Mexico has guaranteed their place in the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup with one game remaining, following a 3-1 victory over Haiti in Glendale, Arizona.
All three goals were scored in the second half. Mexico currently tops Group B with six points from two matches, while Haiti trails behind with three points.
Both Qatar and Honduras earned one point each in their match on Thursday, as they drew 1-1. Honduras managed to score a last-minute equalizer.
Mexico had control of the first half of the game, but they couldn’t score against Haiti’s goalkeeper Alexandre Pierre. In the fourth minute, Pierre made a mistake and dropped a low cross, but Edson Alvarez hit the post instead of scoring.
Haiti had a chance to score when they launched a counter-attack from the right side, but Carlens Arcus missed the target and hit the side-netting. Mexico had another opportunity before halftime when a defensive error left Henry Martin unmarked, but his shot was weak and straight at Pierre.
However, whatever Mexico’s interim coach Jaime Lozano said during halftime had an immediate impact, as Henry Martin scored just 41 seconds into the second half.
A goal scored by Ricardo Ade, unintentionally putting the ball into his own net, increased the lead to 2-0.
However, Haiti remained determined and managed to score a header in the 78th minute, giving themselves a chance to come back. As Haiti pushed forward, Mexico took advantage of the open space and sealed the game with a goal from Santiago Gimenez, who converted a low cross from Uriel Antuna.
In another match, Qatar’s guest team took the lead against Honduras in the eighth minute, thanks to a header from Tameem Mansour off a great cross from Mostafa Meshaal. Despite Honduras struggling to create clear chances, Jose Pinto came close to scoring in the 87th minute, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Meshaal Barsham.
However, in the last minute of added time, Pinto sent a long ball into the penalty area which was headed down by Rubilio Castillo. Alberth Elis then skillfully scored the equalizing goal.
On Friday, the Group C matches in Houston will feature Martinique against Panama and Guatemala against Canada.