Trinidad & Tobago held to a draw by hosts Puerto Rico

Published on 29 March 2021

Photo: Puerto Rico’s Jaden Servania on the attack against Trinidad & Tobago

Puerto Rico 1-1 Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad & Tobago
Joevin Jones 54’

Puerto Rico
Ricardo Rivera 71’

MAYAGUEZ, Puerto Rico (March 28, 2021)—Favorites Trinidad and Tobago were held to a 1-1 draw by hosts Puerto Rico in their Group F clash in Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers.

The Puerto Rican team started on the front foot, with early, sustained pressure, creating a few uncomfortable moments for their opponents, including a penalty shoot in the 7th minute, but the referee turned them down.

The Trinidadians would settle down after the early onslaught to have a sustained spell of possession, although they did little to test the Puerto Rican custodian. The first real chance of the game came via a Sydney Rivera header in the 17 minute of play, which forced a smart, diving save from Nicklas Frenderup in goal for Trinidad and Tobago.

Puerto Rico continued to try to unlock the Trinidadian defense mainly through the creative work of Wilfredo Riviera. The Orlando City player used his skill and trickery to create problems for defenders, and he was brought down just outside the penalty area.

The resulting free kick forced Frenderup to produce another brilliant save to keep Puerto Rico off the scoreboard. Then a poor pass by Primus provided Devon Vega with an excellent opportunity to put the home team ahead, but his poor shot went straight into the arms of the Trinidad and Tobago custodian.

The men from the twin-island republic only mustered their first attempt on goal via a long range shot by Daniel Phillips in the 35 minute of the contest.

Vega was again in the thick of things in the 41st minute, finding himself free near the penalty spot, but inexplicably failed to hit the target. Puerto Rico continued their offensive play and created a few more chances but failed to capitalize on any. The Soca Warriors were clearly the happier of the teams going into the half time intermission scoreless.

The resumption saw the introduction of Duane Muckett for Trinidad and Tobago, and he immediately started driving his team forward with quick passes and diagonal balls, pushing the Puerto Ricans backwards.

This aggression on resumption forced Cody Laurendi into a much-needed save on a cross that was whipped into the penalty area. The Trinidad and Tobago team, by then the aggressors, finally broke the deadlock in the 56th minute through veteran Joevin Jones.  Jones polished off a Levi Garcia knockdown header from a Ryan Telfer cross, to put his team one goal to the good.

Jones should have doubled his tally a minute later, after finding himself unmarked in the penalty area, again with Garcia being the supplier. Garcia, trying to put his stamp on the game, almost got on the score sheet himself.  The AEK Athens winger saw his whipped corner kick beat Laurendi in goal, only to see his effort come back off the post. Those missed chances would cost the Soca Warriors two valuable points.

El Huracán Azul substitute Ricardo Rivera leveled the score 18 minutes from full time when he capped of a nice spell of possession and good passing to head past Fredenrup.

Both teams continued to search for the winner by committing bodies forward at every opportunity; however the contest ended with leveled on a goal each. 

The draw leaves Trinidad and Tobago second in the group on 4 points and Puerto Rico with an uphill battle to be one of two teams to qualify out of the group.

 

 

 

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