Gold Cup 2017: Panama Beat Martinique 3-0 in Saturday Opening Match
Saturday marks the penultimate day of group play in the 2017 Gold Cup, with four teams in Group B vying to determine which ones will make it to the knockout phase, which begins July 19.
Three teams have already secured a spot in the quarterfinals after Friday’s Group A action. Costa Rica won the group with a 2-1-0 record and seven points after a 3-0 shutout against French Guiana.
The United States is in the driver seat to win Group B with a matchup against winless Nicaragua. Panama can steal the top spot with a victory over Martinique, though that’s more complicated because it will come down to goals scored and goal differential.
Here are the final scores from Saturday’s Group B fixtures:
Panama def. Martinique, 3-0
Nicaragua vs. United States, 7 p.m. ET
Here are the updated group standings after Saturday’s fixtures:
1. Costa Rica (2-1-0, 7 points)*
2. Canada (1-2-0, 5 points)*
3. Honduras (1-1-1, 4 points)*
4. French Guiana (0-0-3, 0 points)
1. Panama (2-1-0, 7 points)*
2. United States (1-1-0, 4 points)*
3. Martinique (1-0-2, 3 points)
4. Nicaragua (0-0-3, 0 points)
1. Mexico (1-1-0, 4 points)
2. Jamaica (1-1-0, 4 points)
3. El Salvador (1-0-1, 3 points)
4. Curacao (0-0-2, 0 points)
*Advanced to knockout phase
Panama 3, Martinique 0
Panama put itself in the top spot of Group B with an impressive 3-0 victory over Martinique that moved its overall record to 2-1-0 and its goal differential to plus-four. It also secured a spot in the knockout phase.
Martinique did a solid job of keeping things close early. Panama didn’t get on the board until the 44th minute, when Michael Murillo connected on a header that fooled Martinique goalie Kevin Olimpa:
The score would remain 1-0 until the 60th minute, when Abdiel Arroyo deflected the ball past Olimpa. Panama padded its lead seven minutes later thanks to Gabriel Torres’ goal.
After starting group play with a tie against the United States, Panama has responded with two straight wins. This marks the seventh straight Gold Cup in which Panama has reached the knockout phase, and the nation will be looking to improve upon its third-place finish last year.
Martinique still has an outside shot at reaching the next round, depending on how things play out among the third-place finisher in Group C with El Salvador, Jamaica and Mexico all fighting for spots in the knockout phase.
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