HOUSTON, TX – JULY 11: Elias Aguilar #7 of El Salvador kicks the ball away from Celso Borges #5 of Costa Rica in the first half at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 11, 2015 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Exciting Finishes Galore in Group B of Gold Cup

The second game day of Group B of the Gold Cup has come to a close and there was some great action between the four teams. On the slate was Jamaica vs. Canada and El Salvador vs. Costa Rica, and both games had fantastic finishes. The venue for the doubleheader was BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas, and it was host to some great action between some talented teams.

Jamaica vs. Canada got off to a very slow start with Jamaica getting most, if not all, of the chances leaving Canada to defend at virtually every point of the game. Jamaica really put the pressure on the Canadians almost scoring on a great chance in front of goal, which was cleared away by David Edgar.

Another great chance for Jamaica came from a set piece where Giles Barnes took a free kick from right outside the box and rang it off the crossbar, leaving Jamaican players and fans frustrated with their rotten luck.

The second half was no different for Jamaica in that they dominated the game, as well as the possession of the ball, and created most of their chances leaving Canada searching for a spark to ignite their offense. However, that spark never came for Canada and Jamaica kept control of the ball for the rest of the game.

It seemed as if both teams were headed for a draw until, in the dying moments of the match, Jamaican captain Rodolph Austin headed in a great cross by Garath McCleary to score the game-winning, and only, goal of the game to give Jamaica the victory 1-0.

The second game of the day between Costa Rica and El Salvador provided great excitement as BBVA Compass Stadium was packed with the blue and white of El Salvador, cheering them on throughout the whole game.

The match was a fantastic one, as back and forth action between both sides dominated the first half. Both El Salvador and Costa Rica had great chances on net, but it was El Salvador that took control of the first half as the “home” crowd willed them on every time they approached the net.

At the break, the game was still scoreless but both teams looked like they were inching closer to a goal. El Salvador hoped to keep their momentum going, but Costa Rica came out of the interval looking to dominate the match.

Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz scored the game’s first goal in the 61st minute when Álvaro Saborío gave Ruiz a nice feed that led to a great run towards goal. Ruiz simply slotted the ball towards the near post on Salvadorian Derby Carrillo, a ball he should have parried away, but found its way under Carrillo for the 1-0 Costa Rica lead.

For the rest of the 30 minutes of regular time, Costa Rica seemed like they were cruising towards their first three points of the tournament until a lack of concentration in stoppage time led to El Salvador’s equalizer.

A minute into stoppage time, Costa Rica conceded a late free kick from the right side. Arturo Alvarez took the free kick and it dropped right into the six-yard box finding an unmarked Dustin Corea, who connected his leg with the ball, volleying in an amazing equalizer for El Salvador.

While the Salvadorian crowd in Houston celebrated their team’s spectacular goal, the referee blew his whistle, signaling full time, and El Salvador and Costa Rica would share a point each going into their last group game.

With these results, Jamaica leads the group with four points, Costa Rica and El Salvador are two and three with two points each, and Canada sits in the cellar with only one point.

The next games are pivotal to see who will advance from the group as all teams still have a chance to go on to the knockout stage. Canada faces Costa Rica and El Salvador will face Jamaica at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Tuesday, July 14th.

Winners take all, and ties keep things exactly as they stand — meaning Canada is on its last legs heading in to a matchup on its home turf. No pressure…

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.