DENVER, Colorado – El Salvador (1W-0D-0L, 3 points) snapped a five-game winless streak in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 2-0 victory over Curacao (0-0-2, 0) on Thursday at Sports Authority Field.
Both goals were scored in the opening half as Gerson Mayen struck for his first-ever in the competition, while Rodolfo Zelaya became the first Salvadoran to net in three different Gold Cup editions (nine goals/11 games). Curacao suffered its second straight 2-0 loss, also falling to Jamaica by the same score on July 9.
Mayen gave El Salvador a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute. From the top of the box, Zelaya poked a pass towards the unmarked Santa Tecla midfielder, who was never closed down and beat goalkeeper Eloy Room with his right foot from eight-yards out.
Three minutes later, Zelaya got on his name on the scoresheet in a third Gold Cup edition. Nelson Bonilla lifted a neat ball from left to right for the 29-year-old forward. He ran into the right side of the box, finding the left side of the net from 16 yards with his right foot.
The Curacaoans kept their composure and earned a penalty kick in the 42nd minute, when Darwin Ceren was whistled for a handball. Gevaro Nepomuceno stepped up to the spot, only to see his attempt be saved by goalkeeper Derby Carrillo.
Curacao team captain Cuco Martina did not play, leaving the squad after the Jamaica setback, reportedly traveling to England to finalize a transfer from Southampton to Everton.
Next up on July 16: At the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, El Salvador will face Jamaica, before Curacao takes on Mexico.