Trinidad and Tobago skipper Khaleem Hyland and his teammates suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat to the United States in their second Group D CONCACAF Gold Cup match at the Energy Field in Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday night, a loss which ended their hopes of advancing to the next round.
In a game in which Hyland was forced out due to injury in the first half, T&T were all at sea in defence as US defender Aaron Long (41st & 90th) and striker Gyasi Zardes (66th & 69th) bagged braces while Christian Pulisic and Paul Arriola also found the net in the drubbing – T&T’s biggest loss in the tournament’s history.
After a first half in which they managed to hold off the majority of the marauding US attacks, T&T still conceded a goal off the head of Long four minutes before the break. Off a free kick from the left flank, Pulisic found Long with a fine pass inside the six-metre box and he rose to head past diving goalie Marvin Phillip. But this was only a sign of things to come.
With Hyland forced off the field in the first half and Kevin Molino coming in as his replacement, T&T’s defensive ability suffered and the Americans smelled blood on the resumption.
In a 10-minute span in which goalkeeper Phillip seemed to be playing by himself against the home team, Zardes grabbed a double in the 66th and 69th minutes while Pulisic (73rd) helped pile on the embarrassment before Arriola (78th) made the score 5-0. Long then completed his double on the stroke of full time as T&T simply succumbed.
In between, the Soca Warriors had a chance for a consolation goal when Cordell Cato eluded three defenders on the right side and passed to teammate Levi Garcia in the 61st minute. However, with a gaping goal in front of him, Garcia’s shot did not trouble US goalie Zack Steffen as it was high and wide.
After earning some revenge against T&T for the the 2-1 defeat which dumped them out the 2018 FIFA World Cup two years ago, the Americans will now battle Panama, who beat Guyana 4-2 in the opening match Saturday, in their last game to see who will advance as the Group D leader while T&T will play for pride in their final game against Guyana next week.
USA 6 (Aaron Long 41st & 90th, Gyasi Zardes 66th & 69th, Christian Pulisic 73rd, Paul Arriola 78th) v T&T 0
T&T: Marvin Phillip, Leston Paul, Daneil Cyrus, Aubrey David, Alvin Jones, Khaleem Hyland (Kevin Molino 46), Neveal Hackshaw, Levi Garcí¬a (Lester Peltier 76), Kevan George, Cordell Cato, Nathan Lewis (Joevin Jones 68)
USA: Zack Steffen, Nick Lima (Reggie Cannon 88th), Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, Tim Ream, Weston McKennie, Michael Bradley, Christian Pulisic, Tyler Boyd (Jordan Morris 56), Gyasi Zardes (Joze Altidore 73), Paul Arriola