Mexico Wins Group A, But El Salvador Looks Great Ahead Of World Cup Qualifying

Mexico defeated La Selecta 1-0 at a lively Cotton Bowl to finish group play.

Thanks to Chaka Rodríguez’s 26th-minute goal, Mexico defeated El Salvador 1-0 on Sunday night and won Gold Cup Group A, meaning that the United States and El Tri can’t possibly meet until the final. 

But based on the evidence of the group stage, if either side overlooks their opponents in the quarterfinals or semifinals, they’re going home. 

The U.S. was fortunate to defeat Canada earlier Sunday, and Mexico’s victory had some similarities (although Tata Martino’s side created a lot more and is certainly still the tournament favorite).

The game started with a frantic energy that carried through all 90 minutes. The atmosphere at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas was electric thanks to huge showings of support for both nations. 

It was the Mexican fans that got to celebrate first after Chaka opened the scoring with a deflected effort following a great pass from Héctor Herrera.

History says that Mexico would go on to dominate from there, but this is a really decent El Salvador team that attempted 11 shots and forced Mexico into 22 fouls and four yellow cards. They play with intent.

In the 62nd minute, they almost found an equalizer following a Mexico turnover.  

In the 71st, El Salvador rattled the post.

Currently ranked 69th in the world, El Salvador has never reached the semifinals of the Gold Cup. They’ll play the winner of Group D in the quarters — which’ll be either Honduras or Qatar — and La Selecta could make history.

Mexico meets the runner-up from Group D on July 24 at State Farm Stadium in Arizona. 

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