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Panama´s Gabriel Torres (#9) and Aubrey Rudolph Roberts of Trinidad and Tobago in action in a Group D match of the Concacaf Gold Cup on June 18, 2019 at the Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA (Photo: Concacaf)
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Trinidad and Tobago’s 2019 Gold Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start in Minnesota on Tuesday night as they went down 2-0 to Panama at the Allianz Field.

T&T actually had the first real attack on goal with a play down the right but couldn’t finish off as they would have hoped. Levi Garcia has a couple good moments in attack but had nothing to show for it.

Moments before half time skipper Khaleem Hyland saw volley flash inches wide of the upright as both teams laboured to a 0-0 scoreline going into the break.

The breakthrough for Panama came in the 53rd minute. Panama had possession in the final third where Gabriel Torres sent a delicate pass through to Armando Cooper. The veteran attacking  midfielder  calmly cut by onrushing Trinidad and Tobago  goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, before slotting home to put his side ahead. The play started when Hyland gave up possession in his team’s half.

Fifteen minutes later, after a phenomenal double-save from Phillip, a third Panama chance fell to Edgar Barcenas. Phillip managed to get a hand to the close-range effort, but could not prevent Panama from doubling their tally.

Head Coach Dennis Lawrence introduced Joevin Jones in the second half as T&T tried to get themselves back into the game. Jones’ delivery from the left caused problems in the box for Panama but they then broke away leading to the second goal. Kevin Molino came close late on but couldn’t get the final touch right as Luis Mejia raced off his line to stop the effort.  Next up on Saturday, T&T will face United States which got past Guyana 4-0 in Tuesday’s second match.

Lawrence said after the match that T&T paid the price by conceding two goals due to lapses.

“I didn’t feel it was much in the game. The two critical moments in the game – Our effort, we gave the ball and we got caught and the second one us is almost scoring and then getting done in transition,”Lawrence said in the post-game press conference.

“So two soft goals to give away. We have dug ourselves in a bit of a hole now which means we have to start thinking about getting two wins from the next two games. That’s international football. If you don’t take your chances and you give away sloppy possession you can get hurt. Panama has got quality players that can do that to you. We now need to recover very quickly. Pull away from all the negatives and go onto to the next game.”

Teams

Trinidad and Tobago:  1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 16.Alvin Jones, 2.Aubrey David, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 17.Mekeil Williams; 19.Kevan George (23.Leston Paul 65′), 8.Khaleem Hyland (captain);  10.Kevin Molino, 20.Jomal Williams (3.Joevin Jones 65′); 11.Levi Garcia,13.Nathan Lewis (7.Cordell Cato 82′),

Subs not used –  21.Greg Ranjitsingh (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 4.Neveal Hackshaw, 6.Duane Muckette, 9.Shahdon Winchester, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 14.Akeem Humphrey, 15.Curtis Gonzales, 18.Lester Peltier.

Head coach: Dennis Lawrence

Panama (4-4-2): 1.Luis Mejia (GK); 23.Michael Murillo, 3.Harold Cummings, 5.Roman Torres (captain), 15.Eric Davis, 4.Fidel Escobar, 19.Albert Quintero (21.Omar Browne 88′), 10.Edgar Barcenas, 11.Armando Cooper, 17.Jose Fajardo (20.Ernesto Walker 78′), 9.Gabriel Torres (18.Abdiel Arroyo 84′);

Unused substitutes: 12.Jose Calderon (GK), 22.Orlando Mosquera (GK), 2.Francisco Palacios, 6.Kevin Galvan, 7.Jose Rodriguez, 8.Marcos Sanchez, 13.Adolfo Machado, 14.Valentin Pimentel, 16.Rolando Blackburn.

Head coach: Julio Valdes

Post Match Press Conference - Lawrence speaks after Panama loss

Panama (2) vs. Trinidad and Tobago (0) - Gold Cup 2019

Standings

P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
USA  1  1  0  0  4  0  3
Panama  1  1  0  0  2  0  3
T&T  1  0  0  1  0  2  0
Guyana  1  0  0  1  0  4  0

RELATED NEWS

Panama outplays Soca Warriors 2-0.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


Two sec­ond-half goals by Ar­man­do Coop­er in the 52nd and Edgar Barce­nas in the 68th minute for Pana­ma, con­fined T&T to its first de­feat 2-0 in Group D of the CON­CA­CAF Gold Cup in the Unit­ed States on Tues­day night.

The re­sult now means that the So­ca War­riors will have to get a re­sult each when they face the host in their sec­ond match on Sat­ur­day, and then four days lat­er when they take on re­gion­al ri­vals Guyana.

De­spite a quick start by the T&T team at the Al­lianz Field in Min­neso­ta, USA, in the ear­ly mo­ments, the re­sult ap­peared to have been on­ly a mat­ter of time, once the Pana­ma­ni­ans set­tled and dom­i­nat­ed the match.

Nathan Lewis twice in the first half used his speed to telling ef­fect down the right flank, but on both oc­ca­sions his at­tempt to pick out Jo­mal Williams was bro­ken down by the quick in­ter­ven­tion of de­fend­er Fi­del Es­co­bar. Soon af­ter, Levi Gar­cia, on one of his sweep­ing runs at the Pana­ma de­fence, tried to thread one to Lewis, but it was again in­ter­cept­ed by the steady de­fence. Pana­ma's in­abil­i­ty to hit the tar­get pre­vent­ed any chance they had of tak­ing the ad­van­tage at the half and the teams went to the break with the scores at 0-0.

How­ev­er, at the re­sump­tion the Pana­ma­ni­ans quick­ly picked up from where they left off and were re­ward­ed for their pos­ses­sion.

Coop­er found him­self at the end of an­oth­er neat build-up in­side the T&T penal­ty area and de­spite the chal­lenge by skip­per Khaleem Hy­land, Coop­er raced past the ad­vanc­ing TT goalie Mar­vin Phillips, be­fore slot­ting the ball in­to an emp­ty goal for the lead.

Mo­ments lat­er, the Pana­ma­ni­ans were un­lucky not to score again in the 61st minute from an­oth­er sweep­ing build-up that saw Gabriel Tor­res re­lease to an un­marked Es­co­bar. But Es­co­bar's thump­ing shot from some 20 yards out was pushed wide by Philips.

T&T, who were bogged down by the mid­field­ers' in­abil­i­ty to be cre­ative in the cen­tre, cou­pled with the de­fend­ers' re­luc­tance to sup­ply the pass­es when they were in pos­ses­sion of the ball, cre­at­ed lit­tle goal-scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Still, Gar­cia had the Pana­ma de­fence back­ing when he cut in from the left side on to his un­favourable right foot, be­fore hit­ting high over the bars.

But the Pana­ma­ni­ans lat­er sealed the win de­spite the bril­liance of Philips. Tor­res, who was picked out un­marked on the left side, elud­ed his mark­er and re­leased a thun­der­ous right-foot­er that Philips some­how dived low to keep out. He then kept out a blis­ter­ing dri­ve from Coop­er on the re­bound, but could not stop Barce­nas from putting the ball in­to an open net be­fore the re­ac­tion of any T&T de­fend­er.