Group C Glance: El Salvador v Curaçao
El Salvador’s Oscar Ceren (#16) tries to avoid a tackle during a CONCACAF Gold Cup match on July 9, 2017, in San Diego, California, USA. (Photo: AFP Services)
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DENVER, Colorado – After each suffered a loss in their 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup openers, El Salvador and Curacao will attempt to bounce back Thursday night, when they square off at Sports Authority Field.

The Salvadorans fell 3-1 to Mexico, while Curacao – despite enjoying a 19-12 advantage in shots attempted – dropped a 2-0 decision to Jamaica.

Another defeat will see El Salvador’s Gold Cup winless streak be extended to a team-record six straight games.  Making matters even more challenging, it has failed to score more than one goal in seven consecutive outings.

The encounter will only be Curacao’s second-ever in the competition.  Its cause was made more daunting with the news that captain and right-back Cuco Martina left the squad, reportedly flying to England in order to settle his club situation.

Here are some storylines to watch:

- Prior to conceding three goals to Mexico, El Salvador had allowed only two in its previous three Gold Cup games.  Can the defense return to tightfisted ways?

- It was good news for El Salvador that a player other than Rodolfo Zelaya scored in a Gold Cup match.  Nelson Bonilla’s strike in the 10th minute made it 1-1 against.  It will be interesting to see if that partnership blossom.

- Thursday’s match at Sports Authority Field will be contested one mile above sea level.  This is unchartered territory for Curacao.  Can elevation issues be overcome?

- With Martina’s exit – knowing that his experience cannot be replaced -- who will step into his leadership shoes?