CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – It was a captain’s performance from Kenwyne Jones on Wednesday night as Trinidad & Tobago won Group C with a wildly entertaining 4-4 draw against six-time tournament champion Mexico.
Jones, making his 69th career international cap, was tremendous throughout. Utilizing his signature size and strength, the former Stoke City man terrorized the Mexican defense, scoring once and assisting teammate Keron Cummings on two others occasions.
“Kenwyne was fantastic,” Trinidad & Tobago head coach Stephen Hart said after the game. “Especially in the second half. He was a perfect case of what it means to lead by example.”
Along with praising his leadership, Hart was also sure to touch on Jones’ tactical influence.
“I think what Kenwyne did for us tonight was extremely important,” the 55-year-old continued. “By occupying the two center backs throughout the match, he was able to open up a lot of space for (Keron) Cummings. I was thrilled to see us capitalize on that.”
Hart wasn’t the only person in the Soca Warriors’ camp quick to recognize Jones’ play; teammate Yohance Marshall – who scored the game-tying goal in the third minute of stoppage time – also made sure to applaud his friend’s performance.
“Kenwyne is our leader,” said Marshall after the match. “He is our captain and we look to him for inspiration. He is one of the biggest names on our team and when we see he is having that type of game, the rest of the squad feeds off of that. I’m very happy and proud of him.”
The only remaining player from Trinidad’s 2006 World Cup roster still fully contributing, Jones had experienced an up-and-down Gold Cup prior to Wednesday night, creating opportunities, but ultimately failing to find the back of the net. A two-time scorer at the 2013 tournament, Jones opened his 2015 account with aplomb via a perfectly placed side-footed finish off teammate Cordell Cato’s 58th minute cross.
Yet despite his big night, the 30-year-old was only interested in talking about the team’s performance, lauding others in a way that perfectly befits his status as team captain.
“I was just happy to be a part of the team tonight,” Jones expressed. “It was a match that fans can only dream of and as a team we showed a lot of steel and character to come back. My teammates and manager were great. It’s a tremendous achievement. We are really enjoying ourselves at the moment.”