Despite the fact that, for the first time in the competition’s history, two Caribbean teams, Haiti and Jamaica, were in the final four of the Gold Cup, no players from those nations managed to find their way into a Best XI. 

History was made on Saturday night in Houston, with Haiti qualifying for a Concacaf Gold Cup semifinal for the first time in its history after rallying from a two-goal deficit to defeat Canada 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

It made for a very emotional post-game setting for Haiti at the final whistle.

“To be honest, I cried. I was crying and then I got jumped on. It just feels amazing, I could not be happier than this,” said Haiti MF Steeven Saba to Concacaf.com following the match.

“We were down 2-0, we hung in there just like in the group stages. In the second half, we had to put it all out there, take risks and we got what we wanted. We got the win and we could not be happier.”

The victory also set off scenes of joy and celebration back home in the streets of Haiti.

For Saba and his teammates, to deliver this win and leave a smile on the face of every Haitian is a memory they will always cherish.

“To be honest, it’s incredible. It means the world to us because I know what’s going on down there in Haiti. I got really emotional after the game because that’s how much it means to us, to the entire team,” said Saba.

Next up for Haiti is a semifinal date with seven-time Gold Cup champions with Mexico on Tuesday in Phoenix.

While Les Grenadiers greatly respect El Tricolor and all that it has accomplished in the region, Haiti will go into that contest ready to battle like always.

“We’re fighters, we’re all warriors. Coming from Haiti, we’re always fighting and we are going to keep fighting. I respect everyone in this group, I love everyone in this group, we’re all a family and we could not be happier. 

“I respect Mexico, but I’ll say that we are not afraid of anyone. We’re fighters and where we come from that’s what we do,” concluded Saba.

Haiti stunned Canada 3-2 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter-finals in a huge upset in Houston on Saturday.

The minnows looked set for an expected defeat when they fell 2-0 behind inside 30 minutes at NRG Stadium.

Jonathan David's powerful finish and Lucas Cavallini's goal had Canada, who finished second to Mexico in Group A, on track.

But Haiti remarkably turned the game around in the second half to reach their first CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-final.

Duckens Nazon dispossessed Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan to pull a goal back before Herve Bazile converted a 70th-minute penalty.

The turnaround was complete when Wilde-Donald Guerrier got on the end of a beautiful Nazon pass to put Haiti ahead six minutes later, sealing an incredible win.

Haiti will face either Mexico or Costa Rica in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

The first of the four 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals will kick off when Haiti takes on Canada on Saturday evening at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. 

It was a history-making night for Andres Guardado, who scored a brace to lead Mexico past Canada 3-1 in 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Group A action on Wednesday night at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver, Colorado.

Guardado’s two goals brings his all-time Gold Cup total to 12, which ties the mark set previously by Zague for most Gold Cup goals scored by a Mexican player.

It took until the 40’ for El Tricolor to break through, as a blocked shot fell right into the path of Roberto Alvarado, who fired in for a 1-0 lead.

Canada looked to respond and came close through an Alphonso Davies shot that sailed just wide. Back came Mexico the other way and Guardado doubled the lead to 2-0 in the 54’ with a strong left-footed shot.

Canada was not about to throw in the towel, though, and the Mexico lead was cut to 2-1 in the 75’ when Jonathan David stripped a Mexico defender and fed Lucas Cavallini, who calmly scored.

But the night belonged to Guardado, who notched his 12th Gold Cup goal by banking in a shot off the post in the 77’ to complete the 3-1 scoreline.

Mexico continued their flawless run under Gerardo Martino after overcoming Canada 3-1 at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Canada impressed in Denver but Mexico's class was telling as an Andres Guardado brace and Roberto Alvarado strike led Martino's men to back-to-back Group A wins.

Alvarado smashed home the opener in the 40th minute before Guardado – a first-half replacement for injured team-mate Erick Gutierrez – made it 2-0 with a stunning long-range effort nine minutes into the second half on Wednesday.

Lucas Cavallini gave Canada some hope with 15 minutes remaining, however, Guardado's second two minutes later sealed a sixth successive victory for Mexico.

Canada – without a win against Mexico since their extra-time victory at the 2000 Gold Cup – frustrated the seven-time champions for much of the opening period.

Canada – who eased past Martinique 4-0 in their first match – were well organised but they almost came unstuck when Jonathan dos Santos blazed a fierce volley over the crossbar.

Mexico did make the breakthrough five minutes prior to half-time after Canada failed to deal with a cross as Raul Jimenez's reflex shot was well saved but the ball fell to the feet of Alvarado and he emphatically converted the rebound.

Canada almost restored parity minutes later via Cavallini, who outmuscled and outran his opponent and forced a save from Guillermo Ochoa.

Relatively quiet in the first half, Bayern Munich sensation Alphonso Davies went agonisingly close to equalising for Canada after ghosting beyond two defenders and seeing his shot flash just wide of the back post.

However, Mexico went up the other end and doubled their lead in the 54th minute when a loose clearance went straight to Guardado, who hit an unstoppable shot past Milan Borjan.

Canada refused to surrender as Jonathan Osorio went close twice and their effort was rewarded after Cavallini bundled home a goal with 15 minutes remaining. However, their hopes were dashed within minutes as Guardado completed his brace.

 

What does it mean? El Tri flying under Tata

After leading Atlanta United to a memorable MLS title, former Argentina and Barcelona boss Martino is thriving on the international stage. Mexico have beaten Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba and Canada, and they are on track for their first Gold Cup title since 2015.

Mexico lose Gutierrez

Guardado came off the bench and scored twice to lead his nation to another win but it came after an injury to Gutierrez. The PSV midfielder appeared to suffer a hamstring injury and Mexico will be sweating on his fitness heading into the knockout rounds.

Future bright for Canada

Canada left emptyhanded but there was a lot to like about John Herdman's men. They were decent in possession and a threat in attack thanks to Cavallini, Davies and Osorio.

What's next?

Mexico will look to preserve their 100 per cent record when they meet Martinique on Sunday, while Canada can bounce back against Cuba on the same day.

NBA championship-winning head coach Nick Nurse plans to lead Canada at this year's FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

Nurse guided the Raptors to their first title after dethroning two-time defending champions the Golden State Warriors.

With a championship under his belt, Nurse is now set to coach a Canada team potentially boasting Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray and Cory Joseph when the World Cup starts in August.

"I'm getting ready to take another situation soon because I think it's going to make me a better coach," the 51-year-old – who landed the Larry O'Brien Trophy in his rookie season – told reporters on Sunday.

Pressed on whether he was talking about Canada, who are looking for a new coach after Jay Triano stepped down in March, Nurse confirmed a deal was "just about done".

Nurse added: "It's something I'm looking forward to doing... I learned a lot as a coach in that run and I'm hoping this experience will do the same.

"It's a unique time with the World Cup and the Olympics within a short 13- to 14-month window. And it fits in OK. I'm just giving up some vacation time."

Canada will come up against Australia, led by Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons, Lithuania and Senegal in Group H at the World Cup.

A brace from Jonathan David helped power Canada past Martinique 4-0 in the opening match of 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Group A on Saturday afternoon at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

After the two teams traded chances in the first half-hour, Canada broke through when a heavy touch from the Martinique defense allowed David to fire in past Martinique GK Loic Chauvet in the 33’ for the 2019 Gold Cup’s first goal and a 1-0 Canada lead.

Martinique looked to respond and FW Kevin Parsemain had three separate cracks at goal right before halftime, but was denied each time by Canada GK Milan Borjan.

 

Canada looked to wrestle back control and it doubled its lead to 2-0 in the 53’ when Samuel Piette flighted in a pass to David, who calmly stroked home his second goal.

 

The momentum was with Canada and 10 minutes later in the 63’ Junior Hoilett managed to push in a cross from an Alphonso Davies cross for a 3-0 Canada lead. That was then followed by a Scott Arfield strike in the 67’ for a 4-0 advantage.

 

From there, the Canada defense did the rest to secure the clean sheet win and three points.

The 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup kicks off this Saturday with an interesting battle in Group A between Canada and Martinique at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The two teams arrive into the contest fresh off of a successful 2018-19 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying campaign in which they both took collected victories in each of their four matches.

Saturday’s clash marks the fourth Gold Cup contest between the two sides, with Martinique taking the three points in their last meeting, a 1-0 win in Group A in the 2013 Gold Cup, also played at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl.

Martinique will be led by dangerman Kevin Parsemain, who took the Gold Cup by storm two years ago in the 2017 edition when he scored three goals in the group stage.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of young talent on the Canadian side, led by Bayern Munich man Alphonso Davies, who served up four assists during CNLQ.

Canada is appearing in its 14thGold Cup, while Martinique will take the field in the Gold Cup for the sixth time in its history.

Finland claimed their first IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship title since 2011 courtesy of a 3-1 win over Canada in Sunday's final.

Kaapo Kakko, 18, scored twice for Finland, although his opener was cancelled out by Jonathan Marchessault in the first period.

But Arttu Ilomaki's goal gave Finland a third-period lead before Kakko's empty-netter in the final minute.

It was Finland's third tournament win and second straight when the event has been held in Slovakia, repeating their 2011 success.

Kakko, touted as a potential number one pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, praised his team's fight.

"It was such a great feeling out there, and our fans were so unbelievable," Kakko said.

"The team battled really well."

In the battle for third place, Russia recorded a 3-2 shoot-out victory over the Czech Republic.

Marko Anttila was Finland's hero as they beat Russia 1-0 to set up an IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship final against Canada.

Anttila scored the only goal of a tense semi-final with just under 10 minutes remaining on Saturday.

Captain Anttila brought Finland level in a quarter-final victory over defending champions Sweden and his deflected strike was decisive at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava.

Finland goaltender Kevin Lankinen said: "He [Anttila] took a stick in the face and came back and scored the game-winning goal,

"That shows a lot of character. He's a good leader and a really nice guy to be around."

Canada eased into the gold-medal game with a 5-1 defeat of the Czech Republic.

Mark Stone, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Darnell Nurse, Thomas Chabot and Kyle Turris were on target in a commanding display from Canada.

Canada were outstanding in defence and clinical in attack as they moved into a 10th decider in the last 17 years.

Canada scraped into the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship semi-finals with a dramatic victory over Switzerland, while defending champions Sweden were stunned.

The top-ranked Canadians were heading out of the tournament as they trailed 2-1 late in the third period until New Jersey Devils defenceman Damon Severson intervened.

Severson's point shot squeezed over the line with 0.4 seconds remaining and a video review confirmed the goal to take the game to overtime.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone then scored his second goal of the clash to clinch a precious 3-2 win.

"I saw the puck go in and that's all I could tell you really," said Severson. "I didn't know how much time was left.

"I knew that it was going to be close to the end of the period, but it ended up being the tying goal with 0.4 left, so that was awesome."

There was also a dramatic finish between Finland and Sweden as two late goals saw the 2018 winners beaten 5-4.

Marko Anttila took the contest to overtime, where Sakari Manninen was the Finland hero.

Russia's bid for a 28th gold medal – extending their own record – continues after they defeated the United States 4-3. They will play Finland, while Czech Republic thrashed Germany 5-1 to set up a meeting with Canada.

Italy secured their place in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for another season after a shoot-out victory over Austria.

Both sides went into Monday's Group B clash knowing the loser would be relegated.

With the scores level at 3-3 thanks to Michael Raffl's third-period goal for Austria, the deadlock could not be broken in overtime, but thanks to Andreas Bernard's superb save in the shoot-out, Italy were able to clinch the victory when Sean McMonagle found the net.

The result means Austria will be in Division I Group A for the 2020 campaign. France will also be there too, after they went down 4-3 to Great Britain.

Ben Davies struck just over two minutes into overtime for Britain, meaning France - who had led 3-0 before being pegged back - will not be in the top tier next year for the first time since 2008.

Also in Group A, Canada's emphatic 5-0 victory over Denmark lifted them into second place, behind Finland.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Jared McCann and Jonathan Marchessault had them 3-0 up inside 10 minutes, with Sam Reinhart's double adding further gloss for Canada.

Meanwhile, Dennis Rasmussen's effort with 34 seconds left on the clock proved decisive as Sweden ensured their place in the last eight by beating Group B rivals Latvia 5-4.

 

The United States inched closer to a IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship quarter-final spot as Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane shone again in a 7-1 victory over Denmark.

Kane scored three points in the Group A success, as did Chicago team-mate Alex DeBrincat, with USA now virtually assured of a last-eight berth.

That would have been confirmed had hosts Slovakia not beaten Great Britain, but the hosts remain in the hunt after a convincing 7-1 triumph in which they scored three times in each of the first two periods.

With three of the top-four spots in Group A already sewn up, USA would join Finland, Canada and Germany in the quarter-finals if they beat the Germans on Sunday.

In Group B, Sweden's last-eight hopes were boosted by a thrilling 4-3 win over Switzerland in a repeat of last year's final.

Defending champions Sweden again came out on top thanks to Oliver Ekman-Larsson's game-winner in the third period.

Canada inflicted a first defeat on Germany, who went down 8-1 in Group A, while in Group B, Russia beat Latvia 3-1 and Norway overcame Italy 7-1.

Defending champions Sweden continued their impressive form at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, while Canada were also victorious on Thursday.

After losing their Group B opener, Sweden – winners of the past two editions of the tournament – have cruised to three straight victories, the latest of which was a 9-1 thrashing of Austria.

NHL trio Elias Lindholm, Elias Pettersson and Gabriel Landeskog each finished with a goal and two assists in their latest comprehensive win.

The Czech Republic joined Sweden with three wins from four by beating Latvia 6-3.

In Group A, Canada – who claimed back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016 – recorded a 5-2 win over France.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault had two assists for Canada, who also have three wins from four.

Finland sit second in the group and are well-placed to reach the quarter-finals after overcoming Denmark 3-1.

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