Mexico advances to CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals

Marco Fabian and Luis Montes scored goals 13 minutes apart in

the first half and Mexico defeated Martinique 3-1 in the CONCACAF

Gold Cup on Sunday.

Miguel Ponce scored for Mexico in the 90th minute to secure the

win.

Mexico, the two-time defending tournament champions, moved to

the quarterfinals after losing its first game of pool play to

Panama.

Mexico (2-1-0, Pool A) beat Canada 2-0 on Thursday and clinched

second place behind Panama and secured a berth in the next round

with Sunday’s win.

”There’s a lot of things we have to correct, and a lot of times

victory covers those errors,” Mexico coach Jose Manuel De La Torre

said. ”Winning is great, but after the victory we’ll make an

analysis of what we did right and wrong.”

Kevin Parsemain scored for Martinique, which lost its final two

games of the tournament after opening with a 1-0 win over Canada on

Saturday. Martinique finished pool play 1-2-0 and now has to wait

to find out if it is one of two third-place teams to advance to the

quarterfinals.

”It’s very simple. Our destiny is not in our hands anymore,”

Martinique coach Patrick Cavelan said. ”We would have preferred to

get our qualifications by ourselves but this is the game.”

Mexico carried the play for most of the first half Sunday and

had several good scoring chances before breaking through in the

20th minute. Rafael Marquez put a hard shot on net that Martinique

goalie Kevin Olimpa deflected to the top of the penalty box.

Fabian, trailing the play, chopped the rebound over Olimpa to make

it 1-0.

It was Fabian’s third goal of the Gold Cup.

Montes gave Mexico a 2-0 lead when he sent a low shot into the

left side of the net in the 33rd minute.

Martinique made it a one-goal game late in the first half when

Parsemain, taken down in the box by Alejandro Flores, scored on a

penalty kick in the 43rd minute.

Both teams had chances in the second half, but couldn’t

capitalize until late when Mexico scored. Miguel Layun carried the

ball down the right side and sent a crossing pass to Ponce, who

kicked it into the open net to clinch the win for Mexico.

”This was important,” Flores said. ”We have to go one step at

a time, but I think this was a very important game for us. We still

have a lot of things to improve, in the midfield and on

defense.”

Mexico’s third goal could impact Martinique’s chances of making

it to the quarterfinals because goal differential is a factor.

”In the second half we were able to adjust, but we lost focus

and allowed the last goal,” Cavelan said. ”That could be bad for

our qualification.”

This was the first meeting between the countries since the 1993

Gold Cup. Mexico won that game 9-0 on the way to its first of six

Gold Cup crowns.

A seventh title is still possible for the defending

champions.

”The objective is to go for the title and that’s the commitment

to keep working, to get to the final and to get the Gold Cup,” De

La Torre said. ”Pressure or no pressure, that’s the way it is,

that’s the way we work. It’s part of our job.”