Trinidad and Tobago’s chances of advancing to the quarter finals of Gold Cup 2019 were diminished after a 6-0 defeat to hosts United Stadium at FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday evening.
In a match that Dennis Lawrence’s men needed to win after their opening 2-0 loss to Panama, they faltered in the second half, conceding five second half goals, four coming during a 12-minute span that propelled the US to six points from their two matches and through to the quarter finals alongside Panama.
US custodian Zack Steffen was the first called into action when he had to punch away a rasping drive from Khaleem Hyland nine minutes into the contest. But it was Hyland who came off the worst, pulling up with hamstring strain after his shot, and he was unable to continue, having to be replaced by Kevin Molino on the quarter mark.
The two sides exchanged chances throughout the first 40 minutes. Alvin Jones, the man who sent USA crashing out of 2018 World Cup qualification, had a good crack at goal in the first half and then another free kick in the second half which Steffen had to save. Aaron Long broke the deadlock with four minutes to go in the first half. He got his head on the end of a whipped cross from Christian Pulisic , sneaking his effort underneath goalkeeper Marvin Phillip in his first of two goals on the night.
T&T stayed within reaching distance of their opponents. Levi Garcia should have done better after T&T broke into a good position with Cordell Cato playing one over for the Israel-based player but he could only fire high and wide. The reaction from US head coach Gregg Berhalter, flickering his hand while looking back at this bench summed up the impact of the miss.
Molino also tested Steffen who had to push away his effort as T&T tried to find a way back.
Twenty-one minutes into the second half, Zardes scored his second goal of the Gold Cup, when Nick Lima’s header across the box fell to the Columbus Crew forward to tap in. He added his second of the night three minutes later, shaping a shot past the outstretched arms of Phillip and into the top corner.
Barely three minutes later, he was denied his hat trick twice in quick succession, first striking the woodwork and then having a header kept out by a point-blank save from Phillip.
Pulisic made it 4-0 on 73 minutes, directing the ball into the far corner after substitute Jordan Morris picked him out in acres of space inside the area. Morris added another assist five minutes later, sending a ball across the 6-yard box that Paul Arriola tapped in to make it a 5-0 lead.
Long wrapped up the scoring in the 90th minute, beating Phillip to a loose ball in the box and chesting it into a gaping net.
See Dennis Lawrence’s comments below.
Trinidad and Tobago : 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 16.Alvin Jones, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 2.Aubrey David, 4.Neveal Hackshaw; 19.Kevan George, 23.Leston Paul, 8.Khaleem Hyland (captain) (10.Kevin Molino, 16′); 7.Cordell Cato, 13.Nathan Lewis (3.Joevin Jones 66′),11.Levi Garcia (18.Lester Peltier 76),
Subs not used: 21.Greg Ranjitsingh (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 6.Duane Muckette, 20.Jomal Williams. 9.Shahdon Winchester, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 5.Curtis Gonzales, 17.Mekeil Williams, 14.Akeem Humphrey,
Head coach: Dennis Lawrence
USA 1.Steffen Zack (GK) (captain); 2.Nick Lima, 23.Aaron Long, 13.Tim Ream, 5.Walker Zimmerman; 4.Michael Bradley; 10.Christian Pulisic, 21.Tyler Boyd (11.Jordan Morris 60′), 8.Weston McKennie, 7.Paul Arriola; 9.Gyasi Zardes (17.Jozy Altidore 74′).
Subs not used: 12.Sean Johnson (GK), 22.Tyler Miller (GK), 3.Omar Gonzales, 6.Wil Trapp, 14.Reggie Cannon, 15.Christian Roldan, 16.Daniel Lovitz, 18.Jonathan Lewis, 19.Matt Miazga, 20.Djordje Mihailovic.
Coach: Gregg Berhalter