Andres Guardado came off the bench and struck for a second-half brace to help lift Mexico to a 3-1 win over Canada in an anticipated Group A clash at Broncos Stadium at Mile High Wednesday night.
El Tri became the first team to book a spot in the Gold Cup quarterfinals with the win. While Canada still have more work to do on the final matchday to reach the knockout stage, they weren’t embarrassed against the class of the region.
Mexico capitalized on a defensive gaffe to take the lead five minutes from halftime. Montreal Impact defender Zachary Brault-Guillard flubbed a cross that fell to Raul Jimenez, who put his volley on target. Milan Borjan made the save, but parried into the path of Roberto Alvarado, who hammered home the rebound.
Alphonso Davies was inches from the equalizer in the 53rd minute when the former Vancouver Whitecaps standout cut to the outside of two El Tri defenders and put his low attempt toward the far post just wide.
The miss proved massive when Mexico’s high press forced a turnover that Guardado turned into the second goal with a stunning shot from distance one minute later.
Canada pulled a goal back in the 75th minute when Jonathan David stripped Nestor Araujo, raced into the box, pumped the brakes and slipped to Lucas Cavallini, who slipped his shot under Guillermo Ochoa.
Guardado responded just two minutes later with his second, putting his shot that deflected off Davies in off the far post.
- 40’ — MEX — Roberto Alvarado | WATCH
- 54’ — MEX — Andres Guardado | WATCH
- 75’ — CAN — Lucas Cavallini | WATCH
- 77’— MEX — Andres Guardado | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: In a match that served as a measuring stick, Canada proved they belong in the conversation among Concacaf’s elite. That’s just where Mexico is, which celebrated its 50th all-time Gold Cup win, no matter who is on the field. If this was Round 1 in this Gold Cup, we’re looking forward to Round 2.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It’s more like moments, but they came one minute apart. What if Davies made it 1-1 before Guardado made it 2-0?
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Guardado came off the bench when Erick Gutierrez was stretchered off with an apparent hamstring injury and El Tri’s leading scorer in the Gold Cup showed his class with a pair of goals.
- CAN: Sunday, June 23 vs. Cuba (6 pm ET | FS2, Univision, UDN, TSN 1/3, FOX Sports GO)
- MEX: Sunday, June 23 vs. Martinique (8:30 pm ET | FS1, Univision, UDN, TSN 1/3, FOX Sports GO)