Two goals in stoppage time led to a 4-4 draw between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday night in their final group match at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Tied 3-3 through regulation, Mexico pulled ahead on an own goal by Trinidad and Tobago defender Cordell Cato in the first minute of extra play. With less than a minute left, Trinidad and Tobago’s Yohance Marshall headed in a corner kick to tie the match.
“We had a plan for the corner kicks, but I picked up the flight of the ball late,” said Marshall, who did not play in the first two Gold Cup games. “But I wound up in the right place. We got a good result.
“I’ve never gone through a final five minutes like that with the national team; with my club teams and school teams, yes. The emotions are high — they go up, they go down. You can be disappointed, but at the end, we were elated. We could have lost, but we could have easily won also.”
Trinidad and Tobago (2-0-1, 7 points) took Group C’s top seed into the quarterfinals, and will face Panama on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
“It was a good game for spectators — not my heart,” said Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart, whose team is making its best Gold Cup run since reaching the semifinals in 2000.
“We had an objective to get to the quarterfinals. We wanted to win the first game and get the result from Cuba (a 2-0 win on July 12), and not have to play Mexico to get to the quarterfinals.”
Mexico (1-0-2, 5 points) will play Costa Rica in the second quarterfinal game Sunday.
“We didn’t do what we were doing before, especially in the second half,” Mexico coach Miguel Herrera said through an interpreter. “There were a lot of mistakes. We committed a lot of mistakes in the second half.”
Mexico, which has won six Gold Cup titles, took a 1-0 halftime lead on Paul Aguilar’s goal in the 32nd minute, and pulled ahead 2-0 on Carlos Vega’s shot off the left post in the 51st minute.
“We didn’t manage the game well . but we were doing it in the first half,” Herrera said. “After the second goal, we stopped playing. We made careless mistakes.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s Keron Cummings and Kenwyne Jones scored in a 3-minute span to tie the match in the 58th minute. Cummings’ second goal, in the 67th minute, put Trinidad and Tobago ahead 3-2.
“The players, we believe in one another,” said Cummings, who was making his first start in the Gold Cup. “We knew we can come back. Once we dug deep, we came back.”
Mexico made it 3-3 on Andres Guardado’s 25-yarder in the 88th minute.
“The last goal, it was a ball in the corner,” Herrera said. “If you just take the ball to the corner, the clock probably runs out. But it was a little bit of bad luck because the ball could have gone anywhere.”