MIAMI, Florida – There is a long history between Mexico and El Salvador in Concacaf competition, including the Concacaf Gold Cup.
The first Gold Cup meeting between the two sides came in the 2002 Gold Cup when Jair Garcia’s goal in the 31’ held up for El Tricolor in a 1-0 win.
More than nine years later they met for the second time in the 2011 Gold Cup, as a scoreless first half gave way to a five-goal second half for the Mexicans, including a Javier Hernandez hat-trick, in a 5-0 triumph.
Their latest meeting was another close, hard-fought affair, this time in their 2017 Gold Cup group stage opener in front of over 53,000 fans at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.
El Tricolor raced out to a 1-0 lead in the 8’ on an Hedgardo Marin header, but two minutes later in the 10’ Nelson Bonilla would tally El Salvador’s first ever Gold Cup goal against Mexico by receiving an inch-perfect pass from Rodolfo Zelaya and scoring to bring the Cuscatlecos level 1-1.
The Mexico fans would be brought to their feet though later in the first half on a hard-struck volley off the right foot of Elias Hernandez in the 29’ to hand Mexico a 2-1 advantage.
Hernandez then got to play provider in the 55’ with a cross from the right that found the onrushing Orbelin Pineda at the back post and with an easy right-footed stroke, Pineda made it 3-1 to Mexico.
El Salvador refused to throw in the towel and created several chances to try to cut the deficit to a single goal, but were unable to find a way past Mexico GK Jesus Corona.
In the end, El Tricolor pocketed their third Gold Cup victory against El Salvador in three attempts, while extending their winning streak against the Central Americans in Concacaf competition to seven matches.
Fans can see a full replay of the match on Monday at 9 AM ET on TUDN.