Mexico will try and capture the Group C title when El Tri faces Guadeloupe at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Mexico will also attempt to place some focus back on the tournament and off manager Javier Aguirre, who was banned for the games on Saturday for his actions in Thursday's game against Panama.
kick to Panama's Ricardo Phillips will cost Aguirre three games. Should
Mexico reach the Gold Cup semifinals, Aguirre will be able to serve out
the suspension in this tournament, but if Mexico crash out in the
quarterfinals, Aguirre will miss Mexico's World Cup qualifier against
the United States on Aug. 12 in Mexico City. Aguirre has been under an
immense amount of pressure for the the team's lackluster performances,
both in the Gold Cup as well as World Cup qualifying, and perhaps the
kick was part of his frustration boiling over. Regardless, Aguirre's
assistans - Mario Carrillo and Manuel Vidrio - will be in charge
against Guadeloupe. The assistants bring varying levels of experience
to the team - Carrillo led America to the Clausura 2005 championship
but Vidrio has never managed a first-division club before.
Focus On Football
were already under scrutiny for a less-than-stellar performance agianst
Nicaragua but the subsequent draw against Panama and the fallout from
the Aguirre incident only cranked up the controversy even more. Still,
with the media critical of Mexico's manager and their World Cup hopes,
the players can try and bring some of the focus back on the game and
the Gold Cup in general with a strong showing against Guadeloupe.
Mexico could win Group A with a win as Guadeloupe have six points, and
El Tri would vault them and finish with seven points. In that scenario,
Mexico would play Haiti in a quarterfinal match. If Mexico draw,
Guadeloupe would win the group and Mexico would play Costa Rica in a
quarterfinal match. An outside possibility exists for Mexico finishing
in third place: Guadeloupe and Panama would need victories, and the
combined margin of victories would need to be three. Should that
happen, Mexico would finish in third and would play the United States.
Another Surprising Run
cannot participate in FIFA World Cup qualifying since the island is
technically a territory of France. Thus, the Gold Cup is Guadeloupe's
only chance at true international glory. The Gwada Boys are not exactly
taking that opportunity lightly. Two years ago, Guadeloupe made a run
to the semifinals and met Mexico, and it took a spectacular long-range
goal by Pavel Pardo to knock Guadeloupe out. This time around,
Guadeloupe has a chance for revenge while also proving that last
tournament's run was no fluke.
Probable Starting Lineups
Guillermo Ochoa; Jose Antonio Castro, Jonny Magallon, Ismael Rodriguez,
Fausto Pinto; Giovani Dos Santos, Gerardo Torrado, Israel Castro,
Israel Martinez; Miguel Sabah, Omar Bravo.
Fausta; Cedric Avinel, Eddy Viator, Miguel Comminges, Stephane Auvray;
Aurelien Capoue, David Fleuviral, Thomas Gamiette; Ludovic Gotin, Loic
Loval Landre, Alexandre Alphonse.
Projected score: Guadeloupe 2, Mexico 0.
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