Guadeloupe was eliminated from the CONCACAF Gold Cup as Canada and Guatemala advanced to the quarterfinals with goal-filled victories in group D on Tuesday.
There were 25 goals in the final four group stage games, and while Canada took care of business with a 4-2 win over Cuba in Houston, the drama was in New Jersey, where Guatemala came from a goal down to upset Guadeloupe 3-2 with two goals in the final 20 minutes.
After a 2-2 draw with El Salvador, Panama led group C with seven points, while Costa Rica joined them in the final eight after defeating Martinique 6-4 after leading 5-1.
The results mean that Canada will face the United States in the quarters while Guatemala will play Jamaica — with both games to take place on Sunday in Cincinnati.
On Saturday in Dallas, Mexico take on Costa Rica while Panama are up against guest team Qatar.
Guadeloupe, who had played some of the most attractive football of the competition, led their group with 20 minutes to go and would have qualified with a draw if Matthias Phaeton’s 88th-minute penalty had not been saved.
The Red Bull Arena was packed with noisy and passionate Guatemala fans, but their hearts sank as Guadeloupe took a 27th-minute lead through Andreaw Gravillon.
Guatemala battled back, tying the game 12 minutes later with a brilliant looping header from striker Rubio Rubin.
Then there was the strange occurrence in which Jordan Leborgne scored for Guadeloupe but the goal was ruled out for handball.
However, a VAR review of the event revealed that a defender handled the ball in the same move, and a penalty was granted. Ange-Freddy Plumain retained his cool to convert and score it 2-1 for the Caribbean side after a fan delayed the spot kick by sprinting on the pitch.
Plumain’s score was celebrated in front of the Guatemalan crowd, culminating in a hail of debris being thrown onto the field.
The Central Americans’ rage turned to hope in the 70th minute, when Rubio headed home a low cross from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing after a defense-splitting ball from Pedro Altan.
Carlos Mejia pounced on a bad clearing on the edge of the box in the 75th minute, twisting and turning to create space before unleashing a fantastic drive.
Guadeloupe dropped from first to third in the group after that goal, but a handball by Marlon Sequen provided a lifeline. However, Nicholas Hagen stopped Phaeton’s penalty, ensuring Guatemala’s participation in the last eight.
– Canada advance –
Having drawn their opening two games, Canada needed a win against already-eliminated Cuba and they did so with little trouble.
A 21st minute penalty from Junior Hoilett put John Herdman’s team on their way and Jonathan Osorio doubled the lead five minutes later, tapping in a low cross to the back post from Lucas Cavallini.
Cuba pulled a goal back with a Luis Paradela penalty just before the break, but straight after the interval Jayden Nelson restored Canada’s two goal advantage tapping in after a fumble from Cuba keeper Sandy Sanchez.
Liam Millar made it 4-1 in the 61st, and although Maikel Reyes scored another penalty for Cuba in the 89th minute it was just a consolation.
Costa Rica went into Tuesday’s game with Martinique bottom of the group, but they soon set about making sure of progress from the group.
After a goalmouth scramble, Kendall Waston, lying on the ground, managed to head the ball into the net to give the Ticos a ninth minute lead.
Martinique leveled nine minutes later with a wonderful, curling shot from Patrick Burner, but he was then to concede an own goal in another goalmouth scramble.
But Juan Pablo Vargas was left free to head in a Joel Campbell corner and then a Campbell penalty and Anthony Contreras strike made it 5-1.
Although Martinique rallied, with Burner adding a second, the final scoreline of 6-4 flattered them and Costa Rica were never truly in danger.
El Salvador needed a win and for results to go their way and they started off well with Brayan Gil scoring in the fourth minute. But goals from Panama’s Fidel Escobar and Ismael Diaz — along with Costa Rica’s triumph — killed off any hope.
Mayer Gil’s stoppage time leveler was some reward for El Salvador who finished bottom with two points.