Mexico ships two in narrow win over Martinique

Mexico forward Uriel Antuna celebrates after scoring a goal against Martinique in the Gold Cup.
Mexico forward Uriel Antuna celebrates after scoring a goal against Martinique in the Gold Cup.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - LA Galaxy's 21-year-old winger Uriel Antuna and Wolves striker Raul Jimenez both scored to help Mexico to a 3-2 victory over Martinique at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday to secure top spot in Group A of the Gold Cup after a shaky performance.

Antuna netted his fourth goal of the Gold Cup, but Martinique made it a tough night for El Tri and coach Gerardo Martino, who had made six changes to his starting XI from the 3-1 victory last Wednesday against Canada.

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Mexico wrapped up the group stage with nine points, with 13 goals scored and three against over the three games to advance to play the quarterfinal on Saturday in Houston against the runner-up in Group B. Costa and Haiti play for the top spot in that group on Monday in New Jersey.

Antuna sped down the right wing, cut inside onto his left foot and struck a shot that beat Jean-Sylvain Babin's at the near post to hand Mexico the lead in the 29th minute.

Mexico controlled the majority of the game, but Martinique defended stoutly for the first hour and the Caribbean side -- made up mainly by amateur players -- equalized when forward Kevin Parsemain struck a free kick from the edge of the area in the top corner of the net 10 minutes after half-time.

Jimenez responded with a tap-in from close range in the 61st following a square pass from substitute Rodolfo Pizarro, before full-back Fernando Navarro extended the lead with El Tri's third in the 72nd.

A late goal from Jordy Delem made it an uncomfortable last five minutes as Mexico secured its seventh consecutive win under Martino in 2019.

Earlier on Sunday in the same venue, Canada thrashed Cuba 7-0 to secure second spot in Group A, with Jonathan David and Lucas Cavallini both scoring hat tricks.

Canadian David is currently the leading goalscorer in the tournament on five goals, with Cavallini and Antuna on four.