June 27 – The Gold Cup second round of group games start to night in Group A at CITYPARK, St Louis with a Caribbean classic.
Jamaica play Trinidad and Tobago in a renewal of a rivalry that has not been played out in an official tournament for over a decade. They did recently play two friendlies but Jamaica were without their Premier League contingent – Trinidad won one and one was drawn.
Jamaica start as clear favourites. They opened their tournament with a 1-1 draw against the US in Chicago. A result that coach Heimar Hallgrimsson felt like the dropping of two points.
That game saw the all Premier League strike force of Michail Antonio, Demarai Gray, Bobby Reid and Leon Bailey dominate a wooden US defense. They should be more than enough for a Trinidad and Tobago team who are drawn from less exulted leagues, and from a federation that is struggling to shake off the yoke of a Normalisation Committee.
Against St Kitts and Nevis Trinidad proved they could still be a threat with goals from Alvin Jones and Ajani Fortune. If they are to challenge Jamaica they will need Levi Garcia and Kevin Molino to find form. But more importantly their defense will have to be solid.
In the second game of the night the USA meet preliminary round play-off winners St Kitts, the first team ever to qualify for the Gold Cup from Concacaf’s third tier.
This is without doubt a David vs Goliath encounter. But the US are far from the team that so imperiously won the Nations League and St Kitts are not without athleticism. Even so, Goliath didn’t have Matt Turner in goal to stop unwanted shots.
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