It was not pretty but the United States did enough to leave Hasely Crawford Stadium with a point on Tuesday. Trinidad and Tobago and the USMNT entered the match with first place in stake of group C in the fourth round of the 2018 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifications, 90 minutes later a scoreless draw keeps the Yanks in first with four points and better goal differential.
“As we expected, it was a tricky game,” USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said after the scoreless draw. “I think T&T started well in the first 20-25 minutes. I think after 20-25 minutes, we took over and chances were on both sides. I think we had the clearer ones. Wished we could have put one of those in, but overall a tie is alright. It keeps us in first place in the group and I give a compliment to the guys. It was what we expected: a very tough Trinidad team to play against. This is what you get here when you come down and, at the end of the day, if you take one point away, that’s alright.”
The Soca Warriors came out of the gates with a sense of determination, and they nearly took the lead with just 20 seconds into the game. However, T&T midfielder Joevin Jones failed to convert his chance and shot the ball way over the cross bar. The USMNT defenders were just getting their feet wet when Jones and the rest of the Trinidad and Tobago’s offense had already created a dangerous opportunity.
A few minutes later the Soca Warriors again took advantage of the heavy footed American defense. T&T speedster Cordell Cato chased down a hopeful long ball sent from his midfield. In the process he split two U.S. defenders with his speed and broke into the penalty box.
The Major League Soccer midfielder created a few seconds of space through his speed and fired a low shot towards the bottom left hand corner. However, Cato failed to place the shot on target as the ball sailed just wide left of the goal.
Twenty-five minutes into the match and the United States had failed to generate any threat upon T&T goalie Jan Michael Williams. Trinidad and Tobago in the other hand produced seven of their 14 shots in the first half.
As the first 45 minutes came to a close the Yanks started to build some momentum and connect a few passes. It only produced three off target chances but their new found confidence carried over into the second half.
In the first minute of the second half, DeAndre Yedlin came sprinting down the middle of the field with the ball. His run gained the attention of the T&T defense, as two defenders changed their direction and headed towards Yedlin. The 22-year-old midfielder saw Jozy Altidore running down the right hand side of the field alone. Yedlin quickly sent Altidore a ball heading towards the end line.
Once he received the pass Altidore sent a cross into the heart of the box. Gyasi Zardes run placed himself in prime position to score with his head. However, the American striker failed to convert the header and his attempt banged of the cross bar and the score remained tied 0-0 at the 46th minute.
However, after that the United States failed to convert their 62.6 percent of possession into legitimate scoring opportunities. The USMNT only finished with two shots on target out of their ten chances, and the game resulted in a scoreless draw.
The United States are still in first place with this result with two games under their belt. The Yanks next match will be in Guatemala on March 25th, 2016. The Soca Warriors will also be hitting the road on the same day as they battle St. Vincent and the Grenadines.