Canada held again, Guadeloupe sparkle with goal parade


Canada held again, Guadeloupe sparkle with goal parade
Matthias Phaeton scored twice for Guadeloupe as they beat Cuba 4-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group D on Saturday / © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Toothless Canada were held to a goalless draw by Guatemala in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Saturday, while group D rivals Guadeloupe sparkled in a 4-1 crushing of Cuba.

The results leave Guadeloupe top of the group on four points, ahead of Guatemala on goal difference with Canada on two points and Cuba yet to register a point.

John Herdman's Canada can still progress into the quarter-finals with a win against Cuba but it was another below-par performance.

The energy-sapping heat in Houston could be blamed for a lacklustre opening 45 minutes, which saw few chances other than a Nathaniel Mendez drive which was well saved by Milan Borjan and at the other end a Junior Hoilett volley over the bar.

The tempo was higher in the second half but chances remained scarce -- Jacob Shaffelburg hesitated inside the box and his effort was blocked in the 75th minute with Zac McGraw blasting the follow-up high.

Guatemala looked dangerous on the break in the latter stages and Esteban Garcia's lovely first touch created an opening but he fired wide.

Antonio Lopez had the last chance of the game but his shot lacked power and was easily saved by Borjan.

In contrast to that lack of incisiveness in the final third, Guadeloupe produced some outstanding finishing in their dismantling of Cuba.

A brilliant strike from the edge of the box from Matthias Phaeton opened the scoring and then a beautiful curling shot from Ange-Freddy Plumain doubled the lead in the 41st minute.

Two minutes later Phaeton, who plays in Bulgaria for CSKA Sofia, delivered again with a strike from the edge of the box to send Guadeloupe 3-0 up at the break.

There was more to come, with Anthony Baron scoring a contender for goal of the tournament as he pirouetted to lose two defenders in the box and then calmly slotted home.

An Arichel Hernandez penalty provided some consolation for Cuba and they also had a Daniel Diaz tap-in ruled out for offside.

But Guadeloupe ended strongly and went close to adding a fifth -- and another spectacular goal -- when Nathanael Saintini crashed a shot against the bar from 25 yards out.

The third round of games starts on Sunday with Jamaica facing St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States playing Trinidad and Tobago in group A.

In group B Honduras are up against Haiti and Mexico face Qatar.

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