Canucks and Cuscatlecos cruise
Canada and El Salvador both ran out winners on opening day of the CONCACAF showpiece event, edging Jamaica and Costa Rica respectively. Former youth star Ali Gerba's second-half strike secured a 1-0 win for Canada over Jamaica in the first game in Group A.
The last time the two sides met Jamaica eased to a 3-0 win in a 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifier but this game was a much more close-fought affair with both goalkeepers making crucial saves.
Canada custodian Greg Sutton kept Jamaica at bay with two fine saves in the space of 10 minutes as he first denied Ricardo Fuller in the 65th minute before quickly blocking a shot from defender Damion Stewart minutes later. Jamaica goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, meanwhile, superbly tipped over a goal-bound effort from Kevin McKenna. But Gerba secured the win for Canada, who were crowned shock CONCACAF champions in 2000, in the 74th minute when the Toronto FC striker volleyed home from Mike Klukowski's cross.
Romero put El Salvador ahead in the 20th minute when he picked up a long ball from goalkeeper Miguel Montes before unleashing a curling effort into the back of the net. Celso Borges almost equalised shortly before the break when his header flew narrowly wide of the post but Warren Granados did bring Costa Rica level in the 64th minute.
However, Romero scored his second of the night and ensured El Salvador took all three points when he struck with four minutes remaining to condemn Costa Rica - top of the South Africa 2010 qualifying table - to their seventh straight Gold Cup game without a win.