PHILADELPHIA.- Even after a tough 1-0 quarterfinal loss to the United States that saw his side exit the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, Curacao Manager Remko Bicentini was still beaming with pride when he spoke at his post-match press conference inside Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
“I’m very proud of my team,” said Bicentini. “We worked hard. We did it together. We enjoyed the tournament here. We enjoyed the people, the supporters.”
After qualifying for its first ever Gold Cup in 2017, playing some quality football and catching eyes in the region despite three consecutive 2-0 losses and a group stage exit, Curacao came back to the Gold Cup with a purpose.
After losing the Group C opener 1-0 to El Salvador in Kingston, Jamaica, Curacao proceeded to defeat Honduras 1-0 in Houston for its first ever Gold Cup win. That result coupled with a 1-1 draw with Jamaica in Los Angeles and El Salvador’s loss to Honduras meant that Curacao would go on to the knockout stages for the first time. Making it to the quarterfinals was clearly more than just an achievement.
Curacao out-possessed and out-shot the U.S. in Philly, with Leandro Bacuna almost scoring one of the goals of the tournament to tie the match late on, thwarted by a sprawling stop from U.S. GK Zack Steffen.
“All in all,” Bicentini said. “I am happy. The players are happy. Curacao is happy. The only thing I’m not happy about is that we didn’t win.”
Before departing the stadium, Remko thanked numerous individuals and added, “Hopefully we will all see each other again in two years’ time.”