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CONCACAF Gold Cup (and more!)


dmway
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Sorry for the delay in reporting last night's results - I did the sane thing and went to bed at a responsible time last night. 😄

OK - let's quickly give the results for the games where the teams involved were saying farewell to the tournament. In Group A, Guatemala and Trinidad & Tobago had a 1-1 draw (a good result for Guatemala; probably a bit of a disappointing one for T&T); and, in Group B, Haiti beat Martinique, 2-1 (this was a fair result - Haiti was the 3rd-best team in Group B, and it's good that the final results show that).

Now, to the games with higher drama...

All 4 teams in the other two games had already qualified for the quarterfinals by winning their first two games. However, bragging rights for winning each group were on the line in these games. Let's start alphabetically: in Group A, Mexico scored about midway through the 1st half against El Salvador, and they were able to make that scoreline stand for the remainder of the game despite some excellent play from El Salvador. In Group B, the USA scored in the first 20 seconds(!), their fastest goal in their history in the Gold Cup, and they made that stand for the remainder of the game despite some good chances from Canada. So, the scores from the final group games of Groups A and B:

 

Group A

Mexico 1-0 El Salvador

Guatemala 1-1 Trinidad & Tobago

 

Group B

USA 1-0 Canada

Martinique 1-2 Haiti

 

So, the final table for both groups looks like this:

Group A

Mexico (7 pts./+4 GD)

El Salvador (6 pts./+3 GD)

Trinidad & Tobago (2 pts./-2 GD)

Guatemala (1 pt./-5 GD)

 

Group B

USA (9 pts./+7 GD)

Canada (6 pts./+5 GD)

Haiti (3 pts./-3 GD)

Martinique (0 pts./-9 GD)

 

No soccer/football today; HOWEVER, there another 4 games tomorrow just like there were yesterday. Groups C and D play a pair of simultaneous games:

Group C (games at 7 pm Eastern time)

Suriname v Guadeloupe

Costa Rica v Jamaica

 

Group D (games at 9 pm Eastern time)

Honduras v Qatar

Panama v Grenada

 

We will know the quarterfinal match-ups for certain after these four games. The teams that are already in the quarterfinals so far are: USA, Mexico, Canada, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Honduras. The last spot will be taken by either Qatar or Panama, with Qatar being the more likely quarterfinalist.

 

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...and the quarterfinals for this weekend are all set!

First, let's go over the results of the games before discussing how they impacted the quarterfinals:

Group C

Suriname 2-1 Guadeloupe

Costa Rica 1-0 Jamaica

 

Group D

Honduras 0-2 Qatar

Panama 3-1 Grenada

 

Final tables for both groups:

Group C

Costa Rica (9 pts./+4 GD)

Jamaica (6 pts./+2 GD)

Suriname (3 pts./-2 GD)

Guadeloupe (0 pts./-4 GD)

 

Group D

Qatar (7 pts./+6 GD)

Honduras (6 pts./+3 GD)

Panama (4 pts./+1 GD)

Grenada (0 pts./-10 GD)

 

A few comments about the results: Costa Rica's beating Jamaica was a good win for them. CR was in very poor form before this tournament began; they seem to have righted their ship a bit. Suriname, in the Gold Cup for the very first time, have also gotten their first win ever in the tournament - a nice parting memory for them.

Qatar is for real - they are a good team. Drawing with Panama and beating both Grenada and Honduras is a great set of results for their very first time in the tournament. Panama will be regretting their not being able to score that key third goal when they played Honduras - if they had, they would be in the quarterfinals instead of Honduras. The tragedy of missed opportunities...

 

So, the quarterfinals are set now! Here are the fixtures for Saturday and Sunday:

Sat., July 24

Qatar v El Salvador

Mexico v Honduras

Sun., July 25

Costa Rica v Canada

USA v Jamaica

 

The semifinals (Thurs., July 29) will go like this:

The winner of Qatar/El Salvador will play the winner of USA/Jamaica in one semifinal; the winner of Mexico/Honduras will play the winner of Costa Rica/Canada in the other. The Final is on August 1st in Las Vegas.

Rest up for Saturday and beyond! 😎

 

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…and it’s Quarterfinals, Round 1 tonight! Round 2 will be tomorrow night.

Today, it’s:

Qatar v El Salvador

Mexico v Honduras

 

Good luck to all the teams!

 

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Posted (edited)

Wow...what a great couple of games in the first batch of semifinals, and for different reasons too.

The scores:

Qatar 3-2 El Salvador

Mexico 3-0 Honduras

 

I said it before - Qatar is for real! They scored three goals in the first half, then held on for dear life in the second half against El Salvador. I am not thrilled, if we get by Jamaica later today, that we would have to play Qatar in one of the semifinals. They have been legitimately good in this competition!

Mexico reminded everyone that they are still Mexico, i.e., very, very good! 😄 They scored all three of their goals in the first half, and all of them were great goals. Mexico still hasn't been scored on for the entirety of the tournament so far too! If they continue to play as they did against Honduras going forward, the odds of their repeating as Gold Cup champions are very high.

 

So, today's batch of quarterfinals:

Costa Rica v Canada

USA v Jamaica

 

The winner of Costa Rica/Canada will play Mexico in one semifinal, and the winner of USA/Jamaica will play Qatar in the other semifinal this coming Thursday (July 29). Good luck to all the teams playing later today!

 

Edited by dmway
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The second batch of semifinals are now finished! The scores:

Costa Rica 0-2 Canada

USA 1-0 Jamaica

 

This isn't your Dad's Canada side - these guys are a solid team now. Costa Rica also has proven now that they are a team in transition. Canada won this game without much trouble; they could have scored more than 2 goals quite easily with better finishing.

Playing Jamaica (again...it seems like we play them in the knockout rounds in every Gold Cup) is always a pain. I was really hoping that they would beat Costa Rica in their last group stage game so that they (i.e., Jamaica) would play Canada, and that we would play Costa Rica instead (somehow Costa Rica beat Jamaica in that last group stage game - I don't know how: Jamaica is definitely a better team). Anyway, we left it VERY late, but we finally got the key goal we needed in the 83rd minute - a nice cross and finishing header was the difference in the game.

 

So, the semifinals are now set! The two semifinal fixtures (occurring Thurs., July 29) are:

USA v Qatar (7:30 pm Eastern time)

Mexico v Canada (10 pm Eastern time)

 

The winners of each match will meet in the Gold Cup Final on Sunday, August 1st! Well done to all 4 semifinalists!

 

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On 7/26/2021 at 3:32 AM, dmway said:

So, the semifinals are now set! The two semifinal fixtures (occurring Thurs., July 29) are:

USA v Qatar (7:30 pm Eastern time)

Mexico v Canada (10 pm Eastern time)

 

The winners of each match will meet in the Gold Cup Final on Sunday, August 1st! Well done to all 4 semifinalists!

 

...and these two games are later today! 😎 Both games should be great!

My fearless prediction for the two matches...

Mexico should get by Canada. I'm pretty confident with that feeling. Mexico's only hiccup was in the opening game with their scoreless draw with Trinidad & Tobago (Mexico did have a massive advantage in time of possession and in shots in that game). Canada is MUCH better than they used to be; however, they aren't quite in Mexico's league yet.

The Qatar/USA game is a real coin-toss. Qatar has been truly outstanding from the very beginning of the tournament; Team USA was really only impressive against the worst team (Martinique) in their group. All of the USA's other games were 1-0 wins. Team USA should still prevail, but that's a prediction I am not as confident about as the the one in the other game. Qatar could really win this game if the USA is at all flat during the match.

So, who will go to Las Vegas on Sunday for the Gold Cup Final? We'll find out later today...

 

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Posted (edited)

Wow...the semifinals were both amazing games! Quick recap of the results:

USA 1-0 Qatar

Mexico 2-1 Canada

 

So, yes, the popular pre-tournament prediction of USA v Mexico in the Final turns out to be the case; however, both teams were truly tested in their respective semifinals - both teams had good fortune on their side, as well as good play, to advance to the Final.

In the first game, each team had long stretches of play where they controlled the game. In the first 10-15 minutes, Team USA jumped all over Qatar, but couldn't score. For the remainder of the 1st half, it was all Qatar. They have proven that their earlier results in this tournament, and the fact that they are the current champions of Asia, are no fluke - they are a really good team! Whichever teams have Qatar in their group in next year's World Cup are going to discover very quickly how good they are. The game (fortunately for the USA) was scoreless at halftime. However, the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half were all Qatar again. We fouled a Qatari player in the box, and they had a penalty kick. It looked like we would go down a goal. However, the Qatari player attempted a dink down the middle and kicked it over the net! Still scoreless! We made multiple subs after that and started carrying the play again. Finally, in the 86th minute, two of the 2nd-half subs hooked up for a great goal - 1-0 USA! We held on for the last few minutes to clinch our spot in Sunday's Final. Qatar played very well - they were great the whole tournament.

The Mexico/Canada game looked and felt exactly like Mexico/USA game! It was chippy, both teams were talking smack with one another, lots of yellow cards, etc. I'm used to seeing this from Mexico; I'm not used to seeing this from Canada. Canada proved tonight that they are no longer a pushover in CONCACAF - they are a genuine team to be reckoned with from now on. The 1st half was mostly scoreless (and, frankly, Canada carried a lot of the play), until there was a foul by Canada in the box just before halftime. Pineda scored the penalty with ease and gave El Tri a 1-0 lead at halftime. The beginning of the 2nd half was just like most of the 1st, i.e., Canada carrying a lot of the play...and then they broke through! Buchanan broke into the box near the net and slotted a nice goal in on the far post! It's 1-1 with lots of the 2nd half yet to play! This was the first goal that Mexico had yielded all tournament. Things were looking like Canada might be able to steal the game. The sell-out pro-Mexico crowd in Houston was a bit silent in nervousness. The game had lots of intense fouls and more cards (but no reds) for the remainder of the game - it looked like it was going to extra time...until...at 90 minutes plus 9 (yes, nine), Herrera scored a cracker of a goal on a play where it appeared that Canada may have already successfully defended the offensive rush; however, a patient back-pass and a good run-on by Herrera led to the clinching margin - 2-1 Mexico, with just a little time left. They held on for dear life and won the game, which ended up having almost 15 minutes of injury time!

 

So, the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final is all set!

USA v Mexico (Sun., August 1st, 8:30 Eastern time) - Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada

Every Gold Cup but one (Canada sneakily won one in 2000) has been won by either Mexico or the USA, and one of those two will win again this year. Mexico will either win their 9th title (of the 16 Gold Cup tournaments ever played) on Sunday, or Team USA will with their 7th. We find out in two days' time...stay tuned...

 

Edited by dmway
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Posted (edited)
On 7/30/2021 at 1:51 AM, dmway said:

So, the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final is all set!

USA v Mexico (Sun., August 1st, 8:30 Eastern time) - Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada

Every Gold Cup but one (Canada sneakily won one in 2000) has been won by either Mexico or the USA, and one of those two will win again this year. Mexico will either win their 9th title (of the 16 Gold Cup tournaments ever played) on Sunday, or Team USA will with their 7th. We find out in two days' time...stay tuned...

 

...and today is the day!

USA v Mexico at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV (8:30 Eastern time) - the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final!

 

Mexico will be favored, and they should be; however, Team USA is capable of winning and, of course, I'll be cheering them on. Full report later - tune in for a great game!

 

Belated P.S. - here is a link that may help people out in viewing the game:

https://www.concacaf.com/gold-cup/pages/watch/

 

(For example, something called "Sport Flick" may be able to help you out in Australia, if you are a member here like @xrayjets.)

 

Edited by dmway
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Well, I need to rest up for the Women’s Olympic semifinal against Canada which happens in less than four hours time, so further comment on this game will come later.

BUT, the short version is that Team USA has followed up their winning the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League Final in June by winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup tonight! 🇺🇸 1-0 over Mexico in extra time! 😎 The goal was scored with just a couple of minutes left in the second extra-time period, saving everyone the agony of PKs. Just a wonderful performance!

More later…

 

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