'They won a lot of individual battles' - USA coach Arena credits determined T&T display

Bruce Arena

United States coach Bruce Arena has commended Trinidad and Tobago for the battling display that earned a 2-1 win at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Tuesday night, which in the process eliminated the Americans from the FIFA World Cup.

Facing an understrength T&T team that was already eliminated from the competition, the fixture seemed to hold little fears for the United States particularly on the back of a convincing 4-0 win over Panama in the previous round.  If it was supposed to be a procession, however, it’s clear someone forgot to inform the home team. 

Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence claimed the team would focus on the future following its early elimination from the competition that future shone very brightly on Tuesday night as the inexperienced T&T matched the USA stride for stride.  The home team took the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances when Omar Gonzalez deflected a 17th-minute cross that looped over Tim Howard.  There was no doubting the quality of the Alvin Jones strike that doubled the team’s advantage in the 36th minute, however, which beat Howard all ends up.  United States star Christian Pulisic brought the visitors back into the game early in the second half, but there was to be little consolation on the night.  Arena, who commended the home team for the effort, insisted there were no excuses.

“There are no excuses for us not getting the second goal and at least a point out of the game,” Arena said. 

“Give our opponents credit they played well.  They played hard on the day and they won a lot of individual battles against us and they deserve all the credit for their win.”


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Trinidad and Tobago: United States: World Cup qualifiers: CONCACAF: Bruce Arena