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Gold Cup Rewind: Jones leads Trinidad & Tobago to quarterfinals; El Salvador defeats Haiti in controversial fashion

KenwyneJones (Getty Images)


They may have started Monday night’s Group B finale in Houston as the bottom two teams, but shutout wins pushed Trinidad & Tobago and El Salvador into the knockout stage of this year’s Gold Cup.

Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones notched a goal and an assist to give Trinidad & Tobago a 2-0 win over first-place Honduras, who had already qualified for the quarterfinals. The two-goal victory clinched the second-place slot from Group B.

The Soca Warriors will be joined in the next round by El Salvador, who defeated Haiti 1-0 in controversial fashion. Rodolfo Zelaya was the hero for El Salvador, scoring his third goal in the tournament in the 76th minute.

With just one point from its first two matches, Trinidad & Tobago needed all three points to have a chance at surviving in the competition. After some back-and-forth action in the first half, the match swung in the Soca Warriors’ favor when Honduras’s Jose Velasquez was shown the red card for an ugly challenge from behind.

Trinidad & Tobago broke the deadlock shortly after halftime on another bad tackle from Honduras. This time, Orlin Peralta was called for a foul in the box, and Jones converted the 47th-minute penalty.

Nineteen minutes later, the Soca Warriors sealed their spot in the final eight and moved into second place. Jones finished a nice sequence with a perfect pass to Kevin Molino, who found the back of the net.

The win gave Trinidad & Tobago its first Gold Cup quarterfinal berth since 2000 and eliminated Haiti, who lost earlier in the evening on a controversial call.

Needing just a point to advance in the competition, underdogs Haiti held their own against a controlling El Salvador side that needed a victory to move on. Haiti got a couple of breaks in the first half as the post denied Zelaya twice, which included an 18th-minute miss on an empty-net situation.

After a 71st-minute goal was ruled offside, El Salvador took the lead five minutes later in controversial fashion. Jean Marc Alexandre was whistled for grabbing Victor Turcios’s jersey in the box, but replays showed Turcios was the one doing the jersey tugging.

Zelaya’s initial penalty try was saved by Frandy Montrevil, but his rebound broke the deadlock. Haiti was unable to equalize late, sealing its Gold Cup fate.

El Salvador clinched its spot in the quarterfinals as the top third-place team in the tournament. Group A’s Martinique is currently in line to be the second third-place team to qualify as Cuba or Belize would have to win by at least four goals on Tuesday night to move on.


What did you think of these matches? Impressed with Trinidad & Tobago’s performance against first-place Honduras? Think the loss will affect Honduras in the quarterfinals? Disappointed to see Haiti eliminated on a controversial call?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The referee robbed Haiti from going to the quarter finals. It’s a shame that fifa does not have instant replay.

  2. Not a fan of the El Salvadorian national team. Been to too many US games involving the two, have too many stories about them. However, playing against El Salvador is always exciting. The crowds they pull are astonishing and the atmosphere loud. Tournament officials are glad for this stadium-filling payday.

    I prefer to see the underdogs go through. Haiti played well.

  3. If you have to cheat to qualify to the next round then clearly you do not deserve to be there hence El Salvador will get theirs…..also FIFA is so concern about match fixing so they need to scrutinize the ref and one of his linesmen because the way he controlled the game was biased and embarassing……..Haiti were robbed.

  4. I have no dog in the game, and these types of things go uncalled all the time, but the Haitian defender had grabbed and held the El Salvador player’s arm before the El Salvadorian player grabbed any jersey. A foul and PK was a technically accurate call.

  5. I was watching the El Salvador match with my daughter and when we watched the replay of the penalty, I had to tell her not to play that way. Instead of an all-out effort to get on the end of the ball into the box, Turcios was clearly trying to simulate being held in order to win the PK, and it worked.

    That said, it was a deserved result for El Salvador, who looked like the stronger side all night and were unlucky not to already be ahead. Haiti could have made it a different match by scoring, but they rarely looked like a threat in the attacking third.

    • A win or a tie, the USMNT plays Martinique (b/c Belize or Cuba will not blow the other one out)

      A loss, the USMNT plays Honduras

    • if we win/tie, we clinch 1st. in 1st, we play either A3 or B3. A3 is Martinique who is sitting on 3 points and -2 GD. the only way we get stuck playing B3 (El Salvador) is if either Cuba or Belize destroy the other to make up for a -6 GD and go through as a 3rd place team (C3).

      if we lose, it’s Honduras.

  6. The absurd npenalty call ruined what had been an entertaining game. It put a damper on what had been an entertaining group, too.

  7. It is a shame that a PK was called — didn’t agree with the call — and that is how Haiti ended up with losing 1-0 to El Salvador; instead of playing in the next round of the Gold Cup, Haiti is now eliminated from the tournament and El Salvador is going in their place. That PK call really hurt.

    • That was an absolute shamble, and the refs completely lost control soon after that call. The whole crew should be fined for an atrocious performance – the first match-altering blunder of the tournmanent.

      • bummer for Haiti, that was a missed call. I was pulling for them too. Zelaya is a great player though, not disappointed to see him continue

      • He hit the post 3x and has his pk saved and then final gets it in on the rebound. Its too bad haiti got elimated on bush foul but wow glad zeyala final got his goal.

        A lot of players in this gold cup that MLS clubs should look to sign Zeyala is near the top of that list

      • Dude he hit the post on a WIDE open net, the other post shot was a beautiful attempt, but his PK was also terribly taken, you make it sound like he dominated

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