It took 120 minutes and an extremely dubious penalty, but in the end Mexico eked out a 1-0 victory against Haiti in their 2019 Gold Cup semifinal.
The Haitians had been the surprise of the tournament with an upset victory against Costa Rica in the group stage and an epic come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Canada in the quarterfinals, but their Cinderella story couldn’t stretch to getting them to the final.
Mexico dominated possession form the opening whistle – with 76% of it in the first half – but Haitian goalkeeper Jhony Placide was in fine form to keep El Tri off the board. His best save of the half came against Raúl Jiménez, when he made a diving stop to keep out the header.
The 2019 Gold Cup continues this Tuesday with the first semifinal, where Mexico will be facing an unexpected opponent: Haiti.
Haiti made history on Saturday night with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Canada in the quarterfinals, putting them into the semifinals for the first time. They’ll be looking for another huge upset in this one as they set their sights on reaching the final.
It went all the way to penalties, but in the end Mexico won their 2019 Gold Cup quarterfinal against Costa Rica, beating the Ticos 5-4 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation.
The game started off fairly evenly, with neither team able to dominate. There were scattered chances at both ends, but few clear-cut opportunities, with the rhythm of the game frequently interrupted by fouls: a total of 12 yellow cards were issued during the game, 10 to players and one to each coach.
The knockout rounds of the 2019 Gold Cup begin this weekend with the quarterfinals. Mexico won Group A with a perfect 3-0-0 record and will now take on Costa Rica, the Group B runner-up, on Saturday night in Houston.
Costa Rica opened their Gold Cup with a pair of victories against Nicaragua and Bermuda before suffering a surprise loss to Haiti in the final Group B game, while Mexico beat Cuba, Canada, and Martinique in Group A play.
Mexico and Costa Rica last met in the quarterfinals in the 2015 Gold Cup, where El Tri advanced in extremely controversial circumstances after being awarded a penalty kick in the final minute of stoppage time in the second half of extra time; Andrés Guardado scored the PK to eliminate Costa Rica.
It was more of a fight than Mexico was likely expecting, but in the end El Tri picked up a 3-2 victory over Martinique to win Group A with a perfect 3-0-0 record.
With advancement all-but-assured, Tata Martino made six changes to the starting XI that beat Canada on Wednesday; nevertheless, Mexico controlled possession for most of the game. In the 29th minute, Uriel Antuna continued his breakout performance as he cut in to the top of the box and sent a low shot into the corner to make it 1-0 for El Tri with his fourth goal of the tournament.
Mexico wraps up the group stage of the Gold Cup with a match against Martinique. El Tri is currently sitting in first place in Group A with six points after victories against Canada and Cuba, and they’ll look to post a third straight win here.
Martinique has a chance to advance if they can get a positive result here, depending on the result of the Canada/Cuba clash, but getting even a draw will be a tough task against one of the tournament favorites.
Mexico kept their momentum going with a 3-1 victory against Canada in their second game of the 2019 Gold Cup. The win means – failing some highly unlikely scenarios in the final pair of Group A games – that Mexico will advance to the quarterfinals.
Canada proved much more of a test for Mexico than Cuba had, and the Canadians stymied El Tri for long stretches – with frustrations on the sidelines leading to a brief shouting match between coaches Tata Martino and John Herdman.
Mexico easily won their Gold Cup opener against Cuba, picking up a 7-0 victory, and now face the team in Group A most likely to give them some competition: Canada. The Canadians won their opener with ease as well, beating Martinique 4-0.
This game is expected to decide the group winner, and Mexico is still the favorites. These two have faced off four times in the Gold Cup, with Mexico picking up three wins and outscoring Canada 14-3. Canada did beat them in 2000, though, with a 2-1 quarterfinal victory in the tournament they went on to win.
They’ll be looking to repeat that feat here, but El Tri’s attack has been prolific of late and may prove too much for Canada’s defense to handle.
Mexico made short work of Cuba in their 2019 Gold Cup opener as they scored early and often to pick up a 7-0 victory.
Mexico are one of the favorites to win the tournament, and no one expected Cuba to put up much resistance – and they didn’t. Uriel Antuna, a last-minute addition to the team in place of the injured Jorge Sánchez, finished off a rebound off the post in just the second minute to put Mexico up 1-0 with his first goal for the senior national team.
The 2019 Gold Cup gets underway this Saturday, with Group A kicking off the tournament with a doubleheader at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The opener is Canada vs Martinique, but Mexico gets underway right after that as they face Cuba.
Mexico is one of the favorites to win the tournament, and Cuba is not expected to provide much resistance. El Tri has won all four of their games this year, all friendlies, as they took down Chile 3-1 and Paraguay 4-2 back in March, and then downed Venezuela 3-1 and Ecuador 3-2 this month in Gold Cup warm-up games.