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2015 Gold Cup - Day Three Review & Day Four Preview

Waking the Red recaps all the action from the third day of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and looks ahead to Day Four

On Day Three, let there be goals - the Gold Cup breaks out
On Day Three, let there be goals - the Gold Cup breaks out
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Following a series of close-fought group openers, resulting in three draws and a one-goal win, the Gold Cup opened up on Day Three with a pair of lop-sided matches in Chicago, Illinois.

Group C got underway with an encounter between Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala resulting in a 3-1 win for The Soca Warriors.

T&T struck three times in the opening half hour to surge into the lead. Defender Sheldon Bateau got the first in the tenth minute, meeting a left-sided corner kick from Khaleem Hyland in the middle of the box, steering the ball to the right-side of goal with his right-foot, banking the finish in off the post having out-muscled Moises Hernandez to the delivery.

Cordell Cato added the second three minutes later, pouncing on a weak back-header from Hernandez. Elias Vasquez tried to win the ball, but Cato did enough to put him off, spinning off Vasquez and rounding the keeper to the right before rolling a right-footer into the open net.

Joevin Jones would provide the third in the 25th minute, left-footing into the open net after Cato's run down the left-side of the area was cut out by Guatemalan keeper, Ricardo Jerez, pulling him out of position. Jones had started the play, slipping a ball down the side of the area for Cato and was on hand to convert the rebound.

They would nearly add a fourth before the half-time whistle through Kenwyne Jones, but his shot was blocked by Wilson Lalin after Hernandez failed to cut out a cross from the right.

Los Chapines would compose themselves for the second half, finding a few chances before pulling one back.

Marco Pappa guided an effort over the bar following a tricky set-play: a free-kick on the left-side of the area was squared across the top of the box, but his left-footer flew inches over the bar. And then a low drive from Kendell Herrarte on the right was pushed wide of the post by Trinidadian keeper, Jan Williams.

35-year old Carlos Ruiz, El Pescadito himself, would pull one back in the 61st minute with a classic move, showing he is still a threat in the area. Ruiz collected a flick on from Minor Lopez, moving to the right-side of the area, ghosting past the attentions of defender Radanfah Abu Bakr to smash a right-footer past the keeper at the short-side.

But it was too little, too late, as Trinidad and Tobago would take the group opener.

With the stadium packed for the evening's second match, Mexico laid a beating on minnows Cuba, out-powering them at every turn en route to a 6-0 scoreline.

Oribe Peralta grabbed the first in the sixteenth minute, finally finding the back of the net in the third of a series of chances. Cuban keeper Diosvelis Guerra saved the first, while the second, a shot from Andres Guardado, was cleared off the line by Yasmany Lopez, but Guardado would direct the rebound towards Peralta in the middle of the box and he dispatched the chance with a left-footer to the left-side of goal.

Carlos Vela added a second in the 22nd minute with a low left-footer across the keeper and Peralta scored again in the 36th, latching onto a deflected through-ball that fell into his path down the right-side of the area, placing a right-footer across to the left-side of goal.

Guardado would make it four before half-time, rising up to meet a cross from Antonio Rios on the right, directing his header to the right-side of goal when an attempt from Cuban defender Yaisnier Napoles to play an off-side trap went terribly wrong in the 43rd minute.

With a four-goal advantage secured, El Tri took their foot off the gas.

But not too much, as Peralta would complete his hat-trick in the 61st minute, leaping over a defender at the back-post to knock down a cross from Carlos Esquivel on the left, before ensuring the ball crossed the line with a right-footed touch.

And Giovani Dos Santos made it six in the 74th minute, streaking in alone from a long ball before left-footing across the goalkeeper.

Few would have expected Los Leones del Caribe to mount much of a challenge, but they were lucky to escape having conceded only six goals, as the Mexicans romped to close out the opening round of group fixtures.

Group C would close the day with Mexico atop the standings with three points and a plus-six. Trinidad and Tobago similarly collected the full points, but sit with a more modest plus-two. Guatemala and Cuba both have zero points, with minus-two and minus-six goal-differentials, respectively.

Come Friday, the action returns back to the top of the schedule with the second round of Group A fixtures in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Honduras faces Panama in the early match, while the USA returns to the pitch against Haiti in the second fixture – should be an entertaining evening.