The past two days of the Concacaf Nations League has provided plenty of drama, decisive results, and world-class goals for everyone to enjoy. With games across all three leagues in the competition, some storylines are already beginning to play out throughout the competition, as we move on to the second match day, beginning on Monday.
Here's a couple of stories that stuck out to use from Day 2 and Day 3 of the Nations League.
1. Guadeloupe Has Two Goal Of The Competition Entries In Win Over Sint Maarten
In Group D of League C, Guadeloupe got off to a fantastic start, easing their way to a 5-1 win over fellow Caribbean side Sint Maarten. What was more impressive than the final scoreline though was two of the strikes from Les Gwada Boys. First, it was Florian David with a free kick, from the middle of the field, from about 30 yards out to double Guadeloupe's lead in the first half.
Guadeloupe would take their two-goal lead into the break, but shortly after the restart, they added to their advantage with another ludicrous goal. Did Anthony Baron one-up David with this left-footed strike from about a mile away? Don't make us choose, these goals were both incredible. Guadeloupe is now in prime position to get promoted to League B, traveling to take on Turks and Caicos Islands on September 10.
2. Curaçao Wins Matchup Of Gold Cup Surprises
It's a shame that the likely outcome of Group D in League will see one of Curaçao or Haiti relegated to League B. The two sides provided plenty of excitement during this summer's Gold Cup. Curaçao made it to the knockout round with a late equalizer against Jamaica, benefitting from Honduras' big win over El Salvador. Haiti topped their group, winning all three games, and then stormed back to beat Canada in the quarterfinals 3-2, after trailing 2-0.
In the semifinals, they narrowly lost to Mexico, falling to an extra-time penalty in a 1-0 defeat.
But with Costa Rica making up the third team in the group for Nations League play, Saturday's game between the two was a pivotal one. Curaçao held court at home, winning 1-0, thanks to a 70th-minute goal from Elson Hooi.
Tuesday's return leg in Haiti will be one to watch. After yesterday's loss, Les Grenadiers will likely need a win to stay competitive in Group D.
3. Joevin Jones Saves T&T From The Spot
League A's Group C might be the most difficult group to predict in this competition. Honduras is the seeded team, but a poor showing during the Gold Cup means that any of the three teams can make the semifinals. Martinique nearly gave themselves the perfect start on Friday, when Cyril Mandouki scored to give Les Matinino a first-half lead at home against Trinidad and Tobago.
But Seattle Sounders defender Joevin Jones leveled the game with a penalty in the second half, and T&T survived this late scare to pick up a valuable point on the road against Martinique.
Denied by return the woodwork 🙅♀️@TTFootballAssoc almost clinch the match winner in extra time only to be denied by the slimmest of margins. The game finishes as a 1-1 draw.@CNationsLeague #FloFC pic.twitter.com/1sqRGYfp8p— FloFC (@FloFC_) September 7, 2019
Tomorrow's return leg in T&T should provide plenty of intrigue. A draw doesn't really help either side, but a loss might also make the losing side the favorites for relegation to League B.
4. Favorites Win Big In League B
Two teams in League B of this edition of the Nations League will be disappointed that they aren't up in League A, vying for a semifinal spot. But neither Jamaica nor El Salvador let their place get in the way of strong opening wins, as both set their course for promotion to League A.
The Central American side got off to a good start at home, with a solid 3-0 win over Saint Lucia. Narciso Orellana helped La Selecta get off to the perfect start, scoring this peach of a goal in the 7th minute to ease any concerns El Salvadorian fans might have had about their team.
Meanwhile, on Friday night, Jamaica strolled to a 6-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda. Goals from Shamar Nicholson, Bobby Reid, Brian Brown, Leon Bailey, and Peter Vassell were more than enough for the Reggae Boyz to get their campaign off on the right foot. Promotion to League A, and automatically qualifying for the 2021 Gold Cup is now easily in sight for both Jamaica and El Salvador.
5. Canada Sends Message To United States
While the USA lost 3-0 to Mexico in a friendly on Friday night, Canada washed away their Gold Cup disappointment in a big way on Saturday, beating Cuba 6-0 in Toronto. A hat trick from Junior Hoilett helped pace The Canucks, who would put even more pressure on the USA with a win in the return leg on Tuesday.
John Herdman's side has plenty of players capable of helping Canada become one of the stronger sides in the region, but the team has yet to put it all together on a consistent basis, most recently highlighted by the 3-2 loss to Haiti in the Gold Cup quarterfinals. If Canada can pick up six points against Cuba though, then they might just be in the perfect spot to beat the US to the semifinal spot, when the competition resumes in October.