Rogelio Funes Mori scored twice and Orbeli¬n Pineda scored and had an assist as Mexico defeated Guatemala 3-0 in the second Group A match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Wednesday.
Mori, the Argentine-born forward who grew up in nearby Arlington, Texas, scored in the 29th and 55th minutes. Pineda added a goal in the 79th.
The Mexicans are all but assured of joining El Salvador as the two teams from the group to advance to the quarterfinals. Mexico (1-0-1, 4 points) is second, two points behind El Salvador.
In the final group matches on Sunday, Mexico plays El Salvador at the Cotton Bowl while Guatemala plays Trinidad and Tobago in Frisco, Texas.
Third-place Trinidad and Tobago has one point and would need not only a Mexico loss but a better goal differential. Mexico is plus-3, Trinidad and Tobago is minus-2.
There was a 38-minute weather delay before the kickoff and Mexican fans had to wait nearly a half hour for a goal. It was a relief more than anything.
After outshooting Trinidad and Tobago 30-4 in a scoreless draw on Saturday, Mexico was frustrated again until the brilliance of Funes Mori, who took a pass from Hector Herrera on the left side of the box, cut back and bent the ball off the right post.
Mexico removed all doubt early in the second half as one-touch passes from Erick Gutierrez to Pineda to Funes Mori at the 6-yard box made it 2-0. Pineda’s goal was a header from a service by Luis Rodriguez.
Nicholas Hagen made five saves for Guatemala. Alfredo Talavera had one for Mexico.
Mexico was without star forward Hirving Lozano, who sustained a head injury the last match and is out four to six weeks.
Guatemala (0-2-0, 0 points) failed to qualify for the Gold Cup but gained entry Friday after Curacao was forced to withdraw due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
–Field Level Media
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