El Salvador, Trinidad advance at Gold Cup
HOUSTON (AP) — El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago got their first victories in the Gold Cup on Monday to ensure both will advance to the quarterfinals of the biennial competition.
Rodolfo Zelaya scored his third goal of the tournament to lift El Salvador to a 1-0 victory over Haiti. Zelaya redirected a rebound after Haiti goalkeeper Frandy Montrevil stopped his penalty in the 76th minute.
“We came here to have a good Gold Cup,” Zelaya said. “Hopefully we can surprise some people in the next round.”
Haiti, which had only needed a draw to advance, was knocked out of the tournament after Trinidad and Tobago’s 2-0 win over Group B leader Honduras in the second game of the night. Honduras, which had previously beaten Haiti and El Salvador, was already assured of advancing.
Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones converted a penalty in the 47th minute to put Trinidad and Tobago up 1-0. Kevin Molino added a second goal in the 67th.
“We knew we had to play for the result, but more important for me was the positive approach the team took,” Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart said. “We tried to not only keep possession of the ball but to attack and create some opportunities.”
Haiti had been trying to reach the quarterfinals for the second time in the last three Gold Cups.
“We didn’t know how to play with the pressure of knowing we needed only a tie to advance,” Haiti coach Israel Blake Cantero said.
Mexico and El Salvador will play in the quarterfinals on Saturday. The other pairings will be determined after the final group-stage games between Costa Rica and the United States, both of which are already through to the quarterfinals, and Belize and Cuba on Tuesday.