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Mexico Vs. Cuba, Gold Cup 2011: El Tri Forgets About Drama and Secures Place in Quarterfinals

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ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 05:  Guillermo Ochoa #1 of Mexico gestures to the referee during the match against El Salvador at the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying match at Cowboys Stadium on June 5, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 05: Guillermo Ochoa #1 of Mexico gestures to the referee during the match against El Salvador at the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying match at Cowboys Stadium on June 5, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
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As we reported earlier, coming into the game everyone was focused on the news from earlier in the day that five Mexico players had been excluded from tonight's match due to testing positive for a banned substance. In addition to that, the game was delayed by about 40 minutes due to the thunder storms in the Charlotte area.

Once the game finally got underway, we saw the Mexico squad take full control of the match. Aside from the addition of Alfredo Talavera, Rafael Marquez and Angel Reyna, it was the same Starting XI that we saw in the match against El Salvador on Sunday night.

Due to the players missing from the squad, Mexico came into the game with only 17 players. As for Cuba, throughout the day it had been speculated that seven of their players had defected and would not be taking part in the match but Cuba's manager declined these rumors.

The first clear chance of the game was by none other than Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, but similar to the last game, he missed the opportunity and the game continued with the score at 0-0. It was only a matter of time before El Tri would get on the scoreboard and in the 35th minute, the man of the moment would break the dead lock after using his trademark On-Air-Spring to head it past Molina.

The first half ended with a score of 1-0, once again similar to the El Salvador match. Things changed in the second half, Chepo de la Torre's halftime speech seemed to have worked to perfection once again. Mexico came out and scored three goals in a matter of five minutes to seal the deal; Giovani netted two on the 62nd and 67th minute and Aldo de Nigris scored the third goal after only being on the pitch for a couple of minutes. The fifth and final goal would be scored by Chicharito in the 75th minute to earn him a brace and give him five goals total in the competition. Javier Hernandez has scored five of Mexico's ten goals in the tournament.

Mexico has performed well and being fair, they could have scored more than ten goals total. That being said, Mexico has not faced any real challenges; perhaps the next match will determine how Mexico will perform against the better teams in the tournament. However, with El Tri mathematically qualified to the next round, Chepo de la Torre will be looking give some players a rest - especially with the current and ongoing situation resulting in a shortage of players on the bench.