A four-goal first half helped Mexico cruise to a 4-1 win over Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, while El Salvador thumped Cuba.Despite having five players suspended from the tournament after they tested positive for a banned substance, Mexico had enough quality in their squad to win comfortably.
New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez opened the scoring after 17 minutes and Andres Guardado doubled Mexico’s lead two minutes later.
Guardado, who plays his club football for Deportivo La Coruna, grabbed a second after 26 minutes. And when West Ham winger Pablo Barrera, provider of the first goal, scored Mexico’s fourth in 21 minutes, the favourites were cruising.
Marco Urena struck a second-half consolation for Costa Rica but the damage was done as Mexico won their third match from three at the tournament, having scored 14 goals in the process.
In the day’s other match, El Salvador hammered Cuba 6-1.
Rodolfo Zelaya’s 13th-minute opener handed the victors the lead and Osael Romero doubled it 16 minutes later.
Goals in the last 25 minutes to Zelaya, Mark Blanco, Arturo Alvarez and Eliseo Quintanilla wrapped up the victory, while Jeniel Marquez got his name on the scoresheet for Cuba.