To be Defeated, But Not Give In, is Victory! What this Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s Team has achieved during the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup is just that!Skipper Kenwyne Jones and his teammates had a bitter sweet ending to their tournament but deserved to be saluted for their efforts during the confederation’s premier event for which the curtains came down on the “Soca Warriors” as they went down 6-5 on penalty kicks after 90 minutes plus thirty minutes of grueling football at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday evening.
The result meant T&T did not secure qualification to the semi-finals with the team of 2000 with the likes of Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy, David Nakhid andArnold Dwarika, being the last to achieve that.
Playing before a significant amount of support for the Red,White and Black in the stands, more than any previous game this year, T&T battled it out with their Central American opponents but it came down to one penalty to keep them alive and Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo tipped Lester Peltier’s kick onto the cross bar to send T&T packing.
Prior to that, Roman Torres skied the first kick over for Panama and Ataullah Guerra clinically converted his attempt to put T&T 1-0 ahead.
Goalkeeper Marvin Phillip would then come up big to push away Erick Davis’s attempt.
Radanfah Abu Bakr, Kenwyne Jones and Mekeil Williams all converted but Sheldon Bateau and Joevin Jones had missed T&T’s second and third attempt to leave the teams locked at 4-4 and into sudden death.
Phillip denied Alberto Quintero leaving T&T sniffing a win once Daneil Cyrus could convert. Cyrus was stopped on his way up as Honduran referee Hector Rodriguez thought the defender had already kicked. And a few moments later, Panama were back in the contest as Cyrus blasted his attempt over bar.
Andre Boucaud would be T&T’s last converter as Blas Perez and Valentin Pimentel scored to put the pressure on Peltier. Panama were the ones left celebrating as the second half substitute saw his effort push onto the woodwork by Penedo.
It was the third time T&T lost out on penalties, first going down to United Arab Emirates at the OSN Cup in 2013 and then to Jamaica in the 2014 Caribbean Cup final.
During the match, T&T had the better start of the two teams and the first good look at goal when Jones’ strong header went inches over from a Cyrus long throw in minute 25.
A defensive mishap then led to Panama’s opening goal when Abu Bakr’s partial clearance to a right side ball resulted in Bateau’s attempt ricocheting onto Luis Tejada’s path and he made no mistake with the gift, hitting low past a stranded Phillip.
Just before the break Jones stepped up again but just couldn’t find the target. A nice, searching ball from the right by Cyrus saw the Cardiff City man head goal-wards only to see the ball flash wide of the upright with Keron Cummings and Jones (J) rushing in behind him.
There were two cooling breaks during regulation time due to the extreme humid conditions. And T&T, which had two days less to prepare for the game than Panama who completed its Group phase before T&T, seemed to have tired as the game progressed.
But not before they would put Panama under pressure.
Jones ran in to neatly direct his header into the net from a Khaleem Hyland left side free kick and T&T were level on 54 minutes. It was his second goal of the tournament and his fourth in Gold Cup history.
Perez went close to Panama in the dying stages and fortunately for T&T, his effort went wide. Boucaud and Jones (J) would have further long range efforts for T&T but neither team had any spark in them as the game played out in extra time.
Hart later commended his players for the effort but felt fatigue was a factor in their performance on the evening.
“I think at the end of the day the two days extra rest for Panama showed. We were completely exhausted. But I have to give credit to my players. They gave me everything. I extracted every drop of juice out of that orange. But Penalties are a cruel way to decide a game but it’s how the game ends,” Hart told TTFA Media.
“I think fatigue was a big factor. We could not get up and down the field as a unit like we did against Mexico and as the game went further and further forward we just couldn’t keep possession of the ball. We ran out of legs,” Hart added, saying it was different kicking penalties in practice in front of no one as to doing it in front of thousands.
“Yesterday nobody missed (in practice) and today we had three chances to take it and we missed.”
“A lot of what we have to work on comes with experience and playing matches. A tournament like this would have done a lot for our young players and hopefully with the right preparation, we can continue to grow and improve as a team,” Hart added.
Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Marvin Phillip; 5.Daneil Cyrus, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 17.Mekeil Williams; 8.Khaleem Hyland (11.Ataullah Guerra 91st), 19.Kevan George; 13.Cordell Cato (23.Lester Peltier 65th), 20.Keron Cummings (14.Andre Boucaud 80th), 3.Joevin Jones; 9.Kenwyne Jones (capt).
Unused Subs: 22.Adrian Foncette , 2.Aubrey David, 7.Jonathan Glenn, 10.Willis Plaza, 12.Kadeem Corbin, 15.Dwane James, 16.Rundell Winchester, 18.Yohance Marshall.
Head Coach: Stephen Hart
Panama: 1.Jaime Penedo; 6.Gabriel Gomez (13.Adolfo Machado 45th), 5.Roman Torres (capt), 3.Harold Cummings, 15.Erick Davis; 2.Valentin Pimentel, 14.Miguel Camargo (22.Abdiel Arroyo 90th); 11.Armando Cooper, 19.Alberto Quintero; 7.Blas Perez, 10.Luis Tejada (8.Gabriel Torres 82nd).
Unused Subs: 12.Luis Mejia (GK), 21.Jose Calderon (GK), 4.Alfredo Stephens, 9.Roberto Nurse, 16.Rolando Blackburn, 17.Luis Henriquez, 18.Darwin Pinzon, 23.Angel Patrick.
Head Coach: Hernán Darío Gómez.
Video: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Panama Highlights
Panama outlasts T&T on PKs for semifinal spot
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey – Jaime Penedo made two saves as Panama advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals 6-5 on penalty kicks after the teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first game of a quarterfinal doubleheader at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
Panama will next face either Mexico or Costa Rica, while the defending champion United States takes on Jamaica in a pair of semifinal matches on Wednesday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The shootout didn’t start favorably for the Panamanians with captain Roman Torres putting the first attempt over the crossbar. The Soca Warriors had a chance to progress after Marvin Phillip saved Alberto Quintero’s shot in the seventh round, but Daneil Cyrus chipped his subsequent attempt over the bar.
Blas Perez and Andre Boucard exchanged makes, before Valentin Pimentel gave Panama a 6-5 advantage by putting his team’s ninth attempt up the middle. Lester Peltier stepped forward in a bid to level, but Penedo tipped his shot off the right post to seal advancement for the Canaleros.
The result was almost 10 years to the day that Penedo and Panama fell to the United States in the final on penalty kicks at Giants Stadium.
Luis Tejada broke the scoreless stalemate in the 37th minute, capitalizing on a defensive breakdown by the Caribbean runner-up. Abu Bakr struggled to deal with Pimentel’s dangerous cross just inside the box and Sheldon Bateau’s attempted clearance deflected right to Tejada. The 33-year-old forward tapped past Marvin Phillip from 10 yards out for his second goal of the tournament.
An unmarked Kenywne Jones leveled for the Soca Warriors in the 54th minute. The 2006 FIFA World Cup veteran latched onto a free kick by Khaleem Hyland and headed home from eight yards out.
It is the fourth time this tournament that Panama conceded the equalizing goal in the second half after taking a 1-0 lead.
In the 78th minute, Torres attempted to restore the Central Americans’ lead, but his header off an Armando Cooper corner was wide of the net. The 29-year-old defender scored the lone goal in a friendly between the sides in March.
Six minutes later, a fantastic individual effort by Cooper nearly put the Canaleros back in front. He skipped past one defender into the box and cut inside of another only to see his first shot be blocked and the second effort be saved by a diving Phillip.
An unmarked Perez had an even better chance in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, knocking Erick Davis’ left-sided cross wide of the left post.
Trinidad’s best chance of the first half came deep into stoppage time. However, Jones’ diving header off a right-sided cross by Cyrus was wide.
Panama will compete in the Gold Cup semifinals for a third consecutive time, while Trinidad was eliminated at the quarterfinal stage for the second straight edition.
• Panama has conceded one goal or fewer in 14 straight CONCACAF Gold Cup games.
• Panama is 1W-3D-2L in six all-time CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals outings
• Trinidad & Tobago has not advanced to a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal since 2000.
Warriors go out on penalties to Panama.
By Ian Prescott (Express).
Panama advanced to the quarter-final of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup followinging a dramatic 6-5 penalty victory shootout over Trinidad and Tobago men’s national footballers yesterday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA.
Two saves by T&T keeper Marvin Phillip put the Soca Warriors in position to win it (5-4) had defender Daneil Cyrus converted. But he casually lifted the ball over the crossbar, and after Panama went ahead, Slovenia-based Lester Peltier had his effort pushed onto the crossbar by Panama keeper Jaime Pinedo.
T&T’S Sheldon Bateau and Joevin Jones also missed from the spot. Panama now move onto the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, for a semi-final on Wednesday with the winner of last night’s second quarter-final between Mexico and Costa Rica.
Yesterday’s quarter-final match was decided in penalty kicks after 120 minutes of football left the teams deadlocked, following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and an additional 30 minutes extra-time.
Luis Tejada 37th minute goal gave Panama a 1-0 lead in a sedate first half, where Trinidad and Tobago looked more likely to score. But Cardiff City striker Kenwyne Jones levelled the Soca Warriors at 1-1 in the 54th minute with a close-up header from Khaleem Hyland’s free-kick. Panama, though, looked better for the rest of the match and USA-based MLS striker Blas Perez missed two excellent scoring chances.
It was a hot, hot day in New Jersey, one when it was wise to conserve energy. So much so that Honduran referee Hector Rodriguez allowed two water breaks within the first half hour. Neither team went out full throttle in the first half, although the Soca Warriors looked more likely to score, until Tejada’s goal.
It was in many ways a lazy Soca Warriors effort, and not the complete 90 minutes T&T coach Stephen Hart was asking for. Defending was indecisive collectively and individually, while Panama’s Perez and Tejada were far more inclined towards work than Joevin Jones or Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings.
Following his impressive two-goal showing against Mexico, North East Stars midfielder Cummings won a starting spot at the expense of Central FC’s Ataullah Guerra. He also got the first chance in the opening minutes, but took too long on his weaker right foot and was bundled over.
Soon after, Joevin Jones’ cross created a half-chance header for Jones (K), and later the T&T captain only marginally headed over Cyrus’ corner-kick on 25 minutes, despite Panama playing him close attention all match. In first-half injury time, Jones might also have left another Cyrus cross for teammates Cummings and Cordell Cato driving in at the back post, instead of heading the ball into touch.
Panama rarely attacked, but for a brief period midway through the first half, but went ahead when a wild attempted clearance by defender Sheldon Bateau gave Tejada a gift, which he poked past Marvin Phillip.
The breakdown began all the way in midfield where Joevin Jones was lazy and unwilling to get back. Poor T&T transition from attack to defence, also gave Panama another chance in the 40 th minute, with Perez shooting powerfully at Phillip from an acute angle.
After conceding early in the second half, Panama might have retaken the lead soon after, but for a poor shooting effort by Perez, who hit straight at goalkeeper from eight yards. It also took Radanfar Abu Bakr at full stretch to deny a Perez shot, as Panama turned up the pace as conditions got cooler. And in injury-time, Perez also put wide a cross with only keeper Phillip guarding the goal.