With more than four goals per game in the first three days, soccer's CONCACAF (Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Assn. Football) Gold Cup has turned into the Goal Cup.
Nine goals were scored Sunday at the Coliseum before a crowd of 4,797, which watched Mexico beat Canada, 3-1, and Honduras beat Jamaica, 5-0.
Unfortunately for tournament organizers, only one of six first-round games--the United States' 2-1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday--has been particularly close.
That will not necessarily change at the Rose Bowl tonight, when Costa Rica meets Trinidad and Tobago at 6:15 and the United States meets Guatemala at 8:15. But the eight-team, 10-day tournament should become more competitive at the Coliseum Wednesday, when the highest-seeded teams in the two groups meet.
With victories Sunday, Mexico and Honduras were guaranteed berths in Friday's semifinals.
In its loss to Mexico, Canada was missing its first-team goalkeeper, Craig Forrest, who was suspended for three games after being ejected from Friday night's 4-2 loss to Honduras.
Replacement Paul Dolan arrived from Vancouver Saturday and was burned on a shot by forward Carlos Hermosillo in the third minute. Mexico scored again in the 40th minute on a shot from 20 yards by midfielder Jose de la Torre.
There was virtually no action in the second half until Canada's Jamie Lowery caught the Mexican defense, like the crowd, asleep and scored on a header in the 83rd minute. But Mexico's Benjamin Galindo put the game out of reach by scoring on a penalty kick in the 90th minute.
According to a news release distributed by the organizers, Jamaica established itself as the surprise team in Friday's opener, "baffling the Mexican defense with unexpected speed and ball control skills."
That was during Jamaica's 4-1 \o7 loss\f7 to Mexico. One shudders to think what the outcome might have been if the Mexicans had not been baffled.
Actually, it probably wouldn't have been any worse than Sunday's game against Honduras was for the Jamaicans. Midfielder Luis Calix scored two goals. Defender Marco Anariba scored one goal and assisted on two others.