Peralta hat-trick powers Mexico past Cuba
Oribe Peralta (pictured) scored three goals in Mexico's CONCACAF Gold Cup win Cuba on July 9, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Mexsport)CHICAGO, Illinois – Oribe Peralta recorded a hat-trick to power Mexico to a 6-0 victory over Cuba in the Group C opener for both teams at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday night.Carlos Vela, Andres Guardado and Giovani Dos Santos also tallied for the Mexicans in front 54,126 fans at Soldier Field.Peralta, the 2013 CONCACAF Player of the Year, gave the Tricolor all the scoring it needed in the 17th minute, poking home from seven-yards out following a flurry of activity in Cuba’s end. After Guardado’s left-footed effort was cleared off the line at the right post by Yasmany Lopez, the unmarked Peralta reacted quickly for his first career Gold Cup goal. Earlier in the sequence, goalkeeper Diosvelis Guerra blocked a Carlos Vela attempt.Seven minutes later, though, Vela did not miss. The 26-year-old outmuscled Hanier Dranguet for a bouncing ball in the left side of the box and snapped off a left-footer into the right side of the net to make it 2-0.In the 37th minute, Peralta would net his second. A splendidly deceptive feed on the ground into the right side of the box by Hector Herrera, plus a fine off-the-ball run by Paul Aguilar, allowed the Club America star to slot home easily from nine-yards out.Team captain Guardado grabbed the fourth two minutes prior to the break, beating an offside trap to head home from 12 yards off a wonderful chip into the left side of the penalty area by Antonio Rios.Cuba remained bunkered in its own territory in the second half, waiting for a chance at a counterattack. Mexico, though, was happy to maintain possession, while examining options for scoring opportunities. One those led to Peralta’s third goal just past the hour mark.Vela's lofted cross from the left side of the box targeted Peralta, who outjumped Jorge Luis Corrales at the right post for a header towards the goal. As Corrales remained on the ground, Peralta pushed the ball home from “can’t miss” range.Dos Santos, a second-half substitute for his brother Jonathan, punctuated the scoreline in 75th minute, finding the ball of the net courtesy of a long ball from Miguel Layun.Mexico next faces Guatemala in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, while Cuba will to bounce back against Trinidad & Tobago.NOTES: Oribe Peralta became the fourth Mexican to score three goals or more in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match, joining Luis Roberto Alves (1993: 7 v Martinique), Luis Miguel Salvador (1993: 3 v Jamaica) and Javier Hernandez (2011: 3 v El Salvador).