(Reuters) – Lucas Cavallini and Jonathan David each scored a hat-trick as Canada romped to a record-setting 7-0 win over Cuba in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday to seal their spot in the Gold Cup quarter-finals.
It marked the first time that two players have had hat-tricks in the same game at the biennial tournament that crowns the continental champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
David put Canada ahead in the fourth minute before Cavallini took over the Group A clash with a first-half hat-trick against the already-eliminated Cubans.
“It was one of those games where we had to take it to them and really keep our tempo high,” said Canada head coach John Herdman. “They were focused, they got the job done by half time It’s just a great night to see seven goals go in at a Gold Cup.”
Canada finished second to Mexico with six points from three games and will next face the Group B runner-up — either Costa Rica or Haiti — in the June 29 quarter-final in Houston.
Cavallini scored his first of the night in the 21st minute with a tap-in on the goal line after Cuba’s Jorge Kindelan tried to block a cross only to send the ball rebounding off the post.
The 26-year-old forward scored his second with a sublime finish in the 43rd minute after David passed into the box, and then his third two minutes later with a sliding effort converting an Alphonso Davies ball.
Shortly after Junior Hoilett scored to make it 5-0 in the 50th minute, Cavallini nearly had a fourth goal but his penalty in the 56th minute missed the target.
David buried his second of the night from the top of the area in the 71st minute and then completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute, making him the top scorer at this year’s Gold Cup with five.
“Credit to Cuba, they came out here with a lot of pride,” said centre back Doneil Henry. “We have a lot of respect for these guys as an opponent. We’re really excited for what we’ve got next.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ian Ransom and Sudipto Ganguly)