16 June 2019
The leading candidates to win the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup start their tournament journey at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, as Mexico take on Cuba for their opening match in Group A.
The record Gold Cup winners (7), Mexico, have racked up a four-game winning streak in the build-up to the competition. Interestingly, all four of those games have seen El Tri score at least three goals and concede at least one. Mexico’s sudden rise has coincided with the appointment of Gerardo Martino, who replaced Ricardo Ferretti on the bench after the national team suffered three straight defeats without scoring a single goal. The Argentinean coach will have a perfect chance to register his fifth win in charge when Mexico tackle Cuba, whom they’ve outplayed in all nine of their previous H2Hs, with three of their last meetings coming at the Gold Cup.
Meanwhile, the Cubans have lost all three of their previous games, conceding five goals while scoring just one in the process. Cuba’s drop-off in form has come after a prosperous period that has seen them put together five straight wins, in which they’ve netted 21 goals, without conceding a single one. Also, only one of Cuba’s 11 games over the past 13 months has ended in a draw (W5, D1, L5), with Raúl Mederos’ players scoring one goal or less on seven occasions across that period. Leones del Caribe have struggled to entertain their fans recently, with five of their previous eight outings featuring over 2.5 goals while just one witnessed goals at both ends.
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