French Caribbean side Martinique claimed their first points of the CONCACAF Gold Cup while handing Cuba their second defeat, in a 3-0 victory here Wednesday night.
In an all-Caribbean Football Union Group A clash at the Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Martinique broke the deadlock through Joris Marveaux on the stroke of half-time, before Stephane Abaul and Kevin Fortune scored in the last 20 minutes of the contest.
In the other match of the doubleheader, Andres Guardado hit a brace as Mexico trounced Canada 3-1, with all goals coming in the second half.
Both Martinique and Cuba suffered heavy drubbings on the opening day of the tournament last Saturday, making Wednesday’s fixture key to their progress.
And both teams squandered chances in an open first half before Marveaux capitalised in the 45th, heading in a powerful left-sided corner kick.
Kévin Parsemain wasted a great opportunity to double the lead from the spot in the 59th minute when he blasted his shot well over the crossbar, after Daniel Luis was adjudged to have pulled down Mickael Biron in the area.
However, Abaul made amends in the 70th minutes from another corner, eluding his marker to head past goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez.
There was further misery for Cuba in the 80th minute when Erick Rizo was sent off for an elbow to the face of Fortune who then produced a clinical finish from 10 yards out, five minutes later, to put the cap on a strong Martinique performance.
In their next outings on Sunday, Cuba clash with Canada while Martinique take on Mexico, in Charlotte, North Carolina.