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Honduras is assured of finishing first or second in Group C depending on the outcome of the tonight's game between Mexico and Panama.

If Mexico wins or ties, Honduras will top Group C.

If Panama wins, Honduras will finish second. Which I believe means that Mexico would play the USA in the Quater-Final.

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quote:Originally posted by intrepid_

So we have:

Canada vs. Guatemala

USA vs. Panama

Honduras vs. Guadeloupe

Mexico vs. Costa Rica

Not a bad draw for Canada at all. Tough, but doable.

My guesses:

Canada vs. Guatemala

USA vs. Panama

Honduras vs. Guadeloupe

Mexico vs. Costa Rica

USA vs. Canada (in a very close game)

Mexico vs. Honduras

3rd place:

Mexico vs. Canada

Championship

USA vs Honduras

....3rd place, not bad!

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Gold Cup Daily: Honduras Puts on a Show, Mexico Ekes By

2007 Gold Cup, Thursday, June 14, 2007

http://www.goal.com/en-us/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=327608

Group C

Cuba 0, Honduras 5

HON -- Pavon 2’, 10’, 40’, 51’; Guevara (pen) 89’

Honduras captain Carlos Pavon made sure his side accelerated into the knockout round with four goals in a 5-0 win over hapless Cuba. The three points mean Honduras finishes top of Group C.

Pavon’s big night began in the 2nd minute, when he tapped in Carlos Costly’s low cross from the left side. His second was an acrobatic personal effort, as the Real CD Espana striker outjumped Cuba keeper Odelin Molina at the top of the box and headed the ball easily into the open net. The hat trick was completed on a header off an Amado Guevara cross in the 40th minute. Number four came when Pavon ran diagonally into the box, controlled a bouncing ball, and deftly volleyed his second touch past Molina.

In the 83rd minute, Cuba’s frustrations boiled over as Alain Cervantes saw red after throwing an elbow into Carlos Oliva’s face. Six minutes later, former MLS star Guevara added his name to the scoresheet with a late penalty.

Honduras, who reached the semifinals two years ago and the finals in 1991, now face Guadeloupe in the quarterfinals. The game is scheduled for 2 pm ET, Sunday afternoon in Houston.

Mexico 1, Panama 0MEX -- Salcido 58’

Mexico, needing a win to advance to the knockout stages, got a world class performance from goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez to eke out a 1-0 decision of Panama. The hotly contested duel was marred by ten yellow cards and two reds, both handed out late to Panamanian players.

When not fouling each other, both teams created golden opportunities. In the 9th minute, Panama captain Felipe Baloy’s header on a corner kick clanged off the left post. Twenty minutes later, it was Mexico’s turn to hit the woodwork, when Nery Castillo’s latched onto a knockdown by Jared Borgetti. The Olympiakos midfielder’s left-footed half-volley beat keeper Jaime Penedo but ricocheted off the right post.

A minute after the break, Panama’s best scorer Blas Perez had a gilded chance when he broke in alone, but he put his shot inches wide.

In the 58th minute, though, Carlos Salcido was not wide. Left alone on the back post on corner kick, he easily reached a near-post flick and side-footed the winner into the open net.

After Panama’s Ricardo Phillips smashed a shot off the left post in the 75th minute, Panama grew desperate. Rolando Escobar saw red in the 82nd minute, and Ramon Torres joined him in the showers three minutes later.

With the win, Mexico finishes second in Group C and faces Costa Rica on Sunday afternoon in Houston. Panama travels to Foxboro to face Group B winners, the United States.

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quote:Originally posted by Bertuzzi44

Not a bad draw for Canada at all. Tough, but doable.

My guesses:

Canada vs. Guatemala

USA vs. Panama

Honduras vs. Guadeloupe

Mexico vs. Costa Rica

USA vs. Canada (in a very close game)

Mexico vs. Honduras

3rd place:

Mexico vs. Canada

Championship

USA vs Honduras

....3rd place, not bad!

No more 3rd place game.

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All those yellow cards are wiped from the slate, right?

Mexico is playing with desperation at this tourney. I also would favor Honduras in the likelihood of a semi-final match between them.

However, I favor Costa Rica over México. And if they were desperate against Panama, imagine the spectacle if they were on the verge of being eliminated by Costa Rica! Yellow cards wouldn't trouble them very much but would hobble Costa Rica if they advanced.

Should Canada make it to the semi-round, the Canada v USA match has the makings of the match of the tourney -- the winner would probably take the cup with greater ease than winning that semi final match.

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Here are the standings of the quarterfinalists (based on points, +/-, and place in group).

Team -- (points, +/-, place)

[1] USA -- (9, 7, 1)

[2] Honduras -- (6, 5, 1)

[3] Canadá -- (6, 2, 1)

[4] México -- (6, 1, 2)

[5] Guatemala -- (4, 0, 2)

[6] Costa Rica-- (4, 0, 2)

[7] Panamá -- (4, 0, 3)

[8.]Guadeloupe -- (4, 0, 3)

There is no difference in the points and +/- records of the last four teams that qualified.

However, the two teams that finished 3rd in their groups (Guadeloupe and Panamá) also beat the top teams in their groups so maybe that should count for more than a second place finish by the two teams (Costa Rica and Guatemala) which lost to the first placed teams in their groups. Heh. Maybe, based on that, Guatemala and Costa Rica should stand at the bottom of the table.

The USA won all three of their games and earned the highest +/- differential. They performed up to expectations.

Meanwhile, Canada and Honduras did slightly better than expected because, I think, Costa Rica and especially Mexico performed below expectations. However, Canada beat favored Costa Rica which might count for more than Honduras benefitting from Panama's win over Mexico. If so, then, Canada should stand 2nd overall. But, oops, Canada lost to Guadeloupe while Honduras beat Panama.

Guadeloupe deserves special mention merely for qualifying for the knock-out round in their first appearance at the Gold Cup.

Note: these standings (not rankings) are really just for fun and, as we know, the main thing is qualifying for the knock-out round (by hook and by crook). When a knock-out match begins, the round robin results mean nought.

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Associated Press

Salcido Helps Mexico Defeat Panama 1-0Associated Press 06.14.07, 12:43 AM ET

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/06/14/ap3820048.html

Carlos Salcido scored off a corner kick in the 60th minute help Mexico beat Panama 1-0 on Wednesday night before a Gold Cup-high crowd of 68,417 fans in the final round of Group C play.

The loss sent Panama, which finished third in the group, to a Saturday quarterfinal match against the United States, the group B winner, in Foxborough, Mass.

Mexico, second in Group C, will play Costa Rica on Sunday in Houston.

Salcido, who plays for PSV Eindhoven of Holland, was unhappy when he played only the last 5 minutes in Mexico's first Gold Cup game against Cuba, a 2-1 win. He started Wednesday and scored off Jose Andres Guardado's corner kick.

Panama had two players, Roman Torres and Rolando Escobar, ejected from the game for hard fouls late in the second half.

Group C champion Honduras, a 5-0 winner over Cuba earlier Wednesday, will face Guadaloupe on Sunday in Houston.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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3rd place is good, but not good enough.

I believe the US is very beatable, perhaps more than any other team in the QFs right now. We will always be susceptible to the sucker punch of a smaller, more cunning group like Guatemala and we've seen what happens when a physical team like Guadeloupe bunkers down, but our American cousins will stay on their feet, play an open match and give us a game. Man for man I don't think they're better than us at all, just the opposite. Attiba, DeGuz and Hume are a class above their overseas players and DeRo and Onstad are all stars in their backyard!

No need to assume defeat.

We've got an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one anymore.:)

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Two players from Cuban Gold Cup team missing

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=438774&cc=5901

HOUSTON -- Two players on Cuba's national soccer team didn't show up for a tournament in Houston and team officials worried the two had defected.

The Cubans lost in Houston Wednesday night in the first round of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament and were eliminated. After the 5-0 loss to Honduras, Cuban coach Raul Gonzalez declined to say whether Osvaldo Alonso and Lester More defected.

More apparently went missing at a previous stop in East Rutherford, N.J.; Alonso didn't return from a group shopping trip before the game in Houston.

"I'm a football man, not a politician. I will not answer that question,'' Gonzalez told reporters.

"They went for the gold. I hope they don't end up with thorns. The ones who take another road take it because they want to take it.''

Zac Emmons, Gold Cup spokesman, said the team planned to fly back to Cuba on Thursday morning. Gonzalez and Alonso had checked out of their hotel on Thursday morning.

CONCACAF, the governing body of soccer, issued a statement before the game saying it would not comment on rumors of a Cuban defection.

No one answered at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C. A call to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which would handle defections, was not immediately returned.

Cuban athletes have defected from the communist country while in international competitions outside Cuba. In 2005, forward Maykel Galindo defected during a Gold Cup tournament in Seattle.

Cuba is a powerhouse in international baseball and at least 20 players have defected since 1991. Some have had great success in the major leagues.

In October 2002, Jose Contreras, a pitcher, defected while playing for his national team during a tournament in Mexico. He signed with the New York Yankees two months later. Contreras played for the Cuban team that won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics.

Livan Hernandez, another pitcher, defected in September 1995. His half-brother, Orlando, was detained by Cuban security officials in July 1996 and banned from playing for his country three months later. Orlando Hernandez, a member of the gold-medal winning team at the 1992 Olympics, defected late in 1997.

Livan Hernandez signed with the Florida Marlins in 1996 and Florida won the World Series the next year, with Hernandez named Most Valuable Player. Orlando Hernandez signed with the Yankees in 1998 and New York won the World Series in each of his first three seasons.

Orlando Hernandez signed with the Chicago White Sox before the 2005 season, joining Contreras on the pitching staff. Contreras won Game 1 of the 2005 World Series and Hernandez pitched a scoreless inning in Game 3, helping Chicago sweep the Houston Astros.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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Since I am probably not the only that missed this, I'll post here about Honduran David Suazo joing Inter and being projected as a starter. Wow! Look out CONCACAF (again)!

--

"Italian champions Inter Milan have signed Honduran striker David Suazo from Serie A rivals Cagliari, the president of Cagliari said on Wednesday.

"Inter have made a great buy. At Inter, Suazo will be their first choice. The rest will come after. He's a great player and a great professional," Massimo Cellino told Italian radio station Radio Radio.

Suazo joined Cagliari from Olimpia of Honduras in 1999. The Sardinian club were relegated to the second division Serie B at the end of his first season, but Suazo scored 19 goals to help them win promotion back to the top flight during the 2003-04 campaign. "

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What is with the awful playing conditions in Houston and Giants Stadium? Not sure about Giants stadium, but the field in Houston was painted! That's how bad it is. [:0]

Can't wait for the next time Americans whine about not being familiar with playing on less-than-perfect pitches after losing a match in central america.

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quote:Originally posted by Winnipeg Fury

Paul James on GolTV says Honduras is the best team at the Gold Cup.

Hmm. but Guadeloupe beat Honduras 2-1 in the semis.

What it may tell you, is that they have a very good, if

not opportunistic team in this tournament, and the

apparent "embarrassment" by Canada's loss is quite unfounded.

I hope to meet them in the final, and it'll be payback time.

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Honduras has been the most erratic team in CONCACAF since 2001 at least.

2002 Hex: Win away at US, lose at home to T&T

2006 WCQ: kicking off the semis with a 5-2 win in CRC and only managing 4 goals and 4 points in their remaining 5 games.

2007 GC: Beat Mexico, lose to Guadeloupe

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quote:Originally posted by Daniel

2002 Hex: Win away at US, lose at home to T&T

I heard from an unofficial source that they threw the T&T game to ensure Mexico would qualify. I believe that Televisa was somehow involved.

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quote:Originally posted by Paddy

I heard from an unofficial source that they threw the T&T game to ensure Mexico would qualify. I believe that Televisa was somehow involved.

It seems they would have qualified had they won by 2.

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quote:Originally posted by Paddy

I heard from an unofficial source that they threw the T&T game to ensure Mexico would qualify. I believe that Televisa was somehow involved.

Let me try and be as polite as possible: your unofficial source is a tool. The Honduras-T&T game was in the 9th round of CONCACAF qualifying. Honduras entered with 14 points which is what they ended up with. Mexico entered the round with 13 points and picked up 1 point with a draw at Costa Rica. The 10th round pitted Honduras at Mexico for all the marbles and Mexico paid them back with a 3-0 whoppin' (in response to the 3-1 kickin' they took in San Pedro Sula earlier in the Hex). Honduras would have been throwing the game against T&T and Mexico at their own expense so that Mexico could go to the WC? Don't think so.

Besides, i had DirecTV back then and my dad and i watched that game live on Galavision. Honduras hit about 6-7 posts, Pavon hit about 4 of them. Honduras were all over the Trini's and couldn't buy a goal. Then Stern John cruelly scored on the counter...there was no game thrown that day.

Man, i still remember seeing Pavon walking off the field towards the locker rooms with his head down and Honduran fans showering him with beer from above, how sad and pitiful...

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