KINGSTON, JAMAICA – El Salvador FW Nelson Bonilla delivered the game-changing moment that awarded his nation a 1-0 win in its 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Group C opener against Curacao at the Independence Park Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Monday night.
A clinical strike in first half stoppage time was enough to secure the three points, but it didn’t come easy.
“A difficult match,” is how Bonilla described the encounter in the post-match mixed zone. “Curacao has players in important leagues, they were doing things well in [Concacaf] Nations League and it’s an important result that opens up the way for what comes next.”
The San Salvador native is his national team’s top scorer in the Gold Cup among active players and extended that tally to three.
It’s a responsibility that the FW enjoys having, but he also gave credit to his teammates.
“In the end, it’s the reward of the work of the team,” added Bonilla. “Thankfully, things are working out for me at my club and here with the national team. I have a personal goal I want to reach and we’ve got to keep working to have more in our favor. Without the work, these moments don’t happen.”
La Selecta now shifts its focus to Jamaica for its next Group C match in Houston. Another favorable result would set El Salvador up nicely to accomplish its goal of advancing to the next stage of the tournament.
Bonilla scored against Jamaica in the 2017 edition of the Gold Cup, a 1-1 result in San Antonio, Texas. He also scored the game-winning goal in the 2-0 CNLQ win over the Jamaicans at the Estadio Cuscatlan – a win that secured El Salvador’s ticket to this tournament.
“We must not lower our arms,” said Bonilla. “We know what we want, we want to qualify as the first place and next is the match in Houston.”