Jones' goal lifts Trinidad to a 2-2 draw with El Salvador
HARRISON, N.J. -- Kenwyne Jones scored the equalizer in the 72nd minute to lift Trinidad & Tobago to a 2-2 Group B draw with El Salvador in the CONCACAF Gold Cup opener for both teams on Monday night.
The goal offset a two-goal performance by Salvadoran striker Rodolfo Zelaya in what proved to be an exciting encounter at Red Bull Arena.
Trinidad took the lead in the 10th minute when midfielder Carlos Edwards somehow sent the ball through to an advancing Keon Daniel to his right. Daniel used his length to win the ball from his marker and slotted it past an outstretched goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo to give the Soca Warriors the lead.
Jones almost put Trinidad up 2-0 in the 19th minute but the dreadlocked striker headed a spot-on cross from Edwards over the net.
Trinidad started with Jones upfront as he supported by, Daniel with Kevon Carter and Edwards. The tandem looked threatening in the first 15 minutes but as the young El Salvadorians settled as the likes of William Romero and Rafael Burgos started to stamp their authority in the midfield.
The Soca Warriors' lead proved to be short-lived as Honduras won a free kick in the 21st minute. Rodolfo Zelaya delivered a gem over the defensive wall into the corner of the nets past a diving Jan Michael Williams in goal.
That seemed to be the wake-up call El Salvador needed as the Central Americans took over the first half from that point on and almost went into the half leading as Burgos headed just wide of goal and struck the far post on the next play.
The second half saw the Salvadorans continuing where they left off. In the opening seconds Burgos again shot just inches wide of goal.
Their perseverance paid off in the 68th minute when Zelaya headed in a beautiful cross from Darwin Ceren, who advanced down the right side and placed a pass in the path of Zelaya.
That joy ended moments later. Jones, who watched El Salvador took the lead while he was being attended to on the sidelines, returned and collected a long ball from Joevin Jones 35 yards out. He turned on his marker Steve Purdy and slotted the ball well left of Portillo, who had no chance to save in the 72nd minute.
Edwards could have sealed three points for Trinidad in the 79th minute but his shot was well saved at point-blank range by Portillo.
El Salvador however almost had the last say in the 83rd minute as Romero hit the post and Mark Pineda somehow missed the rebound at an open goal. The entertaining Zelaya had one more bite for a hat-trick and to be the hero but his ambitious bicycle flick was parried over the bar by Williams.
Haiti will play Trinidad & Tobago in the first game of a doubleheader in Miami Gardens, Fla. on Friday, while Honduras and El Salvador tussle in the nightcap.