Raul Jimenez, Mexico Beat Martinique to Win Group A in 2019 Gold Cup

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2019

Uriel Antuna
Uriel AntunaMatthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Mexico took care of business in its final match of group play at the 2019 Gold Cup with a 3-2 victory over Martinique at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday.

El Tri entered the match unbeaten in pool play, having already recorded a 7-0 victory over Cuba and a 3-1 victory over Canada. With Canada's 7-0 defeat of Cuba earlier in the day, Mexico entered its match against Martinique with the ability to clinch Group A with either a win or a draw.

Below is a look at the latest Gold Cup action.


Group A Standings

Mexico 3-0-0, 9 pts, +10 goal differential

Canada 2-0-1, 6 pts, +9 goal differential

Martinique 1-0-2, 3 pts, -2 goal differential

Cuba 0-0-3, 0 pts, -17 goal differential


Mexico got the points it needed to win Group A, but Martinique proved to be a formidable foe as it provided a tough test.

El Tri controlled play for much of the night, though it wasn't until the 29th minute that they were able to get on the board. Uriel Antuna opened the scoring by putting a shot through a defender's legs and sneaking it past Martinique keeper Loic Chauvet on the near post:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

ANTUNA! 🔥 The @LAGalaxy forward scores his 4th goal of #GoldCup2019 and puts Mexico on 🔝 https://t.co/8uUf7VfDwj

It marked Antuna's fourth goal of the tournament. He previously notched a hat trick in his team's Gold Cup opener against Cuba on June 15 after being named to the roster as an injury replacement the day before the team opened tournament play.

Raul Jimenez nearly pushed the lead to two in the 44th minute, but Chauvet came up with a spectacular save to keep it a one-goal game heading into the break.

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

What a save by Chauvet!!! He gets a hand to Raul Jimenez's long-range shot and does just enough to keep it out of the back of the net. #GoldCup2019 https://t.co/nGahWy64t8

That save would loom large, as Martinique refused to go away quietly. Kevin Parsemain evened the score for Martinique with a sensational free kick from just beyond the box in the 56th minute:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

OH MY 😱 What a free kick by Kévin Parsemain 🚀🚀🚀 #GoldCup2019 https://t.co/jCxpJ2Ewql

But it would not remain tied for long.

After being denied earlier, Jimenez put El Tri back on top in the 61st minute by beating Chauvet with a tap-in:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Too easy for Raul Jimenez 🔥 He taps home Rodolfo Pizarro's cross and takes the lead back for Mexico 🇲🇽 #GoldCup2019 https://t.co/A2NHPTriZ5

Fernando Navarro would provide Mexico with some cushion room with a goal in the 72nd:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

3-1 MEXICO! Fernando Navarro connects with Raul Jimenez's pass and adds another for 🇲🇽 https://t.co/F49JqlrUNw

That goal proved important, as Martinique would get one back late:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Martinique take one back! 🇲🇶 Jordy Delem is left unmarked in the box and heads it home to bring Martinique within one. #GoldCup2019 https://t.co/fRDvCfsaaw

Ultimately, El Tri managed to hold on for the victory. With that, their quest for a record eighth Gold Cup title remains alive as they are on to the knockout stage.

Mexico have won three of the last five tournaments, though their last crown came back in 2015. They were knocked out in the semifinals back in 2017.


What's Next?

Mexico advances to the quarterfinals, where they will face the runner-up of Group B (either Costa Rica or Haiti, who will play on Monday to decide Group B). Martinique has been eliminated from the tournament.