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Goal-Filled Wins Propel Costa Rica, Canada and Guatemala Into Gold Cup Quarter-Finals

Canada and Guatemala moved into the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup with goal-filled wins in group D on Tuesday, causing agony for Guadeloupe who crashed out. 

There were a total of 25 goals in the last four games of the group stage and while Canada took care of business with a 4-2 win over Cuba in Houston, the drama was in New Jersey where Guatemala came from 2-1 down to beat Guadeloupe 3-2 with two goals in the last 20 minutes.

Panama, already qualified after two wins, topped group C with seven points after a 2-2 draw with El Salvador, while Costa Rica joined them in the last eight after beating Martinique 6-4, after leading 5-1.

The results mean that Canada will face the United States in the quarters while Guatemala will play Jamaica — with both games to take place on Sunday in Cincinnati. On Saturday in Dallas, Mexico take on Costa Rica while Panama are up against guest team Qatar.

Guadeloupe, who have played some of the most entertaining football of the tournament, were top of the group with 20 minutes to go and would have still qualified with a draw if Matthias Phaeton had not had his 88th minute penalty saved.

Red Bull Arena was packed with loud and passionate Guatemala fans, but their hearts sank when Andreaw Gravillon headed Guadeloupe into a 27th minute lead.

Guatemala fought back though, drawing level 12 minutes later with a superb glancing header from striker Rubio Rubin. Then came a bizarre incident where Jordan Leborgne scored for Guadeloupe, but the effort was ruled out for handball.

The VAR review of the incident, however, spotted handling by a defender in the same move and a penalty was awarded. After a fan delayed the spot kick by running on the field, Ange-Freddy Plumain kept his composure to convert and make it 2-1 for the Caribbean side.

Plumain celebrated his goal in front of the Guatemala fans, resulting in a shower of debris being thrown onto the field. But the anger of the Central Americans soon turned to hope when Rubio leveled in the 70th minute, tapping in a low cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing after a defense-splitting pass from Pedro Altan.

The winner came in the 75th minute when a poor clearance was pounced on by Carlos Mejia on the edge of the box and he twisted and turned to create space before unleashing a superb drive.

That goal saw Guadeloupe sink from first to third in the group, but then a handball by Marlon Sequen handed a lifeline. However, Phaeton’s penalty was saved by Nicholas Hagen, securing a place in the last eight for Guatemala.

Canada advance

Having drawn their opening two games, Canada needed a win against already-eliminated Cuba and they did so with little trouble.

A 21st minute penalty from Junior Hoilett put John Herdman’s team on their way and Jonathan Osorio doubled the lead five minutes later, tapping in a low cross to the back post from Lucas Cavallini.

Cuba pulled a goal back with a Luis Paradela penalty just before the break, but straight after the interval Jayden Nelson restored Canada’s two goal advantage tapping in after a fumble from Cuba keeper Sandy Sanchez.

Liam Millar made it 4-1 in the 61st, and although Maikel Reyes scored another penalty for Cuba in the 89th minute it was just a consolation.

Costa Rica went into Tuesday’s game with Martinique bottom of the group, but they soon set about making sure of progress from the group.

After a goalmouth scramble, Kendall Waston, lying on the ground, managed to head the ball into the net to give the Ticos a ninth minute lead. Martinique leveled nine minutes later with a wonderful, curling shot from Patrick Burner, but he was then to concede an own goal in another goalmouth scramble.

But Juan Pablo Vargas was left free to head in a Joel Campbell corner and then a Campbell penalty and Anthony Contreras strike made it 5-1. Although Martinique rallied, with Burner adding a second, the final scoreline of 6-4 flattered them and Costa Rica were never truly in danger.

El Salvador needed a win and for results to go their way and they started off well with Brayan Gil scoring in the fourth minute. But goals from Panama’s Fidel Escobar and Ismael Diaz — along with Costa Rica’s triumph — killed off any hope.

Mayer Gil’s stoppage time leveler was some reward for El Salvador who finished bottom with two points.

Source : Ticotimes