Welcome to your 2015 Gold Cup Group B open thread, as Orlando City's Cyle Larin and Darwin Ceren try t0 stay alive in the tournament. Canada and El Salvador both need results, but the Canadians have the toughest battle ahead.
Canada will at least be playing on home soil (at Toronto's BMO Field) against group favorites Costa Rica, which has so far disappointed in this year's Gold Cup. Both Jamaica and El Salvador salvaged draws against Los Ticos, with Dustin Corea's 92nd-minute equalizer throwing El Salvador a much-needed lifeline on Saturday night.
Jamaica leads Group B on four points, with Costa Rica and El Salvador each at two and Canada with only one. The Canadians can help their cause with an upset win tonight but they have yet to score a goal in the tournament and conceded a Rodolph Austin goal in the 92nd minute Saturday against Jamaica to let a valuable point slip away.
Two third-place teams will advance to the knockout stage. Right now, El Salvador has a spot in the knockout stage, but a lot can change tonight and tomorrow Guatemala will be favored to take three points against Cuba in Group C. A win over Jamaica would clinch a spot in the knockout round for Ceren's home country.
El Salvador is 4-9-4 against the Jamaicans, and hasn't beaten the Reggae Boyz since a 2-0 result on home soil in November of 2000 during World Cup qualifying. Jamaica is unbeaten in the last nine meetings (6-3-0).
In Gold Cup play, the two sides have met twice before, with Jamaica winning both. El Salvador lost 2-0 in February of 1998 in Gold Cup play in Los Angeles, and 1-0 in July of 2009 in Miami. Both losses came in group play and El Salvador failed to advance both times.
Canada has met Costa Rica 19 times, compiling just a 4-8-7 record over the years. The most recent meeting was a 1-0 win for Los Ticos on a 16th-minute Jairo Arrieta penalty kick on May 28, 2013.
The teams have a long history in the Gold Cup, meeting in the tournament six times, with Canada holding a 2-1-3 edge. The first of those was a 1-1 draw in 1993 in Mexico City, when Roy Myers scored in the 82nd minute for Costa Rica. By dropping two points that day, the Canadians lost out on a knockout stage spot. The two countries also drew in the second meeting, 2-2 in 2000 in San Diego. That year, there were four groups and all three teams in Group D finished with a pair of draws. Canada advanced to the knockout stage by winning a coin flip against invited guest nation South Korea.
In 2003, Paul Stalteri's goal in Foxborough gave the Canadians a 1-0 victory in Group D but Canada still bowed out of the tournament on tiebreakers. In 2005, it was Los Ticos winning 1-0 on a Jafet Soto penalty kick in Seattle. Canada failed to advance out of Group B.
Canada won 2-1 in Group A in 2007 on a pair of Julian de Guzman goals, winning the group with a 2-1-0 record. They defeated Guatemala in the quarterfinals that year but lost 2-1 to the United States in the semis. Costa Rica and Canada drew 2-2 in 2009 in Miami in Group A play with Patrice Bernier and Marcel de Jong scoring. The Canadians took the group with a 2-0-1 mark but were knocked out by Honduras in the quarterfinals.
That 2009 Group A was identical to this year's Group B in terms of the four teams involved. Canada won that group with a 2-0-1 mark. Costa Rica (1-1-1) advanced as the runner-up, while both El Salvador and Jamaica finished 1-0-2 and were eliminated.
Here's the info you need to catch the games:
How to Watch:
Match time: 6 p.m. (Jamaica vs. El Salvador) and 8 p.m. (Canada vs. Costa Rica). Both times are ET.
Venue: BMO Field - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TV: FOX Sports 2, UniMas, Univision Deportes
Live Stream: UnivisionDeportes.com
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates on Canada, follow along with @CanadaSoccerEN
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