The first round of group stage matches in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup have come to a conclusion after yesterday’s Group C action. 12 teams are in this initial phase of the competition but unlike the recent European Under 21 Championship’s there is slightly less jeopardy.
That is because instead of the group winners and the best runner up making it to the semi final’s, the top two from each group and the two best third place teams will make it through to the quarters. Therefore should you lose your opening match it is not all doom and gloom.
The fact that tournament format only sends four teams home after the group stages will certainly be a relief to the likes of Curacao and El Salvador who were both dealt opening fixture defeats at the hands of Jamaica and Mexico respectively.
Curacao who at one time were managed by Patrick Kluivert before he went on to become Director of Football at PSG were on the losing end of a 2-0 scoreline with Jamaica. After a goalless first half their resistance was finally broken when Romario Williams (what a name) scored just before the hour to put the Jamaicans ahead.
And that advantage would be doubled on 73 minutes through Darren Mattocks, that strike killed off any hopes that Curacao may have had of getting back into the game and wrapped up the victory for the Reggae Boyz. A perfect start for them – highlights below
Jamaica though will have to do with second in the group early on as they are topped on goal difference by recent FIFA Confederations Cup semi finalists Mexico. They played out an entertaining encounter with El Salvador, one that saw the two teams both concede within the first 10 minutes.
Thankfully though for the Mexicans they did manage to go up through the gears and would go ahead for the second time just before the half hour when Elias Hernandez restored their advantage and ten minutes after the restart Orbelin Pineda would make it 3-1 and wrap up the three points which puts them top of Group C early on.
Here is the best of the action