The second round of matches in Group B of this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup came complete with goals aplenty and one team securing their place in the last eight with a game to spare. Indeed, thanks to a 2-0 win over Guatemala, Jamaica became the competition’s second team after Mexico to guarantee a quarter-final berth. Honduras, for their part, got off to a shaky start against Grenada only to storm back in spectacular style with a 7-1 success. FIFA.com brings you the best of the matchday’s action at the continental showpiece.
The day replayed - After Jamaica unleashed their considerable attacking prowess in their previous outing against Grenada, the Reggae Boyz’s next opponents Guatemala set their stall out to defend in numbers and deny their opponents space near goal. Their plan worked during a goalless and largely incident-free first half, though the Jamaicans’ dominance was such that a breakthrough looked inevitable. And thus it came to pass, thanks to an inspirational 12-minute spell from midfielder Demar Phillips, whose two-goal burst was enough to seal a win that underlined Jamaica’s good run of form and marks them out as forces to be reckoned with in the knockout stages.
In the day’s second match, a Honduras side hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 0-0 draw against Guatemala found themselves stunned by an 18th-minute opener from minnows Grenada. However, Los Catrachos showed patience and perseverance to rack up a remarkable seven goals in reply. Completely dominant for most of the game, their control of the midfield and accurate, short-passing game were both key factors in the Hondurans’ emphatic victory – a result which will surely boost their confidence as they chase the last available qualifying berth in Group B. Grenada, on the other hand, joined Cuba on the list of sides mathematically out of the running for the knockout phase.
4 – The number of times that Jamaica have beaten Guatemala at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, as in Friday’s match, the Jamaicans have never defeated Los Chapines by a margin of greater than two goals.
Player of the day
Carlos Costly (Honduras)
Though the decisive contribution of Jamaica’s Phillips must be noted, Honduras attacker Carlos Costly’s integral role in Los Catrachos’ thrashing of Grenada gets him the nod. The gifted 28-year-old striker helped himself to a hat-trick and an assist and, far from simply sniffing for scoring opportunities, he was also a menacing creative presence in what proved to be an onslaught on the Grenada goal.
Goal of the day
Jamaica - Guatemala, Demar Phillips (65')
The consistency, speed, vision and finishing skills of midfield man Phillips proved crucial in clinching the Reggae Boyz’s second win of the competition. With opportunities growing scarce and the clock ticking, Phillips’ breakaway down the flank and accurate far-post shot brought both relief for his team-mates and the reward their efforts deserved.
Quote of the day
"We should have had a bigger difference in the final score, but we were too selfish in some situations. I want to see team work, better prepared. This shows that we still have a lot of things to improve," Luis Fernando Suárez, coach of Honduras, after his team defeated Grenada 7-1.
The action continues in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday 11 June, with the second matchday of Group C. Section leaders USA and Panama are set to go head-to-head in an enticing clash, while Canada and Guadeloupe will both be looking for a victory to get their campaigns back on track.
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