Mexico 1-0 El Salvador: Rodriguez fires El Tri into quarter-finals
Mexico have secured top spot in Group A with a hard-fought 1-0 win over El Salvador in their final Gold Cup group game in Dallas on Sunday.
Luis Rodriguez netted the winner in the 26th minute to secure a quarter-final match-up against the Group D runner-up, either Honduras, Qatar or Panama.
The Gold Cup holders won the key statistics, with 16-11 shots and 54-46 per cent possession, but were made to work for the win by El Salvador, who finish second in the group.
El Salvador only needed a draw to finish ahead of Mexico to top the group and almost got their equaliser from Alexander Larin's 70th minute free-kick which hit the post.
Mexico took the lead when Tigres full-back Rodriguez pushed forward, receiving the ball on the right side of the box, cutting inside before shooting for the winner.
Rogelio Funes Mori, who netted a brace in Mexico's 3-0 win over Guatemala, almost doubled El Tri's advantage when he got in behind but his 28th-minute strike was saved by goalkeeper Mario Gonzalez.
Larin hit the woodwork with his second-half free-kick, before Gonzalez saved well again from Orbelin Pineda's long-range effort.
US-based El Salvador forward Walmer Martinez flashed an 85th-minute chance wide as Mexico hung on for the all-important victory with Alan Pulido testing Gonzalez late.
Trinidad & Tobago drew 1-1 with Guatemala in the other group game with both sides eliminated.
Mexico and El Salvador will both play their quarter-finals in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday.