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GOLD CUP WRAP - Day 1: Man Utd's Hernandez hits hat-trick for Mexico as Costa Rica win easy

The 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicked off yesterday with a Group A double header at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Costa Rica kicked off proceedings with a 5-0 victory over Cuba thanks to a brace from Marco Urena who netted once in each half to set up the win.

The Kuban Krasnodar striker struck in the seventh and 46th minutes whilst Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio, Heiner Mora and Joel Campbell also got it on the act.

Costa Rica manager Ricardo Lavolpe was delighted with how his team were able to come together to produce a favourable result.

"I think all teams go from small to big, little to large," Lavolpe said. "We're starting a new tournament here and getting to know each other inside the field. The team looked well today."

Following that match, Mexico hammered El Salvador 5-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Manchester United star Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez.

The Red Devils striker scored in the 60th and 67th minutes before completing the treble from the penalty spot in injury time as Celtic midfielder Efrain Juarez and Monterrey's Aldo de Nigris struck earlier in the second half to give El Tri a perfect start to the tournament.

Mexico scored three goals in five minutes to set up the resounding victory and manager Jose Manuel de la Torre praised his side for being able to open up a dour El Salvador defence.

"Our rival stood firm and the situation became a bit difficult," de la Torre said. "The situation changed after we scored the first goal. That opened up a few things we could do."

The tournament continues today with Group B matches between Jamaica and Grenada and then Hondruas and Guatemala both at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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