Gold Cup Doubleheader: Honduras Win; Trinidad & Tobago rallies to Tie • Latino Sports

Soccer

Gold Cup Doubleheader: Honduras Win; Trinidad & Tobago rallies to Tie

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Harrison, NJ – On Monday night, the sellout crowd of 25,486 at Red Bull Arena were treated to an evening of thrilling soccer matches.

Prior to Monday’s doubleheader, the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup had officially kicked off on Sunday where both opening matches had resulted in an upset. Martinique defeated Canada 1-0 while Panama stunned Mexico 2-1.

While Sunday’s action was baffling, Monday night’s action was filled with beautiful soccer, missed opportunities and passionate fan support from all four teams. Haiti, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador represent Group B of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In the first match between El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago, fans were treated to a four-goal scoring binge as both squads battled to a 2-2 draw. Ten minutes into the match, Keon Daniel stunned El Salvador and their supporters as he gave Trinidad & Tobago a 1-0 advantage. Taking advantage of a loose ball, Daniel made an aggressive charge towards the net as he successfully beat Portillo for the lead.

With so much football left to be played, El Salvador’s answer came in the name of Rudolfo Zelaya. In the 21st minute, Zelaya leveled the match at 1-1 when he successfully converted his free kick for a phenomenal goal. Then in the 68th minute, Zelaya gave El Salvador their first lead in the match with his well-placed header.

With El Salvador holding on to a 2-1 lead and their supporters boisterously chanting, “Si se puede”, Trinidad & Tobago was able to kill to birds with one strike as Kenwyne Jones goal in the 72nd minute silenced the crowd while tying the match 2-2.

With the match coming to an end, Zelaya fell short of a hat-trick with his failed bicycle kick attempt for a goal. Nevertheless, he was named “Man of the Match” and with the match resulting in a 2-2 draw, it set the tone for the second match.

In the second match between Honduras and Haiti, the better team lost the match. In a contest where Haiti aggressively pushed the ball and danced past the Honduran defense, the team’s only flaw was their decision to kick field goals instead of attacking the back of the net.

Goals by Rony Martinez in the 4th minute combined by Marvin Chavez’s 77th insurance goal gave los Catrachos a 2-0 win over Haiti. Statistically, Haiti had a 5-2 shots on goal advantage. In addition, they had a commanding 10-1 corner kick advantage while competing 81-percent of their passes as opposed to Honduras 77-percent completion.

If sports have taught us one thing is that in the end, it’s not the team who plays the best that usually wins, it’s the one who scores the most points. In the case of Honduras, they successfully capitalized off their scoring opportunities. In moving forward, Haiti has to convert their scoring chances while Honduras has to play better defense because they were beaten off the dribble against a team that lacked finishers.

Group B action continues on Friday in Miami when Trinidad and Tobago takes on Haiti while Honduras faces El Salvador.

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