El Salvador’s Zelaya looks beyond records, works for results
El Salvador’s Rodolfo Zelaya (white jersey) has nine career CONCACAF Gold Cup goals. (Photo: AFP)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – In Thursday’s 2-0 win over Curacao, Rodolfo Zelaya became the first player from El Salvador in three different editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

He gave the Cuscatlecos a 2-0 lead in the 24th minute with his ninth career goal in the competition, tying him for seventh on the all-time scoring chart, also netting four times in both 2011 and 2013.

The 29-year-old, however, is more concerned about El Salvador earning rather than his own records.

“I am happy about it,” Zelaya said Saturday about the milestone.  “Normally, I don’t follow statistics much, but being the first Salvadoran to score in three different editions of the competition is nice.  The most important thing is our work as a group.  The important thing is our goal to reach the second stage and that we play a good game that can get us there tomorrow with a good result.”

On Sunday, El Salvador needs to avoid a loss of two goals or more in order to progress to the quarterfinals for the fifth time in 10 attempts.

Zelaya is comfortable with his role as being the team’s main scoring threat, but knows that prevailing over Jamaica – a team it has never beaten in three previous Gold Cup meetings (0W-0D-3L) – will require more than the contributions of one player.

“Jamaica has a good team that played well against Mexico and got a goof result against them,” finished the Alianza star.  “But we have also worked hard and seen the video on how to cause them some trouble.  We need to be very focused on the field and not make any mistakes, taking advantage of our possibilities.”