MIAMI, Florida – One of the most scintillating matches during the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup was the Group A affair between Mexico and Canada, and the star proved to be a player who wasn’t even on the field at the start.
But by the end of Mexico’s 3-1 win over the Canadians at Bronco Stadium at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, the night clearly belonged to Mexico MF and captain Andres Guardado.
The night started with Guardado on the bench, but an injury in the 37’ to Erick Gutierrez forced Mexico boss Gerardo Martino to turn to his captain, and perhaps it was no coincidence that Guardado’s presence led to Mexico’s opening goal in the 40’ through Roberto Alvarado.
It was in the second half when Guardado took over and he gave Mexico a 2-0 lead in the 54’ with a stunning left-footed strike strike from distance for his 11th career Gold Cup goal.
Canada, who were fresh off of a 4-0 win over Martinique in their opening match, looked to carve into the Mexico lead and did just that in the 75’ when Jonathan David found a wide-open Lucas Cavallini, who swept in a shot to make it 2-1.
Right when Mexico were at their most vulnerable, Guardado would step forward and restore order just two minutes later in the 77’.
Uriel Antuna found the veteran MF with a cutback pass and Guardado, after making a move to his right, fired a shot that took a deflection and spun into net to complete the 3-1 scoreline.
For Guardado, it was a landmark night, as his second goal gave him 12 career Gold Cup goals in 20 matches, evening him with Zague for the most Gold Cup goals ever scored by a Mexican National Team player.
That was not the only milestone, however. The victory over Canada was also his 90th in a Mexico shirt, which tied him with former United States MF Landon Donovan for the most wins by a Concacaf player for their respective national team.
Guardado would of course go on to pass Donovan for the most wins by a Concacaf player at the national team level as Mexico marched to their eighth Gold Cup crown, but it was the 3-1 win over Canada in which Guardado put his stamp on the 2019 Gold Cup.
For those fans interested in seeing Guardado’s masterclass performance, tune into TUDN on Tuesday at 9 AM ET for a re-broadcast.