An entertaining start to this year’s Gold Cup continued with the first game of Group B, a match between El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago that saw the 2006 World Cup qualifiers cancel out a double from Salvadorian Rodolfo Zelaya, taking a 2-2 draw from the teams’ tournament opener Red Bull Arena.
The scoring started in the 11th minute when a deflected pass in midfield left the Salvadorian defense off guard as Keon Daniel dribbled on goal from the edge of the attacking third. From just inside the area, Daniel beat Dagoberto Portillo into the right of goals to give Trinidad and Tobago an early lead.
In the 22nd minute, Zelaya equalized on a direct kick from 25 yards out, finishing into Jan Williams’ upper right hand corner. The 25-year-old completed his double in the 68th minute, heading home from close range after a pass chipped to the edge of the six-yard box from substitute Darwin Cerén, briefly giving the Salvdorans a rout to three points.
But four minutes later, Trinidad and Tobago were back on equal footing, with a route one pass to Kenwyne Jones culminating with the left-footed finish from 12 yards out after the Stoke City striker beat Victor Turcios on a long ball out of the back.
The result should serve both teams, each merely looking to secure a place in the next round. With one point on Monday, Trinidad and Tobago will likely advance with a win over Haiti on Friday, though that’s no easy task.
If El Salvador can pull an upset of Honduras the same day, they’ll likely be through. If not, they have a meeting with Haiti to close group play next Monday.