Cuba vs Martinique Preview, Tips and Odds

Cuba will face Martinique for their second-round game in the Gold Cup at Sports Authority Field in Denver. The Cubans lost from Mexico in the first game with the massive scoreline of 7:0. Martinique also lost their opening Gold Cup match losing 4:0 against Canada and both nations are now at the the bottom of the group.

HEAD TO HEADLAST GAMELAST GAMESLAST GAMES HOME/AWAY
Cuba Loss 4 W/ 1 D/ 2 L 1 W/ 0 D/ 0 L
Martinique Win 2 W/ 1 D/ 4 L 0 W/ 0 D/ 1 L

Last game between the nations: 08.12.2012 Martinique – Cuba 1:0’ Frederic Piquionne 30’
Last game on Cuban soil: 13.12.2004 Cuba – Martinique 2:0

Worth mentioning: Only one of the seven H2H clashes between Cuba and Martinique produced over 2,5 goals, and again one witnessed goals at both ends. The Lions of the Caribbean were able to keep four clean sheets in their games against Les Matinino. Martinique have been unable to score more than once in any of the matches with the Cubans. Four times the games between the national football teams of Cuba and Martinique featured under 1,5 goals.

AS OF 16.06LAST GAMELAST GAMESLAST GAMES HOME/AWAY
Cuba Loss 5 W/ 1 D/ 4 L 4 W/ 0 D/ 1 L
Martinique Loss 5 W/ 0 D/ 5 L 2 W/ 0 D/ 3 L

Last game Cuba: 16.06.2019 Gold Cup: Mexico – Cuba 7:0; Carlos Antuna 2’, 44’,80’, Raul Jimenez 31’, 64’, Diego Reyes 38’, Ernesto Alexis Vega 74’
Next game Cuba: 24.06.2019 Gold Cup: Canada – Cuba
Last game Martinique: 16.06.2019 Gold Cup: Canada – Martinique 4:0; Jonathan David 33’, 53’, Junior Hoilett 62’, Scott Arfield 67’
Next game Martinique: 24.06.2019 Gold Cup: Martinique – Mexico

LAST 10 GAMESGF:GAOVER 2,5BTTSCLEAN SHEETS
Cuba 22:12 4 1 6
Martinique 15:15 6 3 4

Worth mentioning: Cuba will be looking for their first victory in five matches when they face Martinique, as they are are currently on a run of four straight defeats. The Lions of the Caribbean did not score in their previous three outings as they hit the back of the net against Haiti for the last time. Three of the previous five Cuba games produced over 2,5 goals, while just one witnessed goals at both ends.

The loss to Canada in their first Gold Cup game ended Martinique run of four consecutive victories. None of their previous ten matches finished in a draw. Three of the last five Martinique games featured over 3,5 goals, while just one saw both involved sides hitting the back of the net. Martinique managed to score in seven of their last ten away games, and the same number of encounters produced over 2,5 goals.

Missing players Martinique: No reports of injuries or suspensions.

Cuba vs Martinique GC2

 

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CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019: Group A Preview

The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off with two North American and two Caribbean teams in Group A. Mexico is the clear favorite, but the other three teams should not be overlooked. Will Cuba and Martinique break through to the quarterfinal or will Canada finally deliver on their long-promised resurgence?

SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 15

Canada vs Martinique, 7:30 PM ET

Mexico vs Cuba, 10:00 PM ET

Wednesday, June 19

Cuba vs Martinique, 8:00 PM ET

Mexico vs Canada, 10:30 PM ET

Sunday, June 23

Canada vs Cuba, 6:00 PM ET

Martinique vs Mexico, 8:30 PM ET

Cuba

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 174/129

Odds of winning: Dark Horse

Cuba has enjoyed relative success at the Gold Cup, reaching the quarterfinal round three times (2003, 2013, and 2015). After not qualifying in 2017, the Leones del Caribe finished in sixth place in CONCACAF Nations League qualifying with impressive wins over the Dominican Republic and Grenada.

The last two Cuban Gold Cup squads were solely comprised of domestic players, making this year’s team a bit of an outlier; eight of the 23 players are on the rosters of clubs in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Panama. Cuba is led by young attacker Luis Paradela (Universidad SC) who has five goals in six international appearances, while maintaining a similar strike rate at the club level in Guatemala’s Liga Nacional. Sandy Sánchez (Don Bosco-Jarabacoa) will be the likely number one at goalkeeper, having earned 13 caps. Thirty-one-year-old midfielder-defender Yasmany López (Ciego de Ávila) provides a veteran presence on the squad with 29 caps.

Cuba plays Mexico in its first match, which gets the hardest test out of the way early. The defense has struggled to prevent dynamic dribblers from slaloming through their compact final third (particularly against Haiti), but most teams would find it difficult to stop El Tri’s attackers. Manager Raúl Mederos’ side will head into the second match confidently in control of their own destiny or harshly subdued on the heels of a demoralizing loss.

Martinique

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: Ineligible (Not a member of FIFA)/89

Odds of winning: Dark Horse

Les Matinino earned a spot in the Gold Cup by finishing CONCACAF Nations League qualifying in third place. The country’s best finish in six competition appearances is a 2002 quarterfinal showing. Martinique is not eligible to qualify for the World Cup, as they are not a member of FIFA, so the Gold Cup is essentially their biggest competition.

The bulk of the roster is comprised of players from the two dominant sides in the Martinique Championnat National (top division), Club Franciscain and Golden Lion FC, with an infusion of talent playing abroad. Defenders Jordy Delem (Seattle Sounders), Jean-Sylvain Babin (Sporting Gijón), and Samuel Camille (Tenerife) comprise a very serviceable defensive line. Domestic striker Kévin Parsemain has 34 goals in 51 caps, and will be expected to be the attacking linchpin; he finished as one of co-leading goal scorers at the 2017 Gold Cup with three tallies. There’s also the trio of players based in France – Wesley Jobello (Gazélec Ajaccio), Joris Marveaux (Gazélec Ajaccio), and Kévin Fortuné (Troyes) – who are still integrating into the squad, but could make an impact.

Martinique’s mission is to advance out of the group, which will likely require at least four points. If they’re able to secure a draw against Canada in the tournament’s opening match, it would set the tone for a brutal fight for second place.

Mexico

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 18/17

Odds of winning: Favorite

Mexico enters the tournament as the top seed, under the leadership of newly hired manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino. El Tri has won a record seven Gold Cup competitions, most recently triumphing in 2015, and routinely enjoys strong fan support with a decided home field advantage. The program – having once again failed to advance past the Round of 16 at the World Cup – is in a state of flux, caught between relying on the serviceable old guard and integrating young talent. This isn’t the strongest Mexican side, but the expectations have been and will always be winning the Gold Cup.

As one would expect, the roster is comprised of talented players from Liga MX and abroad. Experienced mainstay veterans will carry the side through the group stage; physical striker Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), captain Andrés Guardado (Real Betis), and Héctor Moreno (Real Sociedad) are included in the 23-player roster. However, Mexico was hit with the injury bug and will be without the services of dynamic attacker Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (PSV Eindhoven) and midfielder Marco Fabián (Philadelphia Union). Additionally, Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC), Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (West Ham), and Jesus Corona (Porto) are also skipping the tournament for various reasons. Martino is unperturbed,telling ESPN, “The important absences that we have... opened the door to see some young players that we wanted to see.”

Despite worries about the tenacity and fluidity of the attack, Mexico looks primed and ready for the Gold Cup. They defeated Venezuela, 3-1, and Ecuador, 3-2, in pre-tournament friendlies, with Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), and Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul) looking ready to be serious contributors.

Canada

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 78/66

Odds of winning: In the Running

John Herdman’s squad stormed through Nations League qualifying with a 4-0 record, easily reaching the Gold Cup. Canada remains the only nation other than Mexico or the United States to capture the tournament, triumphing in 2000. While this is probably not their year to return to the winner’s circle, don’t be surprised if Les Rouges make a push for the semi-finals and springboard into a strong showing in World Cup qualifying.

Canada can rely on a few different players to score goals and won’t be locked into any specific playing style. Lucas Cavallini (Puebla), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), and 19-year-old talent Jonathan David (Gent) can keep pace with dynamic CONCACAF attacks, whether through possession or Route 1 counter attacking; if caught on the right day, Beşiktaş striker Cyle Larin can add target man abilities off the bench. The defensive group is less reliable and relatively inexperienced, with MLS defenders Doneil Henry and Mark-Anthony Kaye playing key roles. Goalkeeper is a mild question mark, with Waking the Red noting that number one Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) will likely split time with the rapidly improving Max Crépeau (Vancouver Whitecaps).

This is a team that absolutely should advance, but Canada has a history of failing to meet expectations in a most dismal fashion. They have the benefit of playing Cuba in their third group play match, which could require three points. Avoiding Mexico in what could possibly be a must-win scenario is in every CONCACAF team’s best interest, so look for this side to pull off four-to-six points and advance from the group.

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Cuban Soccer Confirms Presence in Caribbean Tournament

The president of the Cuban Football Association (AFC), Luis Hernandez, confirmed the presence of a team from the island in the second edition of the Caribbean Club Shield tournament, qualifier for the Concacaf League.

The Cuban representative in the contest, which will be based in Curaçao from April 5 to 15, will be the squad of the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, winner of version 103 of the National League.

Hernandez told Prensa Latina that the inscription in that competition 'was a yearning for many years of the AFC' and constitutes 'a stimulus that we had to achieve for the national championship.'

The contest will gather the 13 winners of the amateur leagues of the Caribbean region in 2018, which were already divided into three groups during the draw held in the city of Miami on January 9 last.

'This will be a hard experience, but we want to keep it from now on. This year's champion will also be registered for the next edition, 'announced the head of soccer in Cuba.

He also appreciated that it is a great opportunity for the provincial teams and their players, since they can not only aspire to integrate the national team, but also to represent their territory in this tournament. '

Regarding the conformation of the squad, he said that 'the idea is that Santiago de Cuba is only with the reinforcements that helped them win.'

'We want to respect the provincial player, who surrendered, who sweated, not to make a national team,' said the also member of the FIFA Council.

He also clarified that it was already agreed in the meeting of technical directors prior to the current national championship, that the matches of Santiago de Cuba that coincide with the Caribbean fair will be postponed for a later date.

The director clarified that the AFC will assume a part of the expenses, but Concacaf will provide a financing for the tickets.

'If the team keeps advancing, the economic part could become more complicated, but it is not like before, when Cuba had to assume the expenses in full,' he explained.

Similarly, he acknowledged that in the end there should be a cash prize for the winner, although the main reward is being included in the CONCACAF tournament, 'where it would be played against professional teams from more developed countries.'

Hernandez recalled that Cuba already has other experiences of this kind, when in 1979 and 1980, the national champion Pinar del Río, advanced until they were eliminated before the respective monarchs of those years America and Pumas, both of Mexico.

'After we enrolled again around 2005, also with Pinar del Río, but there the results were not good because they eliminated us in the first phase,' he recalled.

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Brazil leads FIFA rankings, Iran best in Asia

Brazil has taken over at the top of the FIFA rankings for the first time since 2010. 

After losing Lionel Messi to a four-match ban, Argentina lost 2-0 at Bolivia last week and dropped to No. 2. 

World Cup winner Germany is still No. 3, followed by Chile and Colombia. South American teams tallied more ranking points last month by playing two World Cup qualifiers. European teams played one. 

European champion Portugal is No 8, while Switzerland entered the top 10, up two to ninth, one ahead of above Spain. 

Mexico climbed one to No 16 and leads CONCACAF teams. The United States climbed seven to No 23. No 19 Egypt leads African teams, and No 28 Iran is Asia's best. 

World Cup host Russia fell one to No 61.

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Sports digest: United States beats Cuba in men's soccer

Everything went splendidly for the United States in its Olympic qualifying match against Cuba on Saturday until the final minutes, when Marc Pelosi went down in a collision and clutched his shin.

 
 

For a moment, coach Andi Herzog feared the talented midfielder had broken his leg again.

 
 

It turned out the budding Earthquakes star merely sustained a deep gash, one that should not keep him out too long. Good thing for the Americans, whose 6-1 victory over Cuba in Kansas City, Kansas, guaranteed them a spot in the CONCACAF semifinals.

 
 

Pelosi, who missed more than a year after breaking his leg in 2013, said: "I was really worried something happened again. It hurts, but it's not bad."

 
 

The Americans play their final group stage match against Panama, which lost 3-1 to Canada, on Tuesday night in Colorado. Cuba faces Canada in the other doubleheader match.

 
 

The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals, and the two finalists qualify for the 2016 Rio Games. The winner of the third-place match faces Colombia in a one-game playoff for another berth.

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CONCACAF Makes Draw for Pre-Olympic Tournament

The draw for the Pre-Olympic Soccer Tournament for the North, Central American and Caribbean Confederation (CONCACAF) was made Tuesday here, and it was determined that the current champion, Mexico, was placed in Pool B. The Mexican team will meet Honduras, Haiti and the winner between Guatemala and Costa Rica, for one of the tickets for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

At the tournament, scheduled for October 2-13 in several cities in the United States, the Pool A will be composed of the host country, Panama, Canada and Cuba to compete against each other.

The first two of each key will be qualified for the semifinals , which will be played on October 10 at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, seeking to get the pass to the finals and direct tickets to the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, the winner of the match for the third place should win in a playoff with Colombia for its move to Rio de Janeiro-2016.

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