2019 Concacaf Gold Cup — Group Stage
Cuba vs. Martinique
Broncos Stadium at Mile High — Denver
June 19 — 8:00 PM ET
TV: FS1, UDN, TSN4
STREAMING: FOX Sports GO
Cuba and Martinique meet for the first time in the Concacaf Gold Cup, with both needing a victory to keep hopes alive of advancing to the knockout round when they square off in the first game of Matchday 2 in Group A Wednesday night in Denver.
Both teams are coming off lopsided defeats at the Rose Bowl last Saturday, with Martinique leading Cuba on goal difference behind Mexico and Canada. Martinique have the slight edge in all-time meetings with three wins, two defeats and two draws. Their last encounter came in the Caribbean Cup, a 0-0 draw in 2016.
Cuba will look to bounce back from a 7-0 drubbing by Mexico, which flexed its muscles and led 4-0 at halftime.
It wasn't a surprise for Cuban coach Raul Mederos, who expects his team to be have more of the ball and be more dynamic in attack against Martinique.
"Four goals in the first half affected us and we saw ourselves as inferior to Mexico and it was tough to attack," he said after the match. "We had one, two chances. The players left tired. It is tough to endure the whole match playing at the pace at which it was played. Mexico had many chances. Against Martinique and Canada we will have a new way of playing."
UPDATE: Mederos on Tuesday appeared to confirm multiple media reports that defender and team captain Yasmany Lopez has defected, the latest in a long history of Cuban players leaving their camp during the Gold Cup to seek asylum in the United States, and a costly loss for the team:
Cuba coach Raul Mederos confirms defender Yasmany Lopez is no longer with the group after leaving Saturday. pic.twitter.com/kZOYeZ1pja— Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) June 18, 2019
Martinique also suffered a humbling defeat, falling to Canada, 4-0, in the opening match of the Gold Cup last Saturday at the Rose Bowl. A positive, but scoreless opening half hour saw Martinique concede the first of back-to-back goals by Jonathan David. Junior Hoilett and Scott Arfield followed with goals four minutes apart midway through the second half to secure Canada's comfortable win.
“Before this game I expected a lot, but now after this game we must set new objectives,” Martinique coach Mario Bocaly said after the match. "We have to play the next two games with a lot of strength. In the next game versus Cuba, we have to have a strong reaction."
- This is the first all-time meeting between Cuba and Martinique in the Concacaf Gold Cup
- To be announced