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Gold Cup: Mexico stunned by South Africa, Jamaica edge Guatemala in thriller

9 July 2005 10:15

LOS ANGELES, Jul 9 (SW) - Mexico suffered their first-ever Gold Cup group stage loss on Friday night as they fell stunningly to South Africa 2-1 at the Home Depot Center in Group C play. Also, ten-man Jamaica defeated Guatemala 4-3 in a very open affair, despite a Carlos Ruíz hat-trick.

South Africa 2-1 Mexico

South Africa, who were invited by CONCACAF to participate in the tournament, did not bring their strongest squad, making their achievement all the more impressive and giving coach Stuart Baxter some hope for their final World Cup qualifiers in a couple of months.

Philip Evans put the Bafana Bafana in front on 28 minutes with his first international goal. After Elrio van Heerden's corner kick, Lebohang Mokoena managed to get the ball to Evans who put his header in from spot on.

Twelve minutes later, South Africa would find themselves two goals to the good as van Heerden got his first goal for South Africa. Siyabango Nomvete's cross from the right was met by a sliding van Heerden and the ball went past José de Jesús Corona from inside the six-yard box.

Mexico twice hit the post in the game and got a goal back seven minutes from time when Francisco Rodríguez headed in Luís Ernesto Pérez's cross, but Ricardo Lavolpe's side could get no closer, leaving them to suffer a humiliating defeat.

Guatemala 3-4 Jamaica

Luton Shelton gave Jamaica an early 1-0 lead inside two minutes before Ricardo Fuller doubled the advantage just a couple of minutes later. After Elmer Ponciano was fouled in the penalty area, FC Dallas striker Ruíz stepped up in the 10th and converted the spot kick to make it 2-1.

Shortly after, Jamaica were reduced to ten men after Claude Davis was given a red card for a tackle from behind on Ruíz, but Jamaica would be the next to score, Andy Williams converting a 45th-minute penalty after Shelton was felled in the area. Two minutes later, however, Ruíz struck to make it 3-2 at the break.

Jamaica got their fourth 11 minutes into the second half when Jermaine Hue struck from just outside the area for 4-2. Ruíz completed his hat-trick from distance three minutes from time, but the Guatemalans got no closer.

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