Gold Cup 2013 Results: Scores and Highlights from Day 1

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2013

It took 93 minutes, but the 2013 Gold Cup came to life after Martinique scored a late winner to down Canada in the first match of the tournament.

The upset was just a sign of things to come on Sunday. Few could have predicted exactly how the day's matches would unfold.

Although the Gold Cup is not the most prestigious of tournaments, it's a great opportunity for a different group of players to establish themselves as their national teams gear up for the most important matches: World Cup qualification.

Here's a quick recap for each of Sunday's two group stage matches.

Martinique 1, Canada 0

The first half of this match went by pretty quickly. Neither team was able to get much of a foothold and control the match for long stretches.

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If anything, Martinique were the stronger side. They tested Milan Borjan on a few occasions, and the keeper nearly made a mess of clearing some shots out of the box.

Canada only have an interim head coach and looked a side completely devoid of organization in the first half. They couldn't string any attacks together, their passing was poor in midfield and defensively, they had problems clearing out the danger.

It takes a lot to make Martinique look like a strong football team, but that's exactly what Canada did.

Gregory Arnolin should have put Martinique up in the 42nd, but he sent his shot high of the goal. Of the three or four chances Martinique had to score in the first half, that was the best.

The official blew the whistle after the first 45, thus ending what was some very dull football. French Football Weekly's Andrew Gibney was not enthralled with the first half.

Football writer Jeff Bradley had some suggestions for how Canada could turn the match around.

The second half was largely more of the same.

Kevin Parsemain almost scored the first goal of the match in the 48th minute, but his header was saved by Borjan. Parsemain had a couple more efforts shortly thereafter, none of which found the back of the net.

Marcus Haber unleashed what was Canada's best chance to score in the 64th minute. His shot was saved by Kevin Olimpa.

American football expert Jason Davis struggled to find anything complimentary to say.

Just when you thought the match was going to end a scoreless draw, Martinique pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the 93rd minute. In this case, the rabbit was a vicious left-footed shot into the top right corner from Fabrice Reuperne. It was a terrible job of clearing the ball out by Canada, and the ball fell right to Reuperne.

It was a fantastic finish and more than made up for what had been a very poor match to that point.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about the match was how bad Canada were. According to the Counter Attack's Richard Whittall, this is a performance long coming for the Canadians.

This is a great result for Martinique. Any points they can get are good points. With Panama and Mexico looming ahead, nabbing a win against Canada is a strong start. They were the stronger side and fully deserved the points.

Panama 2, Mexico 1

Mexico came into this match hoping to look much better on the pitch. Jose Manuel de la Torre's footing as manager continues to be less and less steady. El Tri have looked very disjointed on the pitch and not made the most of the attacking talent they've got up top.

The Gold Cup is a chance for de la Torre to see some fresh blood on the pitch and hopefully find some players who can help stem the tide.

He couldn't have been feeling very good after the sixth minute. Alberto Quintero was brought down in the box by Raul Jimenez. It was a clear foul, as Jimenez clipped Quintero as he was running on goal. It wasn't the hardest foul you'll ever see, but FOX Soccer's Kyle McCarthy put it very well.

Gabriel Torres promptly stepped up and slotted the penalty into the bottom left corner.

Panama used the goal advantage to assert themselves in the first half. Much like Mexico's previous matches, El Tri failed to gain any traction during the match. They couldn't string a series of passes together, nor could they get anything going in the final third.

McCarthy was less than impressed with Mexico, even though de la Torre did have his players operating a little differently.

It was Panama who had the lion's share of chances, noted's Zac Lee Rigg.

One play made you realize just how dangerous Mexico can be, though, as Marco Fabian leveled the score two minutes into injury time in the first half.

Fabian did a great job of timing his run and staying onside as he chested down a ball over the top of the defense from Israel Jimenez. Fabian brought it down quickly and finished with his right foot before Jaime Penedo could react.

FOX Soccer tweeted out a replay of the goal.

Mexican football expert Tom Marshall gave a lot of credit to Jimenez for the assist.

It was a nice goal for Mexico and completely undid everything they had done badly in the first half. Goal's Eric Gomez correctly points out that Panama should have built themselves a multi-goal advantage.

Mexico being Mexico, they wasted little time erasing all of their progress.

Three minutes into the second half, Panama went ahead, 2-1, courtesy of Torres. Quintero sent in a cross from the left that Torres flicked in with his right from close range. It was shocking marking from Mexico, as Torres ran into the box and got a foot to the cross without any El Tri defender getting in his way. Give credit to Torres, though, for making the run and finishing it off.

FOX Soccer tweeted out a highlight of the goal.

After the goal, Mexico fell right back into their shell. They didn't take any major risks and allowed Panama to take control of the match and kill it off late.

This was an historic victory for Panama, per Marshall.

The future for de la Torre is very much in doubt now, and Marshall feels that there have been plenty of El Tri managers who wouldn't have survived as long as "Chepo."

Beyond the Pitch thinks the axe may be coming very soon.

McCarthy reported that de la Torre had to deal with the fans throwing things at him at the end of the match.

With this result, Group A is definitely up for grabs. Martinique and Panama hold the advantage, but either could easily be knocked off by the time the group finishes up.

Mexico remain just as big a mess as they were coming in. Something needs to be done, and even though it's only a year out before the World Cup, it may be time to find a new manager.