|El Salvador||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Keon Daniel (11')|
Kenwyne Jones (73')
CONCACAF Gold Cup
|2013-07-08||Red Bull Arena||Harrison, NJ, United States||20000|
First point on the board
It was not the winning start that we’d all hoped for but Monday night’s 2-2 draw with El Salvador’s was better than Trinidad and Tobago’s two previous CONCACAF Gold Cup encounters.
Both teams battled out before a partisan crowd dominated by El Salvadorians at the Red Bull Arena. There was end to end action and an exciting display by both teams as the game swung both ways over the 90 minutes of action.
T&T draw with El Salvador in New Jersey.
By Mark Bassant New Jersey.
GOLD CUP THRILLER
Trinidad and Tobago’s thrilling 2-2 draw with El Salvador in their opening round Gold Cup game at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, USA, on Monday night could be described as a narrow escape.
T&T head coach Stephen Hart was not particularly impressed with the result.
“El Salvador played very good in the first half,” Hart told the Express. “They had strong movement and moved the ball around quickly. We had slack passing and problems with our ball possession, particularly in the first half. We were marginally better in the second half, we were nervous in our ball possession and not positive whatsoever.”
The coach said the Soca Warriors needed to “play the ball around more and move the ball forward quicker. If we can do that we will be very dangerous indeed, and we have to build off the second half.”
There were a few positives from the game as T&T were able to get on the scoresheet for the first time in seven international games and also halt their losing streak.
In the first half of the encounter, witnessed by close to 6,000 fans, El Salvador almost opened the scoring in the fifth minute when midfielder William Castillo flashed his shot wide.
Six minutes later, El Salvador would pay for that miss, Keon Daniel getting a fortuitous rebound, after Carlos Edwards had attempted to thread the ball through to him. Daniel made no mistake, slotting home just inside the 18-yard box on El Salvador’s advancing goalkeeper Dagoberto Gameiro.
Edwards created several problems for El Salvador down the left side, but they weathered the storm, bouncing back on a counter-attack in the 21st minute. The Soca Warriors gave away a needless foul just outside the 18-yard area, and striker Rodolfo Zelaya curled a stunning free-kick past outstretched T&T goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams to knot up the scores.
For the remainder of the half, the T&T defence was severely tested. And in the 41st minute, Zelaya freed Rafael Burgos down the right side, and as he cut inside the area, he unleashed a powerful grounder with the outside of his boot that had Williams beaten, but it crashed against the post and was eventually cleared.
In the 69th minute, El Salvador punished T&T. Darwin Delgado found space down the right side, burst past Joevin Jones, and angled in an accurate cross to find the head of Zelaya, who found the target.
Almost immediately on the resumption, Edwards made a darting run down the left side and swung in a cross for substitute Darryl Roberts to slot in at the far post, but with the goal at his mercy Roberts skewed his shot wide.
Just two minutes later, Kenwyne Jones was fed by his namesake in defence, Joevin, with a well-timed long ball. Kenwyne evaded his marker, moved inside the area, and buried his shot at the far post. Hart punched the air in celebration.
In the 78th minute, Edwards had a great chance to put the Warriors ahead, but Gameiro made a point blank one-handed save to deny him.
At the other end of the field, substitute Mark Blanco’s acrobatic scissors kick, which looked destined for goal, was finger-tipped spectacularly over the bar by Williams.
El Salvador continued to press, again hitting an upright, but the Soca Warriors would hold on for a hard fought point.
T&T will take comfort in the fact that their next opponents, Haiti were beaten 2-0 by Honduras, on Monday.
They know a win over the Haitians, in Miami on Friday, would put them in a good position to qualify for the knockout phase of the tournament.
|83' Daneil Cyrus|
|70' Darryl Roberts|
|83' Jamal Gay|
|18.||Densill Theobald (capt.)|
|9.||Kenwyne Jones 58 '|
|32.||Radanfah Abu Bakr|
|70'||Darryl Roberts for Kevon Carter|
|83'||Daneil Cyrus for Carlyle Mitchell|
|83'||Jamal Gay for Keon Daniel|