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Gold Cup 2019: Antuna Hat Trick leads Mexico

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The Mexican national team started their 2019 Gold Cup campaign with a resounding defeat of the Cuban national team. The final score showed just how much stronger Mexico is to their CONCACAF counterparts.

Coach Tata Martino maintained his win streak since taking over “El Tri” and the team showed it’s depth as youth and attacking football highlighted the win. Mexico maintained constant pressure in the Cuban goal and was able to open the defense on their way to the victory.

Andres Guardado of Mexico lining up a shot | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | June 15, 2019

It took just two minutes for Mexico to score and it came from some of that youth that Martino had in his lineup. Local MLS talent Uriel Atuna who plies his trade with the LA Galaxy, making just his second appearance with the Mexican National Team scored the first goal.

Antuna was able to score after the ball headed for the net hit the post and landed at his feet. It was Antuna’s first goal for the national team and Mexico was up 1-0.

Uriel Antuna of Mexico celebrating goal with teammates | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | June 15, 2019

Cuban goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez kept his team in the game as long as he could stopping as many Mexico chances as he could, some from point-blank range frustrating the Mexican forwards.

Sanchez could only do some much and Raul Jimenez a victim of some of those heroics broke through in the 31st minute making it 2-0.

The second goal seemed to open the floodgates as Diego Reyes scored in the 38th minute and then on the cusp of halftime Antuna added his second for a brace in the 44th minute.

Diego Reyes of Mexico and Luis Paradela of Cuba up high for a header | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | June 15, 2019

Mexico’s first half was so dominant Cuba didn’t get a shot off in the half while Mexico peppered the Cuban goal with seven shots.

The second half was more of the same as Jimenez added his own brace scoring in the 64th minute when he was subbed for Alexis Vega almost immediately Vega scored a goal of his own.

Antuna capped off the night and the scoring by getting his third goal in the 71st minute. The goal gave Antuna a hat trick in just his second appearance with Mexico, an awesome night for someone considered a big part of Mexico’s future.

With the big win, Mexico will now continue their campaign against Canada as they try to add to their record seven Gold Cups.

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