dominance winning group A

It was suppose to be the toughest test of the Gold Cup for the Mexican national team. It was suppose to be the true barometer for figuring out if El Tri is “for real.” A 4-1 win over Costa Rica should put any concerns to rest.

Mexico dominated Costa Rica en route to winning group A and in the process scored 14 goals and allowed just one in return. Costa Rica was simply over matched in every facet of the game. The Ticos lost the battle at every level and the Mexicans continued their finishing clinic putting up four first half goals; ending the game before the troops hit the locker room.

The scary thing for Mexico’s upcoming opponents is that the scoring came from new sources. Andres Guardado got going with a first

Rafael Marquez opened his Gold Cup account Sunday against Costa Rica

half brace and Pablo Barrera and Rafa Marquez added a goal apiece. With Chicharito and Giovanni Dos Santos already in great form, adding offensive options is a scary thought for opponents going forward.

From the Costa Rica point of view, Ricardo La Volpe’s – former Mexico head man – crew played Mexico well in the second half but were never able to pose an attacking challenge to the Mexican defense. For a team that was looking to make a statement and take the group, Sunday’s loss will be a tough one to take.

El Salvador makes a push for second

Before Costa Rica struggled against Mexico, El Salvador made life tough for the Ticos with a 6-1 win over Cuba. El Salvador dominated Cuba – who finished the Gold Cup with zero points giving up 16 goals – much like Mexico dominated Costa Rica which was in every facet.

Rodolfo Zelaya led El Salvador with a brace and the six goal effort gives the team welcomed hope for landing one of the two third place spots in the knockout stages. Its hope that was faint at the start of the evening.

El Salvador will have to wait until the group stage is finished to know their fate. Finishing three goals behind Costa Rica in goal differential placed El Salvador third in group A behind Mexico and the Ticos. If they do make it through they’ll play the winner of group C, which could be Panama, USA or Canada.

Final standings for group A and current group B and C standings can be found here.

Monday night group B finishes with Guatemala needing to beat Grenada by two or more goals to push past El Salvador in the third place standings and Honduras and Jamaica battling it out for first place.

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for and contributes to during the Gold Cup. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.

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