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CONCACAF Roundup: Chicharito’s Hat Trick Lifts Mexico Over El Salvador, Costa Rica Blows Out Cuba

The opening matches of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup took place yesterday at Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, Texas) with Costa Rica facing off Cuba and Mexico going up against El Salvador. We’re not going to lie to you, anything other than a blowout by both teams would have been severely disappointing. After all, both of these squads– along with the U.S. Men’s national team– are indisputably the best in the CONCACAF. Suffice it to say that out of the twenty times this tournament has been held, these three countries have won a whopping fifteen of them (Mexico: 8, USA: 4, Costa Rica: 3).

With that said,  both Mexico’s and Costa Rica’s 5-0 wins over their respective teams were impressive. For Mexico, a slow first half was more than made up for in the final 45 minutes of the match. El Tri remembered who they were playing (no offense to El Salvador), and unleashed a flurry of goals, opening up with an Efrain Juarez score that went in after the ball ricocheted into his face, continuing with a notch by Aldo De Nigris, and ending with a hat trick from none other than Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. You can watch the entire match highlights below:

It goes without saying that Chicharito strongly benefited from spending the last season in the English Premier League. If we’re not mistaken, the hat trick brings his goal tally to 6 in the last four games.

Unlike Mexico, Costa Rica took full advantage of the first half with scores from Gold Cup rookie Marco Ureña (6′), and Alvaro Saborio (40′).  Ureña, opnce again, wasted no time in the second half, scoring in the 45th minute. Heiner Mora followed a sixty seconds later (46′), and Joel Campbell scored the kiss of death goal in the 70th minute. All highlights below:

Both Mexico and Costa Rica are in Group A, which means they’ll eventually face off (June 12th). Make sure you watch this because it’ll likely be one of four games from the tournament that are worth your while.

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