Stunning Andres Guardado Golazo Helps Mexico Put Down Canada 3-1

You just can’t give Andres Guardado that much space. 

Canada may have one of its best squads in decades, but if it wants to compete for its first Gold Cup since 2000, the Canucks will have to defend better than they did early in the second half against Mexico.

Andres Guardado received the ball about 40 yards from goal and was allowed the time and space to dribble forward and lash a wicked blast from 25 yards out to spark Mexico to a 3-1 win over Canada in Gold Cup Group A action on Wednesday in Denver. 

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Guardado, Mexico’s captain, didn’t start the match, coming on in the first half to replace the injured Erick Gutierrez. He made his mark in the 54th minute and added his 28th Mexico goal in the 77th minute to seal the victory. 

The two Guardado goals, combined with a strike from Roberto Alvarado in the first half, sent Mexico clear atop Group A with six points with a match left against Martinique, which on Wednesday beat Cuba 3-0 in front of a massive crowd at Broncos Stadium. Martinique currently sits third behind Canada on goal difference. Canada still has Cuba to play, which may or may not lose more players to defection.

(Eventually, 52,874 fans showed up for the undercard between Mexico and Canada.)

The first half began with some physical play from both teams. While the players seemed content to get on with it, the two coaches were seen jawing at each other.

Maybe they were just asking for dinner recommendations. 

Mexico eventually took the lead in the 40th minute through Piojo Alvarado. A miskick in the back from Canada allowed a shot from Raul Jimenez. Canada keeper Milan Borjan was able to save the first shot, but not the rebound from Alvarado.

Canada was able to find pockets of space to attack the Mexican defense on occasion throughout the match.

The Canucks’ first great chance fell to 18-year-old Bayern Munich winger Alphonso Davies early in the second half. Davies worked enough space to get off a shot, but the effort whizzed just wide of Memo Ochoa’s post.

Moments later, Guardado’s golazo gave Mexico some comfort room.

Interestingly, after Mexico’s second goal, Canada coach John Herdman pushed Davies back to the left back position, putting perhaps his most dangerous attacker almost as far from goal as possible. 

But Canada was able to pull one back in the 75th minute when Jonathan David stole the ball deep in Mexico’s half and got the ball to Lucas Cavallini for an easy finish.

The goal was for naught, as El Principito put the match away moments later.

Guardado’s second wasn’t quite as incredible as his first as it took a big deflection, but they all count the same. (Just kidding, golazos count way more in our book.)

And for USMNT fans wondering how the U.S. stacks up with Mexico or even Canada, here’s a couple of takes from two former USMNT players. 

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