DRV PNK Stadium and the Inter Miami CF Training Center recently hosted the first-ever Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims. The event was the first of its kind for Concacaf and Inter Miami CF alike, with 12 national teams training at the Club’s state-of-the-art training facility and two sets of triple headers and one double header unfolding at DRV PNK Stadium for the final three spots at the 2021 Gold Cup.
The newly established preliminary round of the tournament debuted in South Florida on July 2and featured crowds of more than 9,000 individuals to see Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cuba, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, who qualified for the Prelims through the Concacaf Nations League.
DRV PNK Stadium also hosted a special guest in attendance - FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
The Prelims marked the third time international fútbol has been hosted by the Club’s stadium, after previously hosting the U.S. and El Salvador for a friendly in Dec. 2020, and the Dominican Republic and Anguilla for a FIFA World Qualifier in March 2021, all in just a year since the stadium’s opening.
The tournament opened with a dynamic day of high-scoring affairs; Haiti kicked things off with a resounding 6-1 victory over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, followed by an 8-1 win for Bermuda over Barbados and lastly Trinidad and Tobago’s 6-1 defeat of Montserrat.
Day two of the event saw three more teams punch their tickets to the final day of the Prelims. First, Guadeloupe earned a shot at Gold Cup qualification with a 2-0 win over the Bahamas, followed by a forfeit by Cuba, allowing French Guiana to advance. The last match of the day saw Guatemala earn a convincing 4-0 victory over Guyana.
After a two-day break, the six victors from the first two days of the tournament competed to claim their spots in the Gold Cup group stage. The first match on July 6 pitted Trinidad and Tobago against French Guiana, resulting in a tight contest ultimately decided on penalties after a 1-1 score line through regulation, with Trinidad claiming an 8-7 win in the shootout. The second match of the day saw Haiti boosted by local support, claiming its place in the group stages with a 4-1 win over Bermuda. The last match of the night once again was decided in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 regulation finish, with Guadeloupe ultimately defeating Guatemala 10-9 in the shootout.
The three Prelims winners will join Canada, Costa Rica, Curaçao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Qatar, Suriname and the U.S. in the Gold Cup which will run from July 10 to Aug. 1. For more information on the tournament click here.