Internationals | Jimenez fires Mexico into Gold Cup quarter-finals

Raul Jimenez scored Mexico’s second and set up the winner as his country beat Martinique 3-2 to secure first place in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Group A table and passage through to the quarter-finals.

Knowing a point was all it took for Mexico to make it into the knockout stages, ‘El Tri’ got off to the perfect start when Uriel Antuna put his team ahead with a well-worked individual goal.

Just five minutes after the half-time break, Martinique got themselves back into the tie, Jimenez pounced on a Rodolfo Pizzaro cross from the left to put Mexico back in front. The Wolves number nine got behind the defence to slot home an unmissable shot from a matter of yards.

Raul then turned provider to extend his side’s advantage, playing a delicious through ball to the onrushing Fernando Navarro who beat the offside trap to finish calmly into the bottom left corner of the net.

Jimenez was taken off the pitch with 15 minutes of the game remaining, and although Martinique brought the scoreline back to 3-2 with five minutes left to play, Mexico held on to seal their place in the quarter-finals and a match against the second-placed team in Group B. That match will take place in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Elsewhere this week, Romain Saiss and Morocco got off to a winning start in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign. Saiss played the entire 90 minutes of the contest against Namibia in Egypt on Sunday afternoon, with his side winning 1-0 thanks to an 89th minute own goal.

The Atlas Lions will now go head-to-head with the Ivory Coast from 6pm on Friday evening, who themselves will start their tournament this afternoon with a clash against fellow Group C outfit South Africa.

Morgan Gibbs-White was again an unused substitute for England under-21s as they fell to a 4-2 defeat to Romania in the U21 European Championships in Italy which saw the side fall out of the competition.

England’s final game of the tournament will be against Croatia from 8pm this evening, which will decide which sides finish third and fourth in the Group C table.