Mexico coach Gerardo Martino held out one of his best players against Canada in the Gold Cup. But when an injury left the team short-handed, he subbed in Andres Guardado.
The captain came through to lead his national team to victory.
Guardado had two goals in the second half, Roberto Alvarado also scored and Mexico beat Canada 3-1 in the group stage of the Gold Cup on Wednesday night.
Mexico has won its first two matches by a combined score of 10-1 and took control Group A despite losing midfielder Erick Gutierrez in the first half.
The third leg of pool play for Group A moves to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday. Canada will face Cuba in the first match of the day followed by Mexico against Martinique in the second match.
The top two teams in the four-team pool advance to the quarterfinals starting on June 26. Martinique used two goals in the second half to beat Cuba 3-0 in Wednesday’s first match to even its record to 1-1.
Cuba, which has been outscored 10-0 in its two games, was eliminated from the Gold Cup.