Gold Cup Nightly: Group A, Matchday One
Costa Rica 1 El Salvador 2
El Salvador came out flying in front of a partisan crowd at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Despite controlling the first stanza The Salvadorians had nothing to show for their performance until William Romero’s brilliant 20th minute goal scored at a high speed in from a tight angle.
Around minute 35 the Ticos began to assert themselves and soon thereafter Celso Borges hit the woodwork and was denied.
El Salvador had several chances early in the second half to open the scoreline up further but failed to convert their chances. Warren Granados then converted a beautiful goal when the El Salvadorian defense collapsed to equalize. But later Romero scored his second on counter attack and El Salvador had the win.
The re-emergence of Salvadorian football on the backs of home grown talent is remarkable. From being the lowest ranked CONCACAF nation in the January 2008 FIFA ranking from outside the Caribbean to the hexagonal and now a win in the Gold Cup it has been a metoirc rise. On the other hand the Ticos who lead the Hexagonal and are likely to qualify their third consecutive World Cup have now failed to win in their last six Gold cup matches dating back to the 2005 tournament.
Canada 1 Jamaica 0
- Jamaica came into this match riding high having not lost a competitive match in nine months.
- Greg Sutton may be without a club but he looked sharp for the Canadians. He made several key saves, most notably the 66th minute save on a Ricardo Fuller breakaway
- Canada held possession well for much of the game and seemed to deny Jamaica the ability to build its attack from midfield. Keep in mind Andy Williams is not playing in the Gold Cup due to his wife’s medical condition.
- Jamaica ended up relying on long balls throughout the first half but controlled the early portion of the second half building possession and creating chances.
- Ali Gerba’s goal on a pass from Mike Klukowski came against the run of play and was all Canada needed.
- Theodore Whitmore has lost his first competitive match as the manager following a run of eight wins without a loss in competitive matches under John Barnes. That included three consecutive World Cup qualifying wins (including a 3-0 win over Canada) and a 4-0-1 run in the Caribbean Qualifying tournament for the Gold Cup.