|Guatemala||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Sheldon Bateau (11')|
Cordell Cato (14')
Joevin Jones (25')
CONCACAF Gold Cup
|2015-07-09||Soldier Field||Chicago, IL, United States||54126|
First-half trio lifts Trinidad and Tobago past Guatemala
CHICAGO, Illinois -- Trinidad & Tobago surprised Guatemala with three goals in the first 25 minutes for a 3-1 victory in the Group C opener of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday night.
Sheldon Bateau, Cordell Cato and Joevin Jones scored for the Caribbean runner-up in what was the 250th overall game in the tournament’s history. Striker Carlos Ruiz netted for Guatemala in the second half at Soldier Field.
Trinidad took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, when Bateau poked a Khaleem Hyland corner kick of the right post and into the net. Bateau beat his defender to the ball as he charged into the six-yard box, getting enough of it to beat goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez.
It didn’t take long for the Soca Warriors to strike again. After an error between Jerez and a defender, Cato stole the ball and sprinted to his right. The San Jose Earthquakes midfielder then drilled a shot into an open net for a 2-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Joevin Jones added his first international goal for Trinidad in the 25th minute, initiating a give-and-go with Kenwyne Jones, who returned the ball. In return, the Chicago Fire midfielder fed Cato, who fired an attempt that Jerez deflected. Jones was there to bury the rebound with a right-footed blast.
Guatemala couldn’t find an answer for Trinidad’s attack. Head Coach Ivan Spegno’s team regrouped at the break, though, and came out looking to be more aggressive. The Chapines had some dangerous plays early on.
One of those translated to Ruiz’ goal in the 62nd minute, cutting lead to 3-1. The Municipal striker brought down a pass into the area with his chest and rocketed home a right-footer beyond goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams for his eight career Gold Cup goal.
Ruiz, who has now found the back of the net in five Gold Cups, nearly set up another goal when he found Jose Contreras in the 79th minute with a rolling cross. Contreras couldn’t reach it with his extended right leg near the right post. Marco Pappa also sent a shot just wide left in the 87th minute.
Both teams travel to Glendale, Arizona to for their next matches at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. Guatemala takes on Mexico, while Trinidad & Tobago faces Cuba.
NOTES: Sheldon Bateau’s goal was the 700th in CONCACAF Gold Cup history.
T&T 3 v Guatemala 1
Mexico 6 v Cuba 0
Trinidad and Tobago: 21.Jan-Michael Williams; 5.Daneil Cyrus (Yellow 34), 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr (Yellow 50), 4.Sheldon Bateau, 2.Aubrey David, 8.Khaleem Hyland (Yellow 66) (14.Andre Boucaud 75th - Yellow), 19.Kevan George, 3.Joevin Jones (23.Lester Peltier 79th), 11.Ataullah Guerra (10.Willis Plaza 62nd), 9.Kenwyne Jones (capt), 13.Cordell Cato.
Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 7.Jonathan Glenn, 12.Kadeem Corbin, 15.Dwane James, 16.Rundell Winchester, 17.Mekeil Williams, 18.Yohance Marshall, 20.Keron Cummings.
Coach: Stephen Hart.
Guatemala: 21.Ricardo Jerez; 4.Wilson Lalin (Yellow 73), 3.Elias Vasquez, 5.Moises Hernandez; 14.Kendel Herrarte (9.Edgar Chinchilla 69th), 23.Jorge Aparicio, 8.Jonathan Marquez (22.Minor Lopez 46th), 18.Stefano Cincotta (6.Carlos Mejia 46th); 16.Marco Papa, 20.Carlos Ruiz (capt) (Yellow 72), 10.Jose Contreras.
Unused substitutes: 1.Victor Ayala (GK), 12.Paulo Motta (GK), 2.Ruben Morales, 7.Jairo Arreola, 11.Gerardo Arias, 13.Carlos Castrillo, 15.Denis Lopez, 17.Brandon De Leon, 19.Carlos Figueroa.
Coach: Ivan Sopegno.
Referee: Jhon Pitti (Panama).
Standings (Group C)
Warriors deal with Guatemala.
Trinidad and Tobago’s made one of its most impressive starts to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in its twenty-four year history as they whipped Guatemala 3-1 in their Group C curtain raiser at Soldier Field, Chicago on Thursday.
An opening 11th minute goal by Belgian-based defender Sheldon Bateau was the 700th goal of the Gold Cup since its inception and it paved the way for T&T’s win on the evening. It was only the second time T&T came away with a win in its opening match, the first being a 3-1 win over Honduras in 1998. T&T have scored 31 goals in all its Gold Cup matches dating back to 1991. It’s only previous win over Guatemala in the tournament was a 4-2 win in 2000 when goals by Russell Latapy, Dwight Yorke, David Nakhid and Arnold Dwarika sent T&T through to the quarter-final stage.
On Thursday it was the trio of Bateau and US-based duo Cordell Cato and Joevin Jones who wrote their name on the history cards with three well taken goals in the first half.
It was the dream start the “Soca Warriors desired and one that showed its attacking potential, capable of stunning opposing teams on a good day. Veteran Guatemalan striker Carlos Ruiz also put a little panic into T&T with well struck 61st minute goal as the Central Americans came out with more energy in the second half, forcing T&T in their own half for long periods.
But the day belonged to Stephen Hart’s men as the seized control of the match which they entered with 4-3-3 formation that left Guatemala stunned inside 25 minutes.
A Khaleem Hyland left side corner was well connected with by a lunging Bateau and the ball flew in off the upright to send T&T 1-0 ahead.
Four minutes elapsed before Cato punished Guatemala for some untidy defending as he out muscled Elias Vasquez before slipping by goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez to slot home. The play originated after a clearance came off the head of skipper Jones which caused all sorts of problems for the Guatemala defence.
Jones (J) then reacted instantly to follow up after Jerez broke down Cato’s run, to clinically hit home with his left foot on 25 minutes T&T were 3-0 ahead, enjoying its best ever start to a match in the Gold Cup.
And it could have been more. Ataulla Guerra’s right footed shot flashed wide of the right post and Jones (K) saw his low effort blocked by a defender with Jerez in no man’s land.
Guatemala came out with intentions of pulling an early goal back but failed to do so immediately. Goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams did have to make some timely stops to keep them at bay. There were six yellow cards the match, four to T&T (Hyland, Cyrus, Radanfah Abu Bakr and Andre Boucaud) but Ruiz was fortunate not to receive marching orders for an elbow offence and then a stamp on Williams near the end.
Hart put on Boucaud to stabilize the middle with Willis Plaza and Lester Peltier also give a run in front in the second half.
Overall, the job was well orchestrated and T&T deserved its three points to sit second on the table behind Mexico which trounced Cuba 6-0 in the second game The Cubans went into the match with 16 players, missing six players due to visa issues and one player who defected this week. They were also missing head coach Raul Gonzalez due to visa issues.
“I thought in the first half we controlled the game. We pressed well and we recovered the ball in good areas of the field. We got the goals and we kept possession of the ball well and made Guatemala chased which they were uncomfortable with,” Hart said after the win.
“We came here looking to get a good start and we did just that. It’s a good first win but we still have two games to go in this group and we must take care of business first against Cuba on Sunday before we could feel satisfied. Overall though, we were able to get the three points which was our objective coming into this match,” he added.
“Hopefully we can play more consistently like we played the first half. Guatemala didn’t handle the press from us very well in the first fifteen to twenty minutes. They panicked a little bit. But they (Guatemala) have good quality, good footballers with some experience upfront and the second half showed that they could be a completely different team,” Hart concluded.
T&T will have an early morning session in Chicago on Friday before heading off to Phoenix on a CONCACAF chartered flight in the early afternoon ahead of Sunday’s second fixture with Cuba.
VIDEO: - View Hart's post match comments.
|6.||Radanfah Abu Bakr 50 '|
|5.||Daneil Cyrus 34 '|
|62' Willis Plaza|
|8.||Khaleem Hyland 66 '|
|76' Andre Boucaud|
|79' Lester Peltier|
|9.||Kenwyne Jones (capt.)|
|14.||Andre Boucaud 79 '|
|62'||Willis Plaza for Ataulla Guerra|
|76'||Andre Boucaud for Khaleem Hyland|
|79'||Lester Peltier for Joevin Jones|
|50'||Radanfah Abu Bakr|