Gold Cup Today: Cuba battles Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico to face Guatemala

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Group State round two wraps up today as Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago look to cement their places at the top of the group in Phoenix. Both teams have an opportunity to secure a place in the knockout rounds by winning their second game in as many matches.

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Those two countries lead Group C with three points each in their opening matches. Mexico fired on all cylinders, smoking Cuba 6-0 in their tournament opener thanks to a hat-trick from Oribe Peralta. Trinidad & Tobago, meanwhile, also picked up a vastly important 3-1 win over Guatemala after a furious start led to all three goals for the winners in the first half-hour of play.

Those two first-round winners don’t face each other until the final group stage matchups, but they can both move to six points and ensure a place in the knockout stage with wins tonight. Below is a brief preview on what to expect from tonight’s matches, while you can follow all the action live by clicking on the link above.

Game 11: Trinidad and Tobago vs. Cuba
When: Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Live updates: NBCSports.com

Three goals in the first 25 minutes for Trinidad and Tobago against Guatemala paced their way to victory last time out, and that scoring barrage will worry a Cuba defense that was immensely overmatched by Mexico’s powerful attack. A win tonight would see Trinidad & Tobago move on, while so would a draw plus a Mexico win. It would be their second straight appearance in the knockout rounds after previously not having accomplished that feat since 2000.

Cuba is with just 16 players thanks to visa issues and defections, a massive blow to the squad and something they found impossible to overcome against Mexico. It will be hard to overcome again.

Game 12: Mexico vs. Guatemala
When: Thursday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Where:University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Live updates: NBCSports.com

Without Hector Moreno and Javier Hernandez, Mexico still managed to flourish against the aforementioned squad of Cuba. Things will be different against Guatemala, who look to lick their wounds after an opening round loss. Guatemala will come into this match supercharged with the belief that a win would put them right back into the thick of things, not only to challenge for an automatic knockout position but even for a high third-place finish that would put them through. Mexico’s result against Cuba was a confidence booster, but their poor play leading up to the Gold Cup is still fresh in everyone’s minds.