Sat, Jul
Match Report
Trinidad & Tobago United States
T&T flag United States
Reon Moore (43')
Alvin Jones (57')

Concacaf Nations League
2023-11-20Hasely Crawford StadiumPort-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

T&T beat USA 2-1 but fail in semi-final bid

A thunderous right-footed shot from Alvin Jones, coupled with a blistering shot from an acute angle, handed T&T's Soca Warriors to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the 10-man USA in the Concacaf Nations League 'A' quarterfinal encounter at the Hasely Crawford Stadium Monday night.

However, it was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament after the USA won the first encounter 3-0 in Austin, Texas last week that saw them progress 4-2 on aggregate.

The Warriors needed to win by three clear goals in front of their home crowd, and coach Eve presented an almost entirely different team that comprised mostly of attacking players.

Still, the Americans, who themselves fielded a team loaded with players from the European Leagues, took early possession and forced the acrobatic Denzil Smith into two early saves in the first four minutes from Antonee Robinson and Folarin Balogun.

Despite their early dominance, however, the attacking combination of Nathaniel James, Real Gill, Shannon Gomez and Reon Moore kept them on their toes.

The foursome combined about three times in the first half but could not get past the US defensive backline.

The USA expectedly drew first blood from a patient build-up that saw defender Sergio Dest deliver a pinpoint cross for Robinson to meet with a diving header past Smith in the T&T goal in the 26th minute.

Ten minutes later, the US could have had another, courtesy of another Dest cross from the right, but Giovanni Reyna could not beat Smith in goal.

Despite the US advantage, they were reduced to 10 men when Dest was given marching orders in the form of back-to-back yellow cards and a red for arguing with the referee in the 38th minute.

It was almost a form of justice for the Warriors, who lost Noah Powder at about the same time in the first game.

And with the US still shocked by the sending-off, the Warriors snatched the equaliser in the 42nd minute. The speedy Moore was put through on the right, and from almost an acute angle, he unleashed a thunderous shot that flew past Turner in the US goal for a 1-1 scoreline at the halfway stage.

Early T&T pressure on the resumption kept the crowd alive as the Warriors roared loudly. In fact, Daniel Phillips' thumping shot that came out of nothing just whisked past the USA upright.

Then, Jones, who lined up behind the ball for a freekick from some 20 yards out, caught Turner napping with a trademark shot that the US custodian could only push further into the roof of his own net in the 56th minute for a 2-1 advantage.

His goal was reminiscent of his freekick that put the Americans out of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 2017 at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

With the lead, the Warriors needed three more goals for a chance at a semi-final berth, and they could have gotten it in the 59th minute.

The usually prolific Nathaniel James sent galloping to goal and in a one-and-one collision with Turner from an earlier Gomez ball, but he somehow dragged his left footer attempt agonisingly wide of the post.

Both teams continued to trade punches in the moments that followed, but in the end, the Warriors claimed the win and would move to the Concacaf Nations League Play-In, which starts in March next year.

The USA, in the meanwhile, has assured themselves qualification to the Copa America next year.


Comeback falls short: Trinidad and Tobago beat USA 2-1, lose 4-2 on aggregate.
By Roneil Walcott (T&T Newsday).

T&T lost 4-2 on aggregate to the US in their Concacaf Nations League A 2023/24 quarterfinal tie, but coach Angus Eve's Soca Warriors won over thousands of fans at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Monday night after getting an enthralling 2-1 win against the defending champions.

Trailing 3-0 on aggregate after the first leg in Austin, Texas on Thursday night, Eve and his team needed a herculean effort to overturn the visitors. Playing before roughly 10,000 supporters at the Mucurapo venue, the T&T team had an almighty go at the challenging task. The Soca Warriors gave a gutsy performance against the US team, and tremendous goals by Reon Moore and defender Alvin Jones saw T&T defeat the ten-man US team.

The US now advance to the Nations League semifinals and have also booked a spot in the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024 tournament. T&T still have hopes of qualifying for Copa 2024, but their route will now be a lengthier one.

With ace striker Levi Garcia being ruled out on his birthday through injury, Eve turned some heads with his starting lineup which saw the trio of Real Gill, Nathaniel James and the bustling Moore all starting in attack. Moore had the Hasely Crawford venue jumping in the 43rd minute with a right-footed thunderbolt that flew past custodian Matthew Turner from a ridiculously tight angle to tie the scores at 1-1. The Defence Force attacker latched onto a sweet through pass from Jones and his finish was even sweeter.

Before that, the home spectators were yelling and shouting for other reasons, as US full-back Sergino Dest was sent off by referee Walter Lopez for a display of dissent in the 39th minute. The former Barcelona player got a pair of yellow cards within the space of roughly 30 seconds as he was firstly booked for hacking a ball into the covered stands after a call went against the US, while he got his second yellow after vigorously disagreeing with Lopez's original booking.

Dest was berated by Turner and his teammates for his petulance, but the talented flanker did have another meaningful contribution to the contest. In the 26th minute, he served up a delightful delivery from the right which was expertly headed in by Antonee Robinson to give the US a 1-0 lead.

The US had the better of the exchanges in the early stages of the high-octane match, as both Brenden Aaronson and Folarin Balogun forced fine saves from T&T goalkeeper Denzil "Peng" Smith in the opening five minutes. Aaronson drew another good save from Smith in the 15th minute, after a turnover by T&T left-back Andre Raymond, who had an otherwise stellar showing in defence for the Soca Warriors.

Raymond was arguably one of T&T's most solid players on the night, with Daniel Phillips, Andre Rampersad and Shannon Gomez also having good showings.

The scores were level at 1-1 after Moore's wicked blast, and the home supporters genuinely believed their team was still in the quarter-final tie at halftime.

With the numerical advantage, the T&T team came out full of vigour and intent in the second half, with James firing a warning shot over Turner's bar in the 47th minute. The industrious Phillips sent the next shot in anger seven minutes later, as he sent a long-range effort wide of the mark.

The next effort on goal was something special though, as Jones uncorked a brute of a right-footed free kick from 30-plus yards in the 57th minute. The rocket from Jones brought back memories for both sets of teams and supporters, as the right-back scored a similar jaw-dropping goal in a World Cup qualifier in 2017 to knock the US out of contention for Russia 2018. On Monday night, Jones's blast did not knock out the US, but it definitely reminded all and sundry of his prowess and accuracy from long range.

Owing to Robinson's away goal, T&T needed to win by an improbable four goals to clinch the tie. Try as they might, the Warriors could not quite find the back of the net again. It was not for a lack of trying, and the hosts should have taken a 3-1 lead on the hour mark.

After a US corner, Gomez showed great strength to hold off a US player as he played James through on goal. The Jamaican-based forward won his foot race with US captain Tim Ream but he dragged his left-footed shot agonisingly wide of Turner's goal. The T&T fans groaned in anguish as James' effort trickled wide of the post, as T&T's slender hopes of a spot in the Nations League semis slowly faded away.

T&T had a couple more chances in the encounter, as Gomez fired high and wide from a tight angle in the 62nd minute, while Andre Rampersad drew a fine save out of Turner just three minutes later.

T&T rarely troubled the US in the latter stages of the game, as players such as Robinson and Yunus Musah retained possession well under pressure and kept T&T at bay.

Even brought on the trio of Kristian Lee-Him, Duane Muckette and Malcolm Shaw in the latter stages of the game but T&T did not pose a great attacking threat thereafter.

At the final blow of Lopez's whistle, the US advanced to the Nations League semis but T&T won 2-1 on the night and gained the respect of thousands of supporters — local and abroad.

T&T can still advance to Copa 2024 with a win in a March 2024 playoff against one of the other losing quarter-finalists in the Nations League. On the evidence of the performance in the second leg against the US, coach Eve and T&T will fancy their chances against any potential opposition.


Trinidad and Tobago (4-4-2): 22.Denzil Smith (GK); 16.Alvin Jones, 2.Aubrey David (captain), 17.Justin Garcia, 6.Andre Raymond (3.Ross Russell Jr 90); 14.Shannon Gomez, 12.Daniel Phillips (23.Kristian Lee Him 77), 18.Andre Rampersad, 10.Real Gill (7.Ryan Telfer 60); 13.Reon Moore (8.Duane Muckette 77), 9.Nathaniel James (19.Malcolm Shaw 77).

Unused substitutes: 1.Christopher Biggette (GK), 21.Jabari St Hillaire (GK), 4.Jesse Williams, 5.Michel-Poon Angeron, 15.Kevon Goddard, 20.Kaïlé Auvray.

Coach: Angus Eve

United States (4-3-3): 1.Matthew Turner (GK); 2.Sergino Dest [Red card 38], 3.Cameron Carter-Vickers, 13.Tim Ream (captain), 5.Antonee Robinson; 6.Yunus Musah, 14.Luca De La Torre (22.Lenny Maloney 89), 7.Giovanni Reyna (19.Joseph Scally 41); 9.Ricardo Pepi (17.Malik Tillman 64), 20.Folarin Balogun, 11.Brenden Aaronson.

Unused substitutes: 18.Ethan Horvath (GK), 21.Gabriel Slonina (GK), 4.Christopher Richards, 10.Alejandro Zendejas, 12.Miles Robinson, 15.Paxten Aaronson, 16.Kevin Paredes. 23.Kris Lund.

Coach: Gregg Berhalter

Referee: Walter Lopez (Guatemala)

WATCH USA vs Trinidad & Tobago - All Goals & Highlights - Quarter Final | Nations League

22.Denzil Smith
2.Aubrey David (capt.)
17.Justin Garcia
14.Shannon Gomez
16.Alvin Jones
6.Andre Raymond
10.Real Gill
9.Nathaniel James
13.Reon Moore Yellow Card 77 '
8.Daniel Phillips
18.Andre Rampersad
1.Christopher Biggette
3.Ross Russell Jr
4.Jesse Williams
20.Kaïlé Auvray
23.Kristian Lee-Him
14.Michel Poon-Angeron
7.Ryan Telfer
19.Malcolm Shaw
 Angus Eve
77'Yellow CardReon Moore
80'Yellow CardDuane Muckette