Molino beats Keylor Navas: T&T shows grit against Costa Rica but goes down in San Jose feeling cheated again

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino celebrates with teammate Joevin Jones after scoring against Costa Rica during their World Cup 2018 Qualifier in San Jose, Costa Rica on June 13, 2017.

Francisco Calvo and Bryan Ruiz scored in the first half as Costa Rica inched closer to leaders Mexico last night with a 2-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Costa Rica (3W-2D-1L; 11 points) are now three points adrift of Mexico (W4-D2-L0; 14 points) in second and three points ahead of the United States (W2-D2-L2; 8 points).

Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, are left with the feeling of being cheated for a second time in the CONCACAF final round (Hexagonal) of FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia qualifying.

Trinidad and Tobago (1W-0D-5L; 3 points), bottom of the Hex, had a clear goal disallowed by an offside call on March 28 against Mexico—a game which finished 1-0 in favour of the CONCACAF leaders in Port-of-Spain.

Last night in San Jose the Warriors had another painful nail into the campaign after forward Jamille Boatswain, attempting to meet a Daneil Cyrus pass, was tugged to ground inside the box six minutes into the second half. But Cuban referee Yadel Martinez and his assistant allowed play to continue, at which time Costa Rica were already leading 2-1.

“I’ve got to question the penalty because I think the only people on the football pitch that did not believe it was a penalty, were the officials,” said T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence after the game.

“From that point of view, I thought we should have come out with something from the game, and I really feel sorry for the boys.”

Trinidad and Tobago had fallen behind in the first minute of play against Costa Rica when Calvo headed past a frozen goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams from inside the six-yard area after connection to Joel Campbell right side corner.

But Kevin Molino fired the Warriors level in the 35th-minute with a wonderful left-footed strike from above the area beating the right glove of a fully-stretched Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

The Minnesota United star, picked out by a Joevin Jones pass, took one touch before sending a low strike into the far bottom corner of the Real Madrid star’s goal.

Navas, who recently captured a second consecutive European Champions League and the La Liga crown with Real Madrid, was brilliant on the night for Costa Rica though. He had earlier made a triple-save denying Boatswain-Hashim Arcia-Boatswain then produced a diving save to put behind a Joevin Jones’ free kick.

Navas also denied Arcia again before conceding the brilliant Molino strike as the visitors threw everything at a Costa Rica side backed by nearly 35,000 spectators.

“I think we gave a tremendous effort (…) and I don’t think the result reflect the actual [performance],” said Lawrence. “What I am most pleased about is that we were able to come out and match Costa Rica stride for stride. Unfortunately we did not get the result we wanted but yeoman credit to my team for the effort they put in.”

Trinidad and Tobago fell behind a second time a minute from the break when 2016 CONCACAF Player of the Year, Ruiz, eluded a defender before curling a left-footed strike -- using the outside of the boot -- to beat a diving Williams.

Trinidad and Tobago, without forward Kenwyne Jones who was left out due to a hamstring injury picked up in the pre-game warm-up, did create chances in the second half with Boatswain – Kenwyne’s replacement – forcing another save from Navas and Molino troubling the side netting.

In the end however, Costa Rica maintained the unbeaten WCQ record against Trinidad and Tobago.

“I am disappointed,” said Molino after the game. “There is no way to hide this because I felt we did well enough to get a result tonight – at least a point. I feel pleased to have scored here in Costa Rica but I am hurting with the result. I would have much preferred to leave here with something. We put out a strong effort but unfortunately we didn’t get the result.”

 

 

CONCACAF Final Round (Hexagonal) FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers

#

Team

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

1

Mexico

6

4

2

0

9

2

7

14

2

Costa Rica

6

3

2

1

9

4

5

11

3

United States

6

2

2

2

11

8

3

8

4

Panama

6

1

4

1

4

4

0

7

5

Honduras

6

1

2

3

6

14

-8

5

6

Trinidad & Tobago

6

1

0

5

3

10

-7

3

 


Trinidad and Tobago next host Honduras (Sep. 1), and away to Panama (Sep. 5) and Mexico (Oct. 6) before completing their 2018 Hex qualifiers against visitors USA (Oct. 10).

The top three of the Hex qualifies for next year’s FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia, while the fourth-placed nation advances to a playoff against Asia’s fifth-place finishers.

“We are going to fight until the end, until it becomes mathematically impossible for us to qualify,” promised Trinidad and Tobago coach.

Teams in San Jose, Costa Rica on June 13, 2017

Trinidad and Tobago: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK) (Capt.); 2.Aubrey David, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 17.Mekeil Williams (12.Shahdon Winchester 89th minute); 15.Curtis Gonzales; 7.Nathan Lewis, 18.Hashim Arcia (8.Khaleem Hyland 46th minute), 10.Kevin Molino, 3.Joevin Jones (11.Carlos Edwards 77th minute); 20.Jamille Boatswain.

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 13.Hughtun Hector, 14.Andre Boucaud, 16.Alvin Jones, 19.Kevan George, 23.Leston Paul.

Coach: Dennis Lawrence

Costa Rica: 1.Keylor Navas (GK); 19.Kendall Waston (4.Michael Umaña 22nd minute), 2.Johnny Acosta, 15.Francisco Calvo; 16.Christian Gamboa, 5.Celso Borges, 8.Bryan Oviedo; 12.Joel Campbell, 11.Johan Venegas, 10.Bryan Ruiz (Capt.); 21.Marcos Ureña (13.Rodney Wallace 81st minute).

Unused substitutes: 18.Patrick Pemberton (GK), 23.Leonel Moreira (GK), 3.Kenner Gutierrez, 6.Jose Salvatierra, 7.Daniel Colindres, 9.Ariel Rodriguez, 14.Randall Azofeifa, 17.Yeltsin Tejada, 20.David Guzman, 22.Ronald Matarrita

Coach: Oscar Ramirez

Referee – Yadel Martinez (Cuba)
Assistant 1- Leonardo Sanchez (Cuba)
Assistant 2 -Hermenerito Leal (Guatemala)
Fourth Official – Mario Escobar (Guatemala)
Match Commissioner – Enrique Ramirez

CONCACAF Final Round (Hexagonal) World Cup 2018 qualifying results and upcoming fixtures
November 11, 2016
Honduras 0 vs Panama 1
Trinidad & Tobago 0 vs Costa Rica 2
USA 1 vs Mexico 2

November 15, 2016
Honduras 3 vs Trinidad & Tobago 1
Costa Rica 4 vs USA 0
Panama 0 vs Mexico 0

March 24, 2017
Trinidad & Tobago 1 vs Panama 0
Mexico 2 vs Costa Rica 0
USA 6 vs Honduras 0

March 28, 2017
Honduras 1 vs Costa Rica 1
Trinidad & Tobago 0 vs Mexico 1
Panama 1 vs USA 1

June 9, 2017
USA 2 vs Trinidad & Tobago 0, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Colorado
Costa Rica 0 vs Panama 0, at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose
Mexico 3 vs Honduras 0, Estadio Azteca

June 11, 2017
Mexico 1 vs USA 1, Estadio Azteca

June 13, 2017
Panama 2 vs Honduras 2, at Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City
Costa Rica 2 vs Trinidad & Tobago 1, at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose

Upcoming qualifiers
September 1, 2017
USA vs Costa Rica, venue TBD
Mexico vs Panama, venue TBD
Trinidad & Tobago vs Honduras, at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain

September 5, 2017
Honduras vs USA, at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula
Panama vs Trinidad & Tobago, at Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City
Costa Rica vs Mexico,at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose

October 6, 2017
USA vs Panama, venue TBD
Costa Rica vs Honduras, at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose
Mexico vs Trinidad & Tobago, venue TBD

October 10, 2017
Trinidad & Tobago vs USA, at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain
Panama vs Costa Rica, at Estadio Rommel Fernandez, Panama City
Honduras vs Mexico, at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula