It took us a while to find an entertaining game in the CONCACAF Gold Cup but we found one as we were rounding out the Group Stage. Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico combined for eight goals including multiple lead changes in the final minutes to end one of the best Gold Cup games ever.
While both teams clinched advancement to the Knockout Stage, this game determined the group winner. Mexico needed to win the game to win the group and Trinidad and Tobago just needed a draw.
The scoring started off with Mexico taking advantage of a free kick and some suspect goalkeeping. Paul Aguilar went five hole on goalkeeper Marvin Phillip in the 32nd minute and made it 1-0 Mexico. It gave Mexico the edge to take the group.
Things got even better for Mexico when Carlos Veia made it 2-0 in the 2nd half with the touch off the post. Trinidad and Tobago needed to score at least two more goals to get control of the group.
Sure enough, Trinidad and Tobago did just that. Answering Veia’s goal within four minutes with two goals of their own in four minutes, they were back in control of the group. Keron Cummings and Kenwyne Jones got the goals and Trinidad and Tobago were back in business.
Then when we thought things were calmed down enough after Cummings’ 67th minute goal to make it 3-2 Trinidad and Tobago, business really picked up. Andres Guardado rocketed a shot from outside the box in the 88th minute. Mexico tied it up but Trinidad and Tobago still had the edge in the group. Then, disaster happened.
As the clock ticked to the 90th minute, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kenwyne Jones scored an own goal. The man who had an assist and a goal earlier in the game was responsible for giving Mexico the lead in the game and the group in stoppage time. It was definitely shades of England vs. Japan in the Women’s World Cup a couple weeks ago.
Then if we needed any more drama, Trinidad and Tobago takes the win away from Mexico with a Yohance Marshall goal off the corner kick. Jones made up for his own goal mistake by providing the assist amid having trash thrown on him by Mexican fans as if Kenwyne Jones announced that he was the third man and was joining the NWO. (You wrestling fans know what I’m talking about)
Anyway, the game ended 4-4 and after so much uncertainty throughout the game, Trinidad and Tobago won the group and face Panama in the Quarterfinals as Mexico have to face Costa Rica. This has already been a dream tournament and they have a clear shot at going even further. For Mexico, where does Mexico go from here? They hadn’t allowed a goal in their first two games. Then Mexico went scoreless against Guatemala, which hadn’t happened in the Group Stage since 2003 and allowed four goals the next game, which never happened in the history of the Gold Cup. They either can’t score and defend or they can score and can’t defend. What kind of Mexico are we going to see in the Knockout Stage? That will be the key to figuring out if Mexico can win the Gold Cup.