Trinidad and Tobago rearguard stuns Mexico in Gold Cup opener, Lozano injured

By Jhannet Sanchez in Arlington, Texas

July 10 – The 2021 Gold Cup opened with a major shock in match between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago officially took place at the AT&T stadium. A match that ended in a scoreless draw and one point for each team. 

Trinidad and Tobago who played with pretty everything they had behind the ball for the whole match, came to make a statement that they were back, and they certainly did with goalkeeper Marvin Phillip (currently without a club) making seven crucial games-aving stops. It was their strategy from the start.

“We picked more defenders with Mexico in mind, we picked a squad we knew would be flexible and be able to play different types of squads if need be,” said Angus Eve, Trinidad and Tobago coach on his defence-heavy selection.

That defence stamped its mark on the game and perhaps the tournament, forcing an immediate change for el Tri. In the 10th minute Hirving Lozano fell in the area and collided with the goalkeeper Phillip, the defensive hero for Trinidad and Tobago. Medical assistance was called as the number 22 did not get up and ended with a bloody wound on his left eyebrow.

“We saw Chucky laying on the grass & we didn’t know what he had on the bench… we all thought it was something that had affected his health. After, we got a bit of calmness because we got info about how Chucky is – we’re all really a bit more calm,” said, Mexico national team assistant, Jorge Theiler.


Hirving “Chucky” Lozano was substituted by Efrain Alvarez who debuted in his first Gold Cup.

“First off on my behalf I want to send all my support to Hirving and his family,” said Alvarez. “To tell you the truth we felt really bad seeing him being taken out of the field, the images afterwards. We later got the reports that he is ok, that he will be undergoing a surgery but he is doing well,” mentioned Alvarez.

In regards to his time on the field and being a difference for the Tricolor, Alvarez mentioned “I will be very happy to be with the team if I get no minutes but if Tata continues to give me the opportunity I am more than ready.”

Mexico’s dominance of the game was total. Trinidad and Tobago’s resilience dogged, last ditch and quite often muscular against a team that had 82% of possession. La Tricolor competed over 500 passes, had eight shots on target and 21 over the 90 minutes. In contrast Trinidad and Tobago completed 68 passes and had just one shot – off target. It was a frustrating evening for Mexico and their fans who were warned again for their ‘puta’ chant at the end of the match as it moved towards an unlikely draw.

“A little frustrating during the match but always full of emotions. For me it’s just my second match playing with fans and it’s something beautiful that I have dreamed of since I was a kid,” said Alvarez. “It’s another dream come true with what I consider the best nation which we will show throughout this Gold Cup. I am a little frustrated but, not just me, but the whole team, so we will continue to work for the next match.”

Now both teams get ready for their next match. Mexico play Guatemala this Wednesday, June 14 at the iconic Cotton bowl in Dallas. Guatemala are a very young team who have re-entered the tournament after Curacao were withdrawn due to a late coronavirus outbreak in their camp  that left no possibility for fixtures to be rescheduled. ‘Los Chapines’ play El Salvador in their opening game in Frisco, Texas, tonight, An exciting team who had lost 10-9 on penalty kicks against Guadalupe now have a second opportunity in the 2021 Gold Cup.

Meanwhile, Trinidad & Tobago next face El Salvador at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco on Wednesday.

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Contact the writer of this story Jhannet Sanchez at moc.l1721781272labto1721781272ofdlr1721781272owedi1721781272sni@o1721781272fni1721781272

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