In the first minute of stoppage time, though, Trinidad & Tobago conceded a heartbreaking own goal to give Mexico what appeared to be the game-winner.
“In the second half, we lacked control in circulating (the ball), which helped our opponent improve”, said Herrera after the game. But I wound up in the right place. We have plenty of youth, which is a good thing that they get experience now in tournaments like this, putting us in good stead in the future.
“I’ve never gone through a final five minutes like that with the national team”, Marshall said. “They went 2-nil up, then coming back and going on top, they going back on top, us tying the game-I think it’s something that fans dream of”.
“We had an objective to get to the quarterfinal”, said Hart.
Despite whatever else is happening off the field, we will remain positive and credit to the players also for being very professional and not letting anything distract them from their focus out here.. They’ll be about even money to beat Panama in their quarterfinal after their first three performances, and the victor of that game will take on the Mexico-Costa Rica victor after that. “We have the quarterfinal on Sunday, and we’ll go from there”.
Mexico earned a disappointing result by only drawing 10 men Guatemala in the second game after demolishing Cuba 6-0 in the opener.
Cuba (1-2-0) advanced despite finishing with a minus-7 goal differential in pool play, the worst in Gold Cup history.
Coach Miguel Herrera had called for more aggression from Mexico heading into the Group C finale and the message rubbed off on his players as they dominated proceedings from the outset.
Vela made it 2-0 just after halftime when his shot from the left took a turn off the inside of the post and into the goal. Mexico is in second with four points.
Half-time substitute Peralta, who replaced Dos Santos, wasted a gilt-edged chance to extend Mexico’s lead as he headed over the crossbar in the 48th minute, though Vela made no mistake three minutes later.
Sheldon Bateau netted in the 17th minute while Andre Boucaud scored a volley in the 42nd minute for Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, as they secured their progress to the quarters with a game to spare. Cummings second goal, in the 67th minute, put Trinidad and Tobago ahead 3-2. After breaking free from his marker, Aguilar somehow squeezed the ball between goalkeeper Marvin Phillip and the woodwork for his first career Gold Cup goal.