Jamaica hunkered down and played Mexico, the Group C favorites, to a scoreless draw in the Gold Cup Thursday night in Denver. The result gave each team a point in the standings, with both at four through two games to lead the group.
Erick "Cubo" Torres of the Houston Dynamo, making the start as Mexico's lone striker, had a header hit the post in the 23rd minute. Mexico were on the attack more often throughout, while Jamaica appeared to be playing back and waiting for counter opportunities, few of which materialized.
Torres had to leave the field momentarily in the 27th minute after a hard challenge from Jamaica's Damion Lowe, which resulted in a cut hand for Torres.
- CONCACAF Man of the Match: Hedgardo Marin, Mexico
- MILE HIGH MUCKING: Jamaica have speed, athleticism and proven MLS scorers that could have had opened the game up for goals. Yet they chose to bunker in and try to limit Mexico as best they could with the hope making something happen on offense if the opportunity presented itself. The plan worked, and Jamaica took a point from the match and gave themselves a chance to win Group C on Sunday.
- SLUGGISH SECOND HALF: Mexico had at least a couple of very good scoring chances in the first half, but did not appear to have the same energy in the second half when they really needed a goal. It had the largely pro-Mexico crowd in fits, and El Tri didn't seem to have much urgency to score even as the final minutes ticked off the clock.
- UP FOR GRABS: Mexico and Jamaica are tied with four points and a plus-2 goal differential, but El Tri have scored three goals to the Reggae Boyz' two overall. Advantage Mexico, if only a slim one, if both teams hold serve and pick up three points each in the group finales on Sunday. Mexico play winless Curacao, while Jamaica figure to have a tougher test against El Salvador, which also have a shot at either winning the group or moving into second place.
Mexico (4-2-3-1, left to right): #23 Moises Munoz – #18 Jesus Gallardo, #14 Hedgardo Marin, #4 Hugo Ayala, #6 Edson Alvarez – #5 Jesus Molina, #20 Jesus Duenas (#10 Martin Barragan, '67) – #15 Rodolfo Pizarro (#13 Cesar Montes, 46'), #7 Orbelin Pineda, #11 Elias Hernandez (#8 Erick Gutierrez, 76') – #9 Erick Torres.
Jamaica (4-4-2, left to right): #1 Andre Blake – #20 Kemar Lawrence, #21 Jermaine Taylor, #3 Damion Lowe, #5 Alvas Powell – #12 Michael Binns (#9 Ewan Grandison, '75), #15 Je-Vaughn Watson, #17 Kevon Lambert, #8 Oniel Fisher – #11 Cory Burke (#18 Owayne Gordon, 88'), #10 Darren Mattocks (#16 Jermaine Johnson 90 + 4').
- MEX: Sunday, July 16 – vs. Curacao (8:30 pm ET | FS1 & Univision; TSN GO)
- JAM: Sunday, July 16 – vs. El Salvador (5 pm ET | FS2 & Univision Deportes; TSN GO)