Gold Cup

El Salvador rout books quarterfinal spot

Lester Blanco and El Salvador qualified for the quarterfinals.
GOLD CUP
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CHICAGO (AP)

Rodolfo Zelaya scored a goal in each half as El Salvador kept its Gold Cup quarterfinals hopes alive with a 6-1 rout of Cuba on Sunday.

Osael Romero, Lester Blanco, Arturo Alvarez and Eliseo Quintanilla also scored for El Salvador, which now has four points in Group A and will have to wait out the remaining two days of group stage games to see if it can advance.

The top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals, along with the two best third-place teams. Costa Rica and El Salvador both finished behind Mexico with four points, but Costa Rica has the edge in goal differential.

Sun., Jun. 5
Costa Rica 5-0 Cuba | Recap
Mexico 5-0 El Salvador | Recap
Thu., Jun. 9
Costa Rica 1-1 El Salvador| Recap
Cuba 0-5 Mexico | Recap
Sun., Jun. 12
El Salvador 6-1 Cuba | Recap
Mexico 4-1 Costa Rica | Recap

Mexico has already secured a spot in the quarterfinals after winning its first two games.

''We're waiting on the other results,'' Zelaya said. ''Hopefully we were able to get the goals to move forward.''

Cuba finally got its first goal of the tournament when Jeniel Marquez scored in the 83rd minute. But the Cubans, who were eliminated with the loss, have also conceded 16 goals in the tournament - the most by any team.

El Salvador, which hasn't reached the Gold Cup quarterfinals since 2003, needed a win to have any chance of advancing, and it wasted little time opening the scoring.

Zelaya's first goal came in the 13th minute when his left-foot shot from just outside the area beat goalkeeper Julio Ramos Pichardo into the corner of the net.

Romero chipped over Pichardo's head to make it 2-0 in the 29th.

El Salvador put the game out of reach with three goals in a 15-minute span in the second half. Blanco scored in the 69th, and Zelaya got his second goal two minutes later with a close-range shot.

A minute after Marquez ended Cuba's scoring drought, Alvarez connected with a pass from Quintanilla to make it 5-1 for El Salvador. Quintanilla added another goal in the final moments to increase the margin.

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