Trinidad and Tobago knocks US from the 2018 World Cup
Trinidad and Tobago’s soccer team shocked the soccer world on Tuesday night when it defeated the United States 2-1 in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match before a small crowd the Ato Boldon Stadium in the small town of Couva.
Needed only a draw
After previous losses to Costa Rica and Mexico, the US needed to only draw the game with Trinidad and Tobago to make it’s successive trip to another World Cup tournament. However, seemed bent on playing for this draw the Americans gave a lack luster performance and was shocked into defeat by TNT who had a string of eight previous losses before Monday night.
First time since 1986
Now, for the first time since 1986, the US is out of the tournament, and will not make the trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
Trinidad and Tobago’s victory was “sweet revenge” of sorts as in 1989 the US had eliminated the boys from the Land of the Hummingbird in a qualifying game which was also played in Trinidad.
“Took us for granted”
However, according, to Gladstone Charles, a Trinidad-American residing in West Kendall, Florida, “I don’t think even our boys expected to defeat the US. But, I think the US team took us for granted bad, and paid the price.”
The US’ failure to advance to the World Cup tournament in Russia was compounded by wins by Panama and Honduras over Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.
Trinidad’s victory was secured through American defender’s Omar Gonzalez own goal, and a goal from TNT forward Alvin Jones. Both goals were scored in the first half. The US’s Christian Pulisic’s second-half goal wasn’t enough to save the team.
The USA looked likely to win the match in the first half, as they had most of the ball. Still TNT made an early impression when Shahdon Winchester shot a goal pass US goalkeeper Tim Howard in the fifth minute. However, the goal was ruled offside.
The US then missed what seemed an easy goal in the seventh minute, but forward Jozt Altidore shot the ball over the cross bar.
Ten minutes later the US shocked themselves by conceding a goal to TNT. Gonzalez in attempting to clear the ball from before his goal, muffed the clearance. The ball careened off the side of his leg and looped over Howard, under the cross bar for a goal.
The US’ error seemed to rejuvenate the Trinidadians. The team played more aggressively and should have been awarded a penalty later resulting from a Gonzalez foul in the penalty area. But no penalty was awarded. Not relenting, TNT scored its second goal when Alvin Jones made a powerful shot pass a helpless Howard.
The USA started the second half with a rush, Within five minutes 19-year-old Christian Pulisic scored from just outside the penalty box making the score 2-1. The US needed just one more goal to tie the match and advance to Russia.
Twice, US forward Clint Dempsey coming off the bench seemed likely to score the equalizer. His first shot from a designed play was tipped over the top of the goal by TNT’s goalkeeper, and what seemed like a very certain goal just missed the far goal post by inches when he made an 18-yard cross-shot in the 78th minute.
The TNT squad consisted of:
GOALKEEPERS: Adrian Foncette, Greg Ranjitsingh, Glenroy Samuel.
DEFENDERS: Daneil Cyrus, Kevan George, Curtis Gonzales, Triston Hodge, Kareem Moses, Josiah Trimmingham, Kevon Villaroel, Mekeil Williams.
MIDFIELDERS: Neil Benjamin Jr., Levi Garcia, Khaleem Hyland, Alvin Jones, Jared London, Nathan Lewis, Leston Paul, Kathon St. Hillaire.
FORWARDS: Trevin Caesar, Akeem Roach, Shahdon Winchester.