Rain in Guyana prevented play in last evening’s scheduled CPL T-20 showdown between home franchise Guyana Amazon Warriors and the hard-hitting Jamaica Tallawahs and in Cali, Colombia, Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown was all the rage on his way to winning the Boys 100-metre final on Day One of the IAAF World Youth Championships in the South American country.
TT’s 17-year-old challenger Akanni Hislop had shared the spotlight with Brown as one of the Heat winners in the morning’s round but Brown went all the way while Hislop finished fiftgh in semifinal heat three and did not qualify for the final.
iSuch was Brown’s quality and appeal that he erased TT’s Darrel Brown youth 100-metres world record of 10.31 set in Hungary in 2001 with a world-leading 10.30 seconds run in the morning’s heats.
But it’s the CONCACAF Gold Cup that held centre point of interest for Trinidad and Tobago and unlike the defeat the Red Steel Cricket team sucked in the night before in front of their home crowd, TT fans took either to social media to learn that the TT football team has for the first time in its CONCACAF history, topped a Gold Cup GRoup.
And this is because of a thrill=packed, dramatic 4-4 draw with favoured Mexico – the draw in the Group C closing match following on TT’s 3-1 win over Guatemala and the 2-nil strike against Cuba.
But last night two goals in stoppage time led to a 4-4 draw between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago in their final group match at the Gold Cup.
Tied 3-3 through regulation, Mexico pulled ahead on an own goal by Trinidad and Tobago defender Cordell Cato in the first minute of extra play. With less than a minute left, Trinidad and Tobago’s Yohance Marshall headed in a corner kick to tie the match.
“We had a plan for the corner kicks, but I picked up the flight of the ball late,” said Marshall, who did not play in the first two Gold Cup games. “But I wound up in the right place. We got a good result.
“I’ve never gone through a final five minutes like that with the national team; with my club teams and school teams, yes. The emotions are high — they go up, they go down. You can be disappointed, but at the end, we were elated. We could have lost, but we could have easily won also.”
Trinidad and Tobago (2-0-1, 7 points) took Group C’s top seed into the quarterfinals, and will face Panama on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
“It was a good game for spectators — not my heart,” said Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart, whose team is making its best Gold Cup run since reaching the semifinals in 2000.
“We had an objective to get to the quarterfinals. We wanted to win the first game and get the result from Cuba (a 2-0 win on July 12), and not have to play Mexico to get to the quarterfinals.”
Mexico (1-0-2, 5 points) will play Costa Rica in the second quarterfinal game Sunday.
“We didn’t do what we were doing before, especially in the second half,” Mexico coach Miguel Herrera said through an interpreter. “There were a lot of mistakes. We committed a lot of mistakes in the second half.”
Mexico, which has won six Gold Cup titles, took a 1-0 halftime lead on Paul Aguilar’s goal in the 32nd minute, and pulled ahead 2-0 on Carlos Vega’s shot off the left post in the 51st minute.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Keron Cummings and Kenwyne Jones scored in a 3-minute span to tie the match in the 58th minute. Cummings’ second goal, in the 67th minute, put Trinidad and Tobago ahead 3-2.
“The players, we believe in one another,” said Cummings, who was making his first start in the Gold Cup. “We knew we can come back. Once we dug deep, we came back.”
Mexico made it 3-3 on Andres Guardado’s 25-yarder in the 88th minute.
“The last goal, it was a ball in the corner,” Herrera said. “If you just take the ball to the corner, the clock probably runs out. But it was a little bit of bad luck because the ball could have gone anywhere.”