KINGSTON, JAMAICA – The Curacao men’s national team made history by playing its first Concacaf Gold Cup two years ago. On Monday, it’ll look to make more history by getting its first win as it faces off against El Salvador at the Independence Park Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.
Cuco Martina, the team captain and player with most appearances for Curacao, has preached belief that his team can leave with a favorable result and better its performance from the previous outing.
“I’m ready, my team is ready also. I have so much confidence that we will win this game,” said Martina in the team’s pre-match press conference on Sunday.
“We know it’s a really tough group, but we need to take it step by step, first win against El Salvador and then see what happens,” added the defender.
This will be the eighth overall encounter between the two nations, fifth time since 2017, and second in the Gold Cup.
Curacao has lost three of the seven meetings between the two, including an 0-2 score in the 2017 group stage. The other three occasions ended as draws.
The difference this time around, according to Martina and Manager Remko Bicentini, is a more seasoned Curacao – one that counts on 12 returning members from the 2017 team.
Another factor is Curacao’s success in Concacaf Nations League Qualifying – a fourth-place finish that earned the team’s qualification into League A and the Gold Cup.
Curaçao scored the most goals (22) in CNLQ, with 68% of them coming in the second half, and finished with the highest goal differential (+20). It was also the team with most headed goals (six).
“We know it will be a very difficult game, we have played many times against them but we know, now, what their weaknesses are,” added Martina. “This time we are not to fail.”