Gold Cup Glimpse: Most Memorable Games

Mexico's Giovani Dos Santos (black jersey) tries to avoid USA goalkeeper on the way to scoring one of the greatest goals in CONCACAF Gold Cup history on June 25, 2011, in Pasadena, California. (Photo: Mexsport)

MIAMI -- Since the inaugural edition in 1991, the CONCACAF Gold Cup has produced many memorable moments and equally stunning results. In no particular order, takes a look at just some of the matches that have made history in the previous 12 tournaments:

June 11, 2011 (Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Florida, USA)United States 1, Panama 2Group Stage: Panama always played the United States tough in the Gold Cup and this game not only followed suit, it made history as well. The Canaleros became the first and only team to date to defeat the Americans in a group stage match, grabbing a 2-0 lead on an own-goal by Clarence Goodson (19’) and Gabriel Gomez’s converted penalty kick (36’).  Goodson made it interesting in the 68th minute, but the Panamanians held off several late threats.

 June 25, 2011 (Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California, USA)United States 2, Mexico 4Final: Staring down a 2-0 deficit at the Rose Bowl, life looked rather bleak for the Tricolor in the final. Michael Bradley (8’) and Landon Donovan (23’) had given the U.S. the lead, but the Mexicans never gave up. By halftime the defending champion had equalized behind Pablo Barrera (29’) and Andres Guardado (36’), before Barrera's second goal lifted Mexico into a 3-2 advantage for good five minutes into the second half. Giovani do Santos (76’) put an exclamation point on the victory with a marvelous chip shot from the right corner of the penalty area over goalkeeper Tim Howard.

July 17, 2007 (Reliant Stadium – Houston, Texas, USA)Honduras 1, Guadeloupe 2em>Quarterfinals: Guadeloupe made a magical Gold Cup run, reaching the semifinals. The Caribbean side tied Haiti (1-1), surprised Canada (2-1) and lost to Costa Rica (0-1) to advance by finishing third in Group A. It went on to stun Honduras (2-1) in the first knockout round thanks to first-half goals by Joceyln Angloma (17’) and Richard Edward Socrier (21’). The Hondurans halved the deficit through Carlos Pavon (71’), but Guadeloupe clinched a semifinal meeting with Mexico, which ultimately won (1-0) on the strength of a Pavel Pardo (70’) goal.

July 5, 1991 (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California, USA)United States 2, Mexico 0Semifinals: In the very first Gold Cup, the United States shocked Mexico (2-0) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. John Doyle (48’) and Peter Vermes (64’) scored for the Americans, while goalkeeper Tony Meola kept a clean sheet. Though no one realized at the time, but it was the first of dos et cero results between the two archrivals. The USA went on to win the final over Honduras winning on penalty kicks after playing to a scoreless draw.

July 16, 2013 (Rentschler Field – East Hartford, Connecticut, USA)Cuba 4, Belize 0Group Stage: Needing to defeat Belize by four goals in order to reach the quarterfinals, Cuba did just that, including a stoppage-time tally by Yenier Marquez Molina. Ariel Martinez recorded a hat-trick in the victory, which was the Cubans’ first in 14 Gold Cup outings. It was the most goals the 2012 Caribbean champion had ever scored in a Gold Cup match. Additionally, Cuba kept a clean sheet for the first time in 14 games in the competition, conceding two goals or more in 13 straight games.

July 21, 2005 (Giants Stadium – East Rutherford New Jersey, USA)Honduras 1, United States 2em>Semifinals: In one of the most memorable finishes in competition history, the Americans struck twice late to clinch a place in the final. Mario Ivan Guerrero (30’) had given Honduras a first-half lead, but John O'Brien (86’) equalized and defender Oguchi Onyewu (90’+2) headed home a free kick in stoppage time to complete the comeback. U.S. head coach Bruce Arena was dismissed in the 59th minute for his verbal interaction with a referee.

February 10, 1998 (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California, USA)United States 1, Brazil 0Semifinals: When the final whistle was blown, Brazilian great Romario shook hands with and congratulated U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who had the game of his life keeping the South Americans off the scoreboard. Romario called Keller’s performance, “the greatest performance I have ever seen by a goalkeeper.” Keller made 10 saves in the match, many of them spectacular, as second-half substitute Preki Radosavljevic (65’) tallied the game-winner, beating goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel for his second goal of the tournament. The Americans had not scored against Brazil since 1930.

July 11, 1993 (Estadio Azteca – Mexico City, Mexico)Mexico 9, Martinique 0Group Stage: While the result of the match was decided rather early, it was the scoring feats of Luis Roberto Alves that will be difficult to duplicate. The forward – known as “Zague” – struck for a Gold Cup record seven goals. He netted in the 11th, 21st, 39th, 54th, 76th, 84th and 87th minutes. Alves finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 11 goals, a record for a single tournament that still stands today.

February 27, 2000 (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California, USA)Canada 2, Colombia 0Final: The Maple Leafs completed a storybook ending as they won their first and only Gold Cup, temporarily breaking the USA-Mexico hold on the crown. Jason de Vos (45’) scored at the end of the first half and Carlo Corazzin – the tournament’s top scorer with four goals -- converted a 67th minute penalty kick to seal the famous result. Goalkeeper Craig Forrest recorded the shutout at the Coliseum and was named the competition’s MVP.

July 7, 2013 (Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California, USA)Panama 2, Mexico 1July 24, 2013 (AT&T Stadium – Arlington, Texas, USA)Panama 2, Mexico 1Group Stage & Semifinals: It is not easy to defeat Mexico at any level, but Panama managed to accomplish the feat twice within an 18-day span in the same tournament. In the Group A opener for each, Gabriel Torres scored both goals (7’, 48’). The Canaleros topped that accomplishment with a 2-1 triumph in the semifinals as Blas Perez (13’) and Roman Torres (61’) netted in a winning effort. Entering the 2013 edition, Mexico had lost only six times in its previous 51 Gold Cup outings.