Trinidad and Tobago pulled off a courageous 3-1 victory over El Salvador front of an estimated 25,000 fans at the RFK Stadium, Washington on Thursday night.
Pacheco was also given marching orders for elbowing Gray. Pacheco's teammate Luis Anaya, subbed earlier on was ejected as well from the bench for violent conduct. The match stopped for close to six minutes after players and officials got involved in a heated altercation forcing security officials to enter the field. The El Salvadorian fans also began launching plastic bottles at the T&T bench. Wolfe and Glen would later put T&T in control of the encounter.
A pair of goals by Cornell Glen (18th and 80th) and another by second half substitute Anthony Wolfe in the 75h minute did the job for the "Soca Warriors". El Salvador equalized through Cristian Castillo in the 31st minute. Both teams finished the match with ten men with Cyd Gray being red carded for head butting El Salvador captain Alfredo Pacheco in the 60th.
The game started at a rapid pace with both teams looking to seize the early advantage . Keyeno Thomas had an early header on goal gong wide of the left post from a Keon Daniel cross in the second minute. The same combination followed seven minutes later but to little avail.
But Glen would then show how it had to be done. The former LA Galaxy man reaching well to a Daniel swerver, heading it well past goalie Marvin Gozalez on 19 minutes to send T&T ahead.
El Salvador pressed and Thomas had to make a vital headed clearance three minutes later. They would equalize on the half hour when Cristian Castillo directed his free kick from the left inside Phillip’s unprotected far post to send the Central American fans into a frenzy.
The game continued in similar pattern in the second half but Francisco Maturana introduced the lively Anthony Wolfe and he would send T&T ahead after the altercation on 60 minutes. A clash between Gray and Pacheco had caused the six-minute delay with members of both teams getting involved. But T&T would have the final say.
Wolfe got up well to head in Aklie Edwards’ left side delivery and then Glen was on spot to latch on and skip past a challenge before shooting home for the 3-1 advantage to leave the 1000 odd T&T fans partying in their red and to the sounds of iron for the rest of the evening.
Maturana pleased with result
Head coach Maturana expressed some satisfaction with the result.
“I think there were some aspects to be happy about tonight. I also saw an extra couple players showing me what I wanted going into the Cuba match,” Maturana told TTFF Media “We were strong in the situation and we didn’t break. This is what I liked. I think if we can keep this up then we will get more good results. The result tonight is very important for the mental state of the team and we will take this into the Cuba game because the result there is the one that really matters more to us.”
Glen too was happy with the performance. “Personally it was good to score two goals and help the team, especially in front this huge crowd away from home. Trinidad fans got something to cheer. I think we can definitely build on this.
TTFF Special Advisor Jack Warner and TTFF General Secretary Jack Warner were also at the RFK. Warner , who arrived from Beijing, added “I want to extend my congratulations and appreciation to the team for its performance and result but moreso the performance under the circumstances when the game got held up. It was not easy to pick up and finish the way they did in front such a crowd. I want to wish the team the best and hopefully I will see a similar performance and result in Cuba.”
T&T departs for Cuba on Friday morning for Wednesday's 2010 World Cup qualifier.
T&T Line :21 - Marvin Phillip, 3-Aklie Edwards, 4-Makan Hislop (16-Radanfah Abu Bakr, 90th),5-Keyeno Thomas, 8-Cyd Gray, 6-Khaleem Hyland (15-Gyasi Joyce, 90th), 18-Densill Theobald, 19-Keon Daniel, 11-Andre Toussaint (7-Anthony Wolfe, 46th), 13- Cornell Glen (10-Kerry Baptiste 86th), 17-Clyde Leon.Did not play - Cleon John, Aurtis Whitley
Shots - 9/7
Shots on goal - 5/3
Saves - 2/2
Corners - 6/5
Offsides - 1/8
Yellow Cards - Hislop, 34th, dissent
Wolfe, 76th, shirt removal
Salazar,87th, violent conduct
Red Cards - Alfredo Pacheco, 60th, violent conduct
Gray, 60th, violent conduct
Luis Anaya, 60th, violent conduct (while as substitute on bench)