Los Angeles Soccer: Yosniel Mesa
June, 12, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
None of that U.S.-style underachieving for Mexico.
Sure, El Tri are missing six players -- five of them in doping intrigue -- and Sunday's foe was one of the best they'll come up against in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but it mattered not at all in a one-sided Group A decider.
Andres Guardado scored two spectacular goals and the Mexicans netted three by the 26th minute en route to a 4-1 romp over Costa Rica at Soldier Field in Chicago, which nonetheless qualified for the quarterfinals by finishing second in the group.
El Salvador also won big, demolishing Cuba, 6-1, with a series of superb goals to position itself for one of the at-large berths into the tournament's knockout stage.
A quick look at the eighth day of group play in the region's nations championship:
MASTERFUL MEXICO: El Tri hasn't been slowed by its troubles, looking unbeatable while routing all three Group A foes. Sunday's victory was the most impressive, given the quality of the opposition and their overwhelming dominance in building a 4-0 first-half advantage.
All four goals were outstanding, with Rafa Marquez's powerful 17th-minute header from Pablo Barrera's corner kick and Barrera's fine finish from a nifty give-and-go with Carlos Salcido in the 38th sandwiching Guardado's wonder strikes.