Gold Cup: Panama goes top of Group A; Mexico records first win

MarcoFabianCelebrating1-MexicoCanadaGoldCup (Imago7)

By DAN KARELL

For at least the next few days, soccer fans in Mexico can relax.

After falling to Panama in their opening Gold Cup match, the Mexican National Team righted the ship against a weakened Canada side, taking a controversial 2-0 victory at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. In the first game of the Thursday double-header, Panama went top of Group A with a 1-0 triumph over Martinique, qualifying for a place in the knockout stage in the process.

Instead of giving up an early goal like in the match against Panama, Mexico’s defending held firm, and goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco stepped up to make a timely save on Canada’s Marcus Haber in the 29th minute.

Three minutes before halftime, Mexico found the back of the net, as forward Raul Jimenez, the only player who was on the Confederations Cup and World Cup qualifying squads from last month, scored from the edge of the six-yard box to give Mexico the lead.

In the 57th minute, referee Joel Aguilar was forced to make a controversial decision.

Mexico’s Marco Fabian ran onto a through ball in the box, taking slight contact from Canada defender David Edgar and going down in the area, earning his side a penalty kick. The Canadian’s argued profusely that the contact was minimal with Aguilar, but to no avail, as Fabian soon slotted home his nation’s second goal, a scoreline that would stand until the final whistle.

Canada had one late chance that could have drawn them one goal back, as Marcel De Jong’s free kick pinged off the upright in the 89th minute.

Gabriel Torres played the hero for Panama for the second consecutive match, scoring the game’s only goal in a 1-0 victory over Martinique.

While the Panamanian’s were clearly the better side, Martinique goalkeeper Emmanuel Vermignon kept his nation in the game, stoning Torres on a couple of occasions. The Caribbean island’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in the 73rd minute, when Jacky Berdix was shown a second yellow card and subsequent red card.

Panama took control of the match in the 85th minute as Martinique’s Sebastien Cretinoir took down Canaleros midfielder Jairo Jimenez in the box with a clumsy challenge. Torres stepped up to the spot and barely scored his penalty kick past the dive of Vermignon to earn the three points.

——-

What did you think of Thursday’s Group A matches? Do you believe Mexico has righted their ship? Do you see Panama making a deep run in the tournament?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, International Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Gold Cup: Panama goes top of Group A; Mexico records first win

  1. Neruda says:

    Canadians can’t muster much lately. It would be better for North American soccer if they became more competitive.

    • beto says:

      everyone has been saying it for years now… tfc, montreal and vwfc all get great support and seem to have the academy infrastructure around but the national team is still incredibly underwhelming through the youth and senior levels.. idk what do think about them.

      • Jubez says:

        With the new coach coming in there i soome hope the team won’t lse some of its bettr prospects toother nations. Too often a very good young Canadian chooses to play for another country rather than play for the unde-funded Canadian National team. The future looks brihter, but may not mateialize for 5-10 years or more..

    • Rector & Carlisle says:

      Sheesh…never thought they would bounce out at the bottom of the group with NO points but this looks like an inevitability.

      Hope they enjoy the rest of the tournament watching from the chesterfield.

      • alf says:

        It wasn’t PK. I’m a referee and it was a terrible decision.

        • WK says:

          that dive by the mexican player was shameful. Canada had some good spells and a couple of nice chances, but once the ref was fooed there was no way back. just disgraceful.

          • TomG says:

            Yes, absurd decision by ref. Fabiano should have been carded for diving. Disgusting waffling by Fox Soccer announcers. They’re nothing short of awful. Canada has some good young players. They are clearly rebuilding and were also lacking Will Johnson. I thought Bekker looked really good.

            • Rob Jones says:

              And a Canada’s David Edgar should’ve gotten a red card for his kick on Mexico’s Raul Jimenez. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  2. Wess says:

    I really wouldn’t be surprised if Mexico drew with Martinique.

  3. beto says:

    as for mexico; they looked better (good enough to win over canada) but i wouldn’t be too proud of that win. Fabian’s dive was one of the worst calls i have ever seen.. worst (or best part) of this is that Chepo might have been given a lifeline especially if they roll over Martinique and win a QF game.. might not fire him then although he looks and talks like a dead man walking.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I’d be surprised if he would get fired based on this tournament – this is hardly the best Mexican squad available. I mean they should obviously beat Martinque et al pretty easily but after that who knows.

      • Thebumswillalwayslose says:

        I know it’s crazy to pin a guy’s job on one game, but I really think it depends on Sunday’s result. If they can get through to the quarterfinal round (which they do with a win or draw) I think Chepo probably gets thrown a lifeline until the next set of WC qualifiers. However, if Martinique pulls off a W and El Tri gets bounced out in the group stage, Chepo is gone. B team, C team, D team, I don’t think it’ll really matter to the Mexican fans and media and there will be massive amounts of pressure on the Mexican federation to get rid of him. Either way Sunday’s game, which I doubt anyone had circled on their calender as a must watch heading into the tournament, is now a hell of a lot more interesting.

      • Thebumswillalwayslose says:

        Edit: sorry if this double posts, the other one is in moderation.

        I know it’s crazy to pin a guy’s job on one game, but I really think it depends on Sunday’s results. If they can get through to the quarterfinal round (which they do with a win or draw, or even a loss since two of the third place teams go through) I think Chepo probably gets thrown a lifeline until the next set of WC qualifiers. However, if Martinique pulls off a W, a few other things happen and El Tri gets bounced out in the group stage, Chepo is gone.

        B team, C team, D team, I don’t think it’ll really matter to the Mexican fans and media if they go out in the group stage. There will be m@ssive amounts of pressure on the Mexican federation to get rid of him. Either way, Sunday’s game, which I doubt anyone had circled on their calender as a must watch heading into the tournament, is now a hell of a lot more interesting.

    • jim in Atlanta says:

      Mexicans diving? No way!

      • Rob Jones says:

        Clint Dempsey diving? Jozy Altidore? No way…

        • Neruda says:

          Lets not confuse going down softly after muscling and contact with diving. MLS teams have seen this same tactic in ccl against Mexican clubs. The proverbial shotgun blast dive.

          • Rob Jones says:

            Dempsey and Altidore have made blatant dives before, enough with the hypocrisy.

            • Dw says:

              The Mexican side dives when they get touched. No hypocrisy there. It’s as if they take acting/drama classes on their off days

              • Rob Jones says:

                So do a couple of Americans. There is in fact hypocrisy. I know a lot of people here are just plain Anti-El Tri but you need to open your eyes.

  4. SanFran415 says:

    Hard to say they righted anything when it took an awful dive to secure a win against one of the worst national teams in the world.

    • TomG says:

      +1. Ridiculous dive and call. Canada was an inch away from a goal on a few occasions. They actually looked pretty good, especially given the missing players.

    • Rob Jones says:

      What are you talking about? The first goal secured the win, the second goal was just extra. You should realize it ended 2-0, not 2-1.

      • Francois says:

        Looks like we have a Mexico-homer on our hands boys. Nobody can defend that dive by Fabian, unless they are a blind supporter of Mexico. Tons of players go down easily, but going down with pretty much no contact after taking a step and heavy first touch is despicable.

        • Rob Jones says:

          Uh oh here comes the mob of blind haters that foam at the mouth over the smallest defense of Mexico. Homer? Hahahahaha, spare me. Nobody can defend the dive Dempsey did when he received a yellow card, and Altidore’s dive in the World Cup. If you’re going to call out Marco Fabian you better call out Dempsey and Altidore, and anyone who has ever dived as well.

          • Francois says:

            I thought it was Dempsey and Donovan before? Now all of a sudden Jozy is a diver too? Give me a break. Dempsey and Altidore don’t dive. Do they go down easily on occasion? Of course, but they don’t dive like they’re jumping into a pool. Even if they did dive, how does that abate Marco Fabian’s dive? It’s not even relevant. Watch the Marco Fabian penalty again. He takes a heavy touch, takes one step, realizes he isn’t going to reach it, then falls as if he has been shot.

            • Rob Jones says:

              I never said anything about Donovan, only Dempsey and Altidore, get your eyes checked. Yes they do dive just do a little searching on the internet and you’ll find it. But it is clear as day you have your head buried in the sand. It is relevant since you should stop acting so high and mighty when AMERICAN players have also done this, and stop crucifying the Mexican player. Jesus, some people…

  5. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Another sad night.

  6. bring NASL to el paso tx says:

    Damn, thats was like 25000 mexican supporters in the northwest, in seattle. I didnt know the mexican population was that big in seattle, or maybe combining oregons and seattles and even vancouver.
    So if usa and mexico play at century link, it would probably be 50 snd 50. Then if you add the rich mexicans, who live in america, that would mame the trip.
    I think forr USA games in america,gulati neeeds to figure out something, so USA can have home advantage bcus mexican, salvadoran and honduras fans are everywhere, especially mexican supporters.
    Why not create or, make weird rules for ticket buyers and make abetter usa home advantage.
    Another thing, why dont MLS teams get like a fancy mexican dp, in order to attract mexican soccer fans but i repeat fancy dps, like cuatechmoc style bcus mexicans are soccer picky. Then you can have more ticket sales and create a bigger fan base.

    • spicoli says:

      Seattle is great for pro-USA crowds, but it would be a disaster if we put a USA-MEX WCQ there. Some of the suburbs in Portland and Seattle have very large Mexican and Mex-American communities, and they wouldn’t complain about ticket prices or the game being during the week.

      • ben says:

        56000 watched mexico vs china in a friendly a few years back. No way to having a qualifier against mexico up here.

      • byob el paso tx says:

        wow, i thought seattle and oregon would have a small population of mexicans or mexican- american.
        According to my latino politic facts, mexicans are assimilating at a faster rate, than before and are actually relocating or staying put in states, where no one thinks they are.
        For example, georgia, alabama, north and south carolina are the leaders in the latino growing population, besides the typical states.
        Curious question, what kind of jobs do they do in the northwest?
        But one thing for sure, MLS needs to attract the mexican wave, in order to gain more of their fans. Its not like they have LigaMX pass on their directtv or dish.
        Thats one of the reasons MLS should rebrand, to a more diverse name, sine USA has all kind of fans in the stands, from jamaican to russian.
        By the way, LigaMX how wants to be like MLS, already got a sponsor name for their league. Liga Bancomer MX………. and remember they want to host world cup 2022. USA and MLS better start planning now.

    • Joamiq says:

      Uh, you realize the US has been playing all of its home qualifiers against Mexico in Columbus for that very reason, right?

  7. Boyd says:

    Didn’t I see Landycakes take a major dive last game?

  8. Dennis says:

    Prediction Mexico 0 – Martinique 1
    Think it couldn’t happen?

  9. arnold devries says:

    CONCACAF Needs to treat this tourney seriously. It’s folly to have it in the midst of WC Qualifying. It results in less than the best teams being made available.

    As for Canada they sent their C team looking ahead to the next WC qualifying. Left DeRo and Bernier at home. Johnson and Teibert are sick and home.

    • ... says:

      Canada got bounced out of WCQ before the Hex. Are you telling me they brought this team because they’re already looking ahead to the start of qualifying in 2016? And if that’s the case, then when exactly do you think the Gold Cup should be held?

    • whoop-whoop says:

      CONCACAF has done pretty much all they could by adding the incentive of tying each year to Confederations Cup qualification. There really is no magic solution as WORLD CUP trumps all… as it should Any team still qualifying would be foolish to not prioritize that.

      Personally, I’m enjoying this years Gold Cup…
      Years when qualifying isn’t going on, it is a good way to see the best sides in the region go at it. Years leading into WC, it is a great tool to fine tune the back side of the roster, test up and comers/fringe players……… and for me to watch more games.

  10. Eric says:

    Olimpo played in goal for Martinique. Not Vermignon.