Mexico captured its seventh CONCACAF Gold Cup title on Sunday, defeating Jamaica 3-1 in the final. The outcome set up a playoff between Mexico and the United States, the 2013 Gold Cup champion, on Oct. 9 for the right to represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup, a tune-up for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. .
This victory also silenced some critics following Mexico’s opening round Group C match at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mexico faced Guatemala in the second match of a doubleheader. With the game being held in Arizona, it was essentially a home game for Mexico, with a pro-Mexican crowd of 62,910 filling the Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. .
As fans gathered prior to the start time for the second match, it was obvious who they were in support of. There was high energy, Mexican banners adorned the stadium, and fans were displaying the country’s colors on their faces and apparel. .
The excitement and enthusiasm that rocked the house at the start of the match gradually subsided because despite having several opportunities to score, the heavily favored Mexican team staggered to a disappointing 0-0 draw. .
In the opening match, Trinidad & Tobago looked to take advantage of a depleted Cuban side as several Cuban players were no shows to the facility on Sunday. The Cuban was hoping to rebound after a lackluster start to its Gold Cup challenge. Assistant boss Walter Benitez hoped the arrival of head coach Raul Gonzalez Triana and a host of missing players would help Cuba move on from a miserable opening match. .
Coach Triana and six players were left stranded in Antigua due to “logistical problems”, with reports circulating that the group had experienced visa problems. By contrast, Trinidad and Tobago began their campaign in positive fashion, defeating Guatemala 3-1 thanks to goals from Sheldon Bateau, Cordell Cato and Joevin Jones. .
T&T would seize the opportunity to pounce on the depleted Cuban squad and handed them a 2-0 defeat. .