Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup - Night Three: Guadeloupe Falls Short

Group C finally saw action in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday night in Detroit where Panama faced Guadeloupe and Canada took on its neighbor to the south, the United States.

In the night's first match, Panama dominated early with Blas Pérez picking up a goal in the 28th minute and Luis Tejada picking up a goal in the 31st minute. While Panama did not score again in the first half, they got another boost in the 37th minute when Guadeloupe's Mickael Tacalfred picked up a red card. Panama had to be feeling good about its situation at halftime, but it was a Gabriel Gómez goal in the 56th minute that proved to be the game winner for Panama. Despite being down a man, Guadeloupe managed to battle back picking up two goals thanks to Brice Jovial who scored in the 64th minute and again in the 78th minute.

By the time the second match of the evening started, there were just over 28,000 on hand at Ford Field to see Canada take on the United States. Despite the fact that the Canadian team has been improving in quality over the past few years, they were unable to make any kind of statement against the United States, losing 2-0. The United States' first goal came in the 15th minute from Jozy Altidore, who put the ball into goal off of a rough angle. Clint Dempsey got the insurance goal, off of another tough angle, for the United States in the 61st minute. US keeper Tim Howard kept a clean sheet, but he was only challenged with three shots on goal by Canada. While the United States' recent 4-0 loss to Spain in a friendly on Saturday gave many US soccer fans a scare, it's not surprising that the US's performance against Canada was unaffected by the recent loss, after all, the US went into the Spain match just looking to keep all its players healthy for the Gold Cup, a goal that it accomplished.

Now that all three groups have seen action in this year's Gold Cup, it appears that Group C might be the most competitive group, making the US's victory all that more important as it looks to make it to the final in Pasadena.

Today is a rest day in the tournament with action resuming on Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina as Costa Rica faces El Salvador and Cuba will attempt to avoid giving up double digit goals to Mexico.

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