Mexico secured their place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup knockout stage ahead of schedule after defeating Haiti 3-1 in Arizona on Thursday.
The win, which saw all three goals scored in the second half, puts Mexico at the top of Group B with six points from two matches. Meanwhile, Haiti are second with three points. Qatar and Honduras both have one point each after drawing 1-1 earlier, with the latter scoring a late equaliser.
In the first half, Mexico dominated the game but struggled to break through Haiti’s goalkeeper, Alexandre Pierre. Despite Pierre’s early mistake, Haiti’s defence held strong. Haiti also had a few promising counter-attacks but failed to convert them into goals in the CONCACAF Gold Cup game.
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However, Mexico’s halftime talk, led by interim coach Jaime Lozano, produced immediate results. Henry Martin found the net just 41 seconds into the second half for the lead. A Ricardo Ade own goal extended Mexico’s lead to 2-0, but Haiti responded with a 78th-minute header by Danley Jean Jacques from a Derrick Etienne Jr corner, giving them hope.
As Haiti pressed forward in search of an equaliser, Mexico capitalised on the space left behind. Uriel Antuna’s well-placed low cross was converted by Santiago Gimenez, securing a 3-1 CONCACAF Gold Cup win for Mexico.
In the other match of the day, guest team Qatar took an early lead against Honduras thanks to Tameem Mansour’s header. Honduras struggled to create clear chances but managed to salvage a draw in the sixth minute of stoppage time when Alberth Elis scored from a Rubilio Castillo assist.
On Friday, Group C will see Martinique take on Panama and Guatemala face up against Canada in Houston.