PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD (Nov. 20, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team lost to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1 in the second leg of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League Quarterfinal at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, advancing to the tournament’s semifinals with a 4-2 aggregate win over two legs. It also earned the USMNT a place in next summer’s Copa America, which will be played in the United States.
The U.S. now moves on to contest the Semifinal Round of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League on March 21 in Arlington, Texas against one of the following regional rivals: Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Canada, Honduras or Mexico.
Hosts Trinidad and Tobago – down 3-0 after the USA’s first leg win in Austin, Texas on Nov. 16 – were pinned back in their own defensive third early in the second leg. An early spinning shot from midfielder Brenden Aaronson from close range in just the third minute was followed a minute later by another good effort from forward Folarin Balogun – both of which forced T&T goalkeeper Denzil Smith into awkward saves. Those chances were a hint of things to come as the USMNT took a lead in the 25th minute via the head of defender Antonee Robinson who scored in back-to-back games for the first time in a USA shirt.
With a 4-0 lead on the aggregate, it should have been clear sailing for the U.S., but a self-inflicted wound in the 39th minute complicated matters. Dest, whose pinpoint cross set the table for the opening goal, picked up the ball and punted it away after the referee blew his whistle to call a throw-in for the hosts. That earned the U.S. defender a yellow card. His continued arguments earned him a second yellow, from Guatemalan referee Walter Lopez as the U.S. were reduced to 10 men for the rest of the game. Dest will also be suspended for March’s Nations League Semifinal.
With confidence bolstered by the man advantage, Trinidad & Tobago pulled level just before halftime after a long ball from Alvin Jones ball sent Reon Moore into the right side of the penalty area in the 43rd minute. The Trinidadian striker shrugged off a challenge from center back Cameron Carter-Vickers before hitting the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner inside the near post for his eighth goal in 25 caps. It was the host side’s first shot on goal.
Tension continued to ramp up for the U.S. after the interval. Jones went from provider to scorer in the 57th minute when his knuckling free kick from 25 yards screamed past the U.S. defensive wall and off Turner’s fingertips before nestling in the back of the net. That put the hosts into the lead 2-1 on the night, but still down 4-2 on the aggregate. It was a lead Trinidad and Tobago held – but could not increase -- until the final whistle as the U.S. dropped a result to the Soca Warriors for only the fourth time in history.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
USA – Antonee Robinson (Sergiño Dest), 25th minute: Dest collected the ball on the right side after a sequence of sharp U.S. passes carved open a gap in the hosts’ midfield. Robinson – lurking at the back post – slipped in front of his marker to meet Dest’s accurate cross with a diving header from eight yards out. The Fulham defender drove his shot off the slick surface and inside of Denzil Smith’s near post. TRI 0, USA 1
TRI – Reon Moore (Alvin Jones), 43rd minute: Domestic-based defender Alvin Jones hit a long, searching ball up the right side from deep in the Trinidad & Tobago defensive third. It picked out Rean Moore – an unused sub in the first leg – who muscled the inside track on U.S. center back Cameron Carter-Vickers before hitting his shot from the right side of the penalty area just inside the near post. TRI 1, USA 1
TRI – Alvin Jones, 57th minute: While the direct free kick initially looked to be outside shooting distance, Alvin Jones decided to have a go anyway. His powerful free kick swerved and spun in the heavy Port of Spain air before dipping dramatically and going off the fingertips of a diving Matt Turner and into the U.S. net. TRI 2, USA 1
- U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT -
Match: Trinidad and Tobago vs. United States Men’s National Team
Date: November 20, 2023
Competition: 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League – Quarterfinal, Leg Two
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Kickoff: 7:07 p.m. ET (8:07 local)
Weather: 82 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
TRI 1 1 2
USA – Antonee Robinson (Sergiño Dest) 25th minute
TRI – Reon Moore (Alvin Jones) 43
TRI – Alvin Jones 57
USA: 1-Matt Turner; 2-Sergiño Dest (39, Ejected), 3-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 13-Tim Ream (Capt.) 5-Antonee Robinson; 7-Gio Reyna (19-Joe Scally, 42), 6-Yunus Musah, 14-Luca de la Torre (22-Lennard Maloney, 91), 11-Brenden Aaronson; 9-Ricardo Pepi (17-Malik Tillman, 65), 20-Folarin Balogun
Substitutes not used: 18-Ethan Horvath, 21-Gaga Slonina, 4-Chris Richards, 10-Alex Zendejas, 12-Miles Robinson, 15-Paxten Aaronson, 16-Kevin Paredes, 23-Kristoffer Lund
Head coach: Gregg Berhalter
TRI: 22-Denzil Smith; 14-Shannon Gomez, 16-Alvin Jones, 2-Aubrey David (Capt.), 17-Justin Garcia, 6-Andre Raymond; 13-Reon Moore (19-Malcolm Shaw, 77), 12-Daniel Phillips (23-Kristian Lee-Him, 77), 18-Andre Rampersad, 10-Real Gill (7-Ryan Telfer, 61); 9-Nathaniel James (8-Duane Muckette, 77)
Substitutes not used: 1-Christopher Biggette, 21-Jabari St. Hillaire, 3-Ross Russell, 4-Jesse Williams, 5-Michel Poon-Angeron, 15-Kevon Goddard, 20-Kaile Auvray
Head coach: Angus Eve
Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 10 / 10
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 19
Offside: 1 / 0
USA – Sergiño Dest (Caution) 39th minute
USA – Sergiño Dest (Ejection) 39
USA – Joe Scally (Caution) 79
TRI – Duane Muckette (Caution) 80
Referee: Walter Gomez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: Raymundo Feliz (DOM)
4th Official: Oliver Vergara (PAN)
VAR: Guillermo Pacheco (MEX)
AVAR: Erick Miranda (MEX)
Bud Light Man of the Match: Antonee Robinson