T&T Starts Gold Cup 2019 with 2-0 defeat

Trinidad and Tobago’s 2019 Gold Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start in Minnesota on Tuesday night as they went down 2-0 to Panama at the Allianz Field.

T&T actually had the first real attack on goal with a play down the right but couldn’t finish off as they would have hoped. Levi Garcia has a couple good moments in attack but had nothing to show for it.

Moments before half time skipper Khaleem Hyland saw volley flash inches wide of the upright as both teams laboured to a 0-0 scoreline going into the break.

The breakthrough for Panama came in the 53rd minute. Panama had possession in the final third where Gabriel Torres sent a delicate pass through to Armando Cooper. The veteran attacking  midfielder  calmly cut by onrushing Trinidad and Tobago  goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, before slotting home to put his side ahead. The play started when Hyland gave up possession in his team’s half.

Fifteen minutes later, after a phenomenal double-save from Phillip, a third Panama chance fell to Edgar Barcenas. Phillip managed to get a hand to the close-range effort, but could not prevent Panama from doubling their tally.

Head Coach Dennis Lawrence introduced Joevin Jones in the second half as T&T tried to get themselves back into the game. Jones’ delivery from the left caused problems in the box for Panama but they then broke away leading to the second goal. Kevin Molino came close late on but couldn’t get the final touch right as Luis Mejia raced off his line to stop the effort.  Next up on Saturday, T&T will face United States which got past Guyana 4-0 in Tuesday’s second match.

Lawrence said after the match that T&T paid the price by conceding two goals due to lapses.

“I didn’t feel it was much in the game. The two critical moments in the game – Our effort, we gave the ball and we got caught and the second one us is almost scoring and then getting done in transition,”Lawrence said in the post-game press conference.

“So two soft goals to give away. We have dug ourselves in a bit of a hole now which means we have to start thinking about getting two wins from the next two games. That’s international football. If you don’t take your chances and you give away sloppy possession you can get hurt. Panama has got quality players that can do that to you. We now need to recover very quickly. Pull away from all the negatives and go onto to the next game.”  See Full clip below

Trinidad and Tobago   1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 16.Alvin Jones, 2.Aubrey David, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 17.Mekeil Williams; 19.Kevan George (23.Leston Paul 65′), 8.Khaleem Hyland (captain);  10.Kevin Molino, 20.Jomal Williams (3.Joevin Jones 65′); 11.Levi Garcia,13.Nathan Lewis (7.Cordell Cato 82′),

Subs not used –  21.Greg Ranjitsingh (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 4.Neveal Hackshaw, 6.Duane Muckette, 9.Shahdon Winchester, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 14.Akeem Humphrey, 15.Curtis Gonzales, 18.Lester Peltier.

Head coach: Dennis Lawrence

Panama (4-4-2): 1.Luis Mejia (GK); 23.Michael Murillo, 3.Harold Cummings, 5.Roman Torres (captain), 15.Eric Davis, 4.Fidel Escobar, 19.Albert Quintero (21.Omar Browne 88′), 10.Edgar Barcenas, 11.Armando Cooper, 17.Jose Fajardo (20.Ernesto Walker 78′), 9.Gabriel Torres (18.Abdiel Arroyo 84′);

Unused substitutes: 12.Jose Calderon (GK), 22.Orlando Mosquera (GK), 2.Francisco Palacios, 6.Kevin Galvan, 7.Jose Rodriguez, 8.Marcos Sanchez, 13.Adolfo Machado, 14.Valentin Pimentel, 16.Rolando Blackburn.

Head coach: Julio Valdes