Gold Cup--2021

East Fork United

Junior Team Starter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
70
Group stage play concluded Tuesday night in the Gold Cup, but not necessarily as planned. With the last games being played simultaneously, things got off to a decent enough start, with Group C games in Orlando (Jamaica vs. Costa Rica) and Houston (Guadeloupe vs. Suriname). Just 3 minutes into the night, the game in Orlando was halted due to lightning and heavy thunderstorms in the area, and it did not resume until 2 hours later!

When it did re-start, the Group D showdown between Honduras and Qatar had already begun, meaning Panama was going to know its fate well before it ever got on the field against Grenada, as it was the second contest of the Orlando double-header.

The deciding game between the Ticos and the Reggae Boyz was a well-played affair, as the defenses did a good job of shutting down promising attacks toward goal. It was scoreless at halftime, but Andre Gray nearly gave Jamaica the lead in the 51st minute when his shot rattled off the upright. On the ensuing possession, Costa Rica worked the ball down the field, and a nice cross into the box from Ariel Lassiter found the head of the ageless Bryan Ruiz, who scored the only goal of the night in the 53rd minute for the 1-0 win. Ruiz, who is 35, is playing in his 6th Gold Cup competition for Costa Rica. Things got dicey for the Ticos in the 72nd minute, when keeper Leonel Moreira came out of the penalty area to make a sliding stop on a promising Jamaican charge, but he also had his hands hit the ball with his effort. His night was done after the red card was shown, and despite playing with 10 men for the last 24 minutes of play, Costa Rica turned away each remaining Jamaican threat to win Group C.

In the consolation game of the group, Suriname picked up its first-ever Gold Cup win with a 2-1 decision over Guadeloupe. The high heat of Houston didn't seem to impact either team in the lively first half, which saw Suriname take the lead in the 14th minute from its leading scorer, Gleofilo Vlijter. The Gwada Boyz answered just 6 minutes later with a blast from Matthias Phaeton. Guadeloupe was reduced to 10 men in the 30th minute following a red card infraction (professional foul) just outside the box, and despite the advantage and several good looking chances to regain the lead, Suriname couldn't find a way past Guadeloupe keeper Kevin Ajax, who made 3 reaction saves (and 13 overall) to keep his team in the fight. The game-winning goal for Suriname finally came in the 79th minute from Nigel Hasselbaink, and the team sweat out the remaining time as Guadeloupe almost found an equalizer in the 88th minute on a header that just went wide of the goal.

Group D saw its title match come down to the wire, as Honduras only needed a draw to wrap things up, while Qatar needed to win to top the group and send Panama packing at the same time. Homam Ahmed scored in the 25th minute with a nice left-footed shot from a tight angle to put the guest team in front. Try as they might, Honduras never looked that threatening on the night, which had to be a disappointment to the partisan crowd they were playing to. The Catrachos had a good deal of possession, but did very little to test the Qatari defense in part, because it lost two of its team leaders to injury in the first half. Romell Quioto left the game with a hamstring injury in the 15th minute, and captain Maynor Figueroa, who had to be subbed out before the halftime whistle. The loudest cheers seemed to come from the play of Honduran keeper Luis Lopez, who stopped a PK attempt in the 42nd minute. In the final minute of second half stoppage time, Abdelaziz Hatim was part of a 3-man break for the Maroons, and finished the scoring on the night with an easy shot past the remaining Honduras defender after Lopez came off his line to challenge the charge. Qatar win the game, 2-0 and advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The final game of the group stage finished early this morning in Florida (about 1:15), as Panama won its first game of the 2021 Gold Cup, 3-1 over Grenada. Jose Rodriguez scored a brace for the Canaleros in the 27th and 64th minutes, but it was Alberto Quintero who got Panama on the board first, with his 7th minute goal. Romar Frank scored in the 76th minute to avert the shutout for the Spice Boys, who were outscored 11-1 in their three Gold Cup games, but would probably finish first if there were a uniform competition (theirs were the sharpest, most colorful ones of the tournament).

So, it's off to the quarterfinals, which begin Saturday in Glendale, Arizona (suburban Phoenix).
Qatar vs. El Salvador
Mexico vs. Honduras

On Sunday, the other 4 teams play in Arlington, Texas (suburban Dallas)
Costa Rica vs. Canada
United States vs. Jamaica

The semifinals will be the following Thursday at different Texas sites.
Qatar/El Salvador winner vs. USA/Jamaica winner in Austin
Mexico/Honduras winner vs. Costa Rica/Canada winner in Houston

The title game is set for Sunday, August 1st in Las Vegas, Nevada.
 

MattRam

Youth Team Sub
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
256
Group stage play concluded Tuesday night in the Gold Cup, but not necessarily as planned. With the last games being played simultaneously, things got off to a decent enough start, with Group C games in Orlando (Jamaica vs. Costa Rica) and Houston (Guadeloupe vs. Suriname). Just 3 minutes into the night, the game in Orlando was halted due to lightning and heavy thunderstorms in the area, and it did not resume until 2 hours later!

When it did re-start, the Group D showdown between Honduras and Qatar had already begun, meaning Panama was going to know its fate well before it ever got on the field against Grenada, as it was the second contest of the Orlando double-header.

The deciding game between the Ticos and the Reggae Boyz was a well-played affair, as the defenses did a good job of shutting down promising attacks toward goal. It was scoreless at halftime, but Andre Gray nearly gave Jamaica the lead in the 51st minute when his shot rattled off the upright. On the ensuing possession, Costa Rica worked the ball down the field, and a nice cross into the box from Ariel Lassiter found the head of the ageless Bryan Ruiz, who scored the only goal of the night in the 53rd minute for the 1-0 win. Ruiz, who is 35, is playing in his 6th Gold Cup competition for Costa Rica. Things got dicey for the Ticos in the 72nd minute, when keeper Leonel Moreira came out of the penalty area to make a sliding stop on a promising Jamaican charge, but he also had his hands hit the ball with his effort. His night was done after the red card was shown, and despite playing with 10 men for the last 24 minutes of play, Costa Rica turned away each remaining Jamaican threat to win Group C.

In the consolation game of the group, Suriname picked up its first-ever Gold Cup win with a 2-1 decision over Guadeloupe. The high heat of Houston didn't seem to impact either team in the lively first half, which saw Suriname take the lead in the 14th minute from its leading scorer, Gleofilo Vlijter. The Gwada Boyz answered just 6 minutes later with a blast from Matthias Phaeton. Guadeloupe was reduced to 10 men in the 30th minute following a red card infraction (professional foul) just outside the box, and despite the advantage and several good looking chances to regain the lead, Suriname couldn't find a way past Guadeloupe keeper Kevin Ajax, who made 3 reaction saves (and 13 overall) to keep his team in the fight. The game-winning goal for Suriname finally came in the 79th minute from Nigel Hasselbaink, and the team sweat out the remaining time as Guadeloupe almost found an equalizer in the 88th minute on a header that just went wide of the goal.

Group D saw its title match come down to the wire, as Honduras only needed a draw to wrap things up, while Qatar needed to win to top the group and send Panama packing at the same time. Homam Ahmed scored in the 25th minute with a nice left-footed shot from a tight angle to put the guest team in front. Try as they might, Honduras never looked that threatening on the night, which had to be a disappointment to the partisan crowd they were playing to. The Catrachos had a good deal of possession, but did very little to test the Qatari defense in part, because it lost two of its team leaders to injury in the first half. Romell Quioto left the game with a hamstring injury in the 15th minute, and captain Maynor Figueroa, who had to be subbed out before the halftime whistle. The loudest cheers seemed to come from the play of Honduran keeper Luis Lopez, who stopped a PK attempt in the 42nd minute. In the final minute of second half stoppage time, Abdelaziz Hatim was part of a 3-man break for the Maroons, and finished the scoring on the night with an easy shot past the remaining Honduras defender after Lopez came off his line to challenge the charge. Qatar win the game, 2-0 and advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The final game of the group stage finished early this morning in Florida (about 1:15), as Panama won its first game of the 2021 Gold Cup, 3-1 over Grenada. Jose Rodriguez scored a brace for the Canaleros in the 27th and 64th minutes, but it was Alberto Quintero who got Panama on the board first, with his 7th minute goal. Romar Frank scored in the 76th minute to avert the shutout for the Spice Boys, who were outscored 11-1 in their three Gold Cup games, but would probably finish first if there were a uniform competition (theirs were the sharpest, most colorful ones of the tournament).

So, it's off to the quarterfinals, which begin Saturday in Glendale, Arizona (suburban Phoenix).
Qatar vs. El Salvador
Mexico vs. Honduras

On Sunday, the other 4 teams play in Arlington, Texas (suburban Dallas)
Costa Rica vs. Canada
United States vs. Jamaica

The semifinals will be the following Thursday at different Texas sites.
Qatar/El Salvador winner vs. USA/Jamaica winner in Austin
Mexico/Honduras winner vs. Costa Rica/Canada winner in Houston

The title game is set for Sunday, August 1st in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Managed to catch most games so far this side of pond, not sure knockout stage is around free to view so keep the updates coming
 

East Fork United

Junior Team Starter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
70
One of Saturday night's 2 quarterfinals was exciting, at least.

Qatar opened the night in Glendale with a goal in the 2nd minute, as Almoez Ali took advantage of an easy El Salvador giveaway and slotted a shot under the outstretched arms of keeper Mario Gonzalez. Just 6 minutes later, Abdelaziz Hatem put El Salvador in a deeper hole with his nice, curling shot from the top of the box. After halftime, Qatar extended its lead with a 55th minute penalty kick from Hatem, following a hand ball call in the box by an El Salvador defender. After the PK, El Salvador got down to business and pressed toward the Qatari goal, if anything, to make the score look more respectable. Joaquin Rivas did just that with his 63rd minute strike. Then, 3 minutes after that, Rivas scored his brace, and suddenly El Salvador had life. The team had the bulk of possession after that, as it tried to become the first team in Gold Cup history to rally from a 3-goal deficit, but keeper Marsham stoned Rivas' one-on-one attempt at a hat trick in stoppage time to preserve the win for the reigning AFC champions. Qatar are the first guest team to play in the Gold Cup since 2005, and find themselves as the first team to qualify for the semi-finals next Thursday.

The second game of the evening saw Mexico roll to a 3-0 halftime lead, and coast to victory by the same scoreline against Honduras. El Tri pressed its advantage from the start, which yielded a goal by Rogelio Funes Mori in the 26th minute. Funes Mori is a controversial figure for some Mexican soccer purists, as he is a naturalized citizen (born and raised in Argentina with no dual citizenship), but he's had a good Gold Cup for his team. 5 minutes after Funes Mori got Mexico on the scoreboard, Jonathan dos Santos connected with a hot shot from inside the box that easily beat Luis Lopez. Orbelin Pineda scored the final goal of the night in the 38th minute, and while Honduras came out more determined to score in the first 15 minutes of the second half, Mexico was able to see the contest out with little difficulty, as the team advanced to the Gold Cup semi-finals Thursday while improving its overall record against Hounduras to 23 wins, 7 losses, and 9 draws.

The remaining quarterfinal double-header is coming up tonight in Arlington, Texas, as Costa Rica play Canada in the first game, followed by United States vs. Jamaica.
 

East Fork United

Junior Team Starter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
70
The first game of the Sunday quarterfinals was a fairly routine and comprehensive win for Canada, who topped Costa Rica, 2-0. Junior Hoilett got the Canadians on the scoreboard with a nifty lob over Ticos keeper Esteban Alvarado in the 18th minute. Canada had a couple more shots test Alvarado who made nice saves to keep Costa Rica within shouting distance, but the team could generate precious little offense. One shot by Joel Campbell in the 53rd minute tested keeper Maxime Crepeau, but the Vancouver Whitecaps net-minder was up to the task and kept the Maple Leafs on top. The game was pretty much sealed on a nice shot from distance by Steven Eustaquio in the 68th minute, and Costa Rica was finished. Canada advance to the Gold Cup semifinals for the first time since 2007.

The second game was a back-and-forth affair between USA and Jamaica, and honestly, it was the worst of the 4 quarterfinals as far as entertainment goes. The game was disjointed with poor passing, broken up plays, and a lack of finishing by both sides. Any promising forays toward the other team's goal was snuffed out, as the keepers (Andre Blake for Jamaica and Matt Turner of the U.S.) did not have a lot to do in the first half, as far as making difficult saves were concerned. The second half wasn't much better until after the 75th minute when both teams went into desperation mode. Jamaica came close in the 78th minute, but Shamar Nicholson just missed latching onto a Kemar Lawrence free kick in front of the USA goal. The deadlock was finally broken in the 83rd minute, when Cristian Roldan sent a cross into the box that found the head of Matthew Hoppe at the back post that beat Blake. The 1-0 win for the United States propelled them into a Thursday semi-final against Qatar, who's been the highest scoring team in the Gold Cup.

USA meet Qatar in the first game in Austin, Texas Thursday (6:30 p.m.), followed by Mexico vs. Canada at 9 in Houston.
 

East Fork United

Junior Team Starter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
70
Thursday night's semifinals saw the two favorites advance to the Gold Cup final in Las Vegas Sunday night, but they got stern tests from their opponents, and in some respects, were fortunate to escape with wins.

In the first game in Austin, the United States left it late, but Gyasi Zardes' 86th minute sliding effort got past Qatar keeper Mashaal Barsham for the only score of the night, as USA advance, 1-0. Qatar only had about 41% possession for the game, but the AFC team had better chances and looked more threatening in the first half. A couple of promising-looking shots went just wide, and Matt Turner had to get his fingertips on one shot that was destined for the back of the net to keep the game scoreless. In the second half, Qatar had a chance from the penalty spot after a U.S. foul on a Qatari player in the box, but Hassan Al Haydos' shot sailed over the crossbar. After that 60th minute miscue, USA took over and dominated the run of play for much of the remainder of the game. Taking advantage of its depth, coach Gregg Berhalter used his substitutions wisely, and the team's perseverance paid off. Most of the players on this Gold Cup roster will not be involved in World Cup Qualifying, which is scheduled to start in September, but a few of them are certainly moving up in the pecking order if they keep up with their positive play.

The second semifinal in Houston was a hard-fought, contentious affair between Mexico and Canada. The Maple Leafs were playing without 4 regulars on their roster (2 were injured and 2 were on card disqualifications). Mexico was without one stalwart, Chucky Lozano, who was injured in Mexico's opening game of the tournament with a concussion. Mexico had the better run of play at the outset, but after 15 or 20 minutes, Canada settled into the game and actually tested Mexico's keeper, Alfredo Talavera, who had yet to give up a goal through 4 games. Near the end of the first half, Mexico were awarded a penalty kick after a VAR review. Oberlin Pineda stepped up to the spot and beat Canada's keeper, Maxime Crepeau to give El Tri a 1-0 lead at halftime. The second half saw the Canadians come out with more purpose, and they really took the game to Mexico. Their persistence paid off with a 57th minute goal from Tajon Buchanan, whose play in the Gold Cup and with the New England Revolution in MLS is probably going to get him a fat contract with a European team. 10 minutes after Buchanan tied things up, Mexico were awarded a second penalty kick following a VAR review. This time though, Crepeau stoned Carlos Salcedo's attempt and kept the score level. The contest seemed destined for extra time until Hector Herrera became the hero for Mexico with a well-placed shot from 15 yards out that beat Crepeau. The goal came in the 99th minute, even though there was 7 minutes of second half stoppage time! During the stoppage time, a couple of Canadian players collided and one of them was down on the field and received treatment, which added a bit more time on the clock. After Herrera's goal, players from both sides went after each other before the waning moments of the game resumed. They also had a near fracas after the first review of the Mexican penalty kick! On top of that, the game was halted briefly in the 86th minute after the Mexico fans began chanting a homophobic slur that their fans have become know for over the years. CONCACAF has tried to put a stop to it and has protocols in place, which include abandonment of games. But, it never gets that bad, as the fans are smart enough to take up the chants late in the game, so nothing goes too far, and the team is never punished. Of course, when Mexico plays in the World Cup, their fans behave much more civilly toward their opponents. So, Mexico advance to the Gold Cup final following its 2-1 win.

Mexico have 8 Gold Cup titles. United States have 6. This is the 16th Gold Cup (Canada won its only Gold Cup in 2000). Mexico lead the series with the United States, 38-14-21, dating back to 1934. USA logged its first-ever win against El Tri in 1934, which was the first time the sides met, but after that, Mexico dominated the proceedings with 23 wins, 1 loss, and 3 draws. In the last 30 years, the U.S. have won 19 times compared to 15 for Mexico. There have been 11 ties.
 
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