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Mexico edge Martinique to top Gold Cup group

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(Reuters) – Seven-times Gold Cup champions Mexico secured top spot in Group A with a 3-2 win over Martinique in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday.

The win saw Mexico go through the group phase with a 100% record and sets them up for a June 29 quarter-final in Houston against Costa Rica or Haiti, who play each other on Monday.

Following Canada’s 7-0 thrashing of Cuba earlier on Sunday, Mexico needed at least a point to secure top spot and they took the lead just before the half-hour mark through Uriel Antuna, who raced down the right before cutting in and firing home inside the near post.

Martinique, who had already been eliminated from the playoffs picture, equalised in the 56th minute through Kevin Parsemain after he curled a free kick around the wall and into the top-right corner.

Mexico went back in front five minutes later when Raul Jimenez tucked away Rodolfo Pizarro’s cross and it was 3-1 in the 72nd minute, Jimenez the provider this time, a smart touch through a pair of defenders for Fernando Navarro to rush in and score inside the far left post.

Martinique pulled one back when Jordy Delem headed home in the 84th minute but Mexico held on for the win.

The biennial Gold Cup crowns the continental champions of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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