[GOLD CUP: Group A] Its berth in the quarterfinals already assured, Panama rested nine starters and settled for a 0-0 tie with Canada that was enough to clinch the Group A title at the Group B.
Mexico had to settle for second place with a 3-1 win over Martinique, which will still likely advance to the
Canada, which played three games without scoring a goal, was the first team to be eliminated.
For only the third time, Mexico has not won its group at the Gold
Cup, but it will move into the quarterfinals with its first back-to-back wins of 2013.
The last time Mexico played Martinique was at the 1993 Gold Cup, where it won, 9-0, with seven goals
from Luis Alberto Zague. The game was such a waltz that keeper Jorge Campos finished the game as a forward.
On Sunday, Mexico jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Marco Fabian and Luis Montes, but Kevin Parsemain reduced the deficit to 2-1 from the penalty spot late in the first half.
El Tri didn't get an insurance goal until American-born Miguel Angel Ponce scored in stoppage time.
Despite the shaky start to the tournament, Coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said the goal
was still to win the Gold Cup.
''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,'' he said. ''Pressure or no
pressure, that's the way it is, that's the way we work. It's part of our job.''
Martinique is still in good shape to advance to the quarterfinals. It could advance as early as Monday
night or have to wait until Tuesday when Belize faces Cuba.
Colin Miller took over as Canada's interim coach in January and watched his team play
six games without scoring a goal.
"The problem Canada has – and you saw it again today – is in the attacking third," he said after Sunday's scoreless draw with Panama.
"I'm not apologizing, but we're almost running out of ideas when we get into the attacking third."
Spaniard Benito Floro will now take over as
Canadian head coach.
CROWD COUNT. The doubleheader drew 45,401 fans at Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Group A Results:
July 7 in Pasadena, Calif.
Martinique 1 Canada 0. Goal: Reuperne 93+.
Panama 2 Mexico 1. Goals: G.Torres pen. 7, 48; Fabian 45+2.
July 11 in Seattle
Panama 1 Martinique 0. Goal: G.Torres 85.
Mexico 2 Canada 0. Goals: R.Jimenez 42, Fabian pen. 57.
July 14 in Denver
Mexico 3 Martinique 1. Goals: Fabian 21, Montes 34, Ponce 90; Parsemain (pen.) 43.
Panama 0 Canada
Group A Standings:
PTS TEAM W-T-L +/1
6 Mexico 2-0-1 6/3
3 Martinique 1-0-2 2/4
1 Canada 0-1-2 0/3