After the frantic final minutes counted down, the split points left the Trinidad and Tobago squad, as well as Guatemala’s, eliminated. Despite the elimination, both teams can be proud of their effort.

After an injury during warmups, Trinidad and Tobago were forced to adjust their lineup, replacing defender Neveal Hackshaw with Jelani Peters.

In the 12th minute, T&T right back Alvin Jones rampaged up the field on a quick counterattack then crossed to Reon Moore. Moore made a run on the right side of the goal and hit a hard, low shot past young Guatemalan goalkeeper Kenderson Navarro that found the goalpost and bounced in for the goal.

Attempting to manage the game, Trinidad and Tobago showed patience, especially in allowing Guatemala to take rushed shots from outside, but closing them down effectively and at times physically when any players entered the box.

In the second half, as Guatemala fought harder to find the equalizer, Trinidad and Tobago’s defense cracked under the pressure from Guatemala in the 77th minute, when Ceballos served in a corner kick. Gerardo Gordillo rose high in the box to meet the ball, heading it in well past Marvin Phillip, the Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper and captain.

The tenor of the game changed as both teams, hungry for an outright win, traded half-chances on both ends of the field. T&T's Jones had a shot go off the post in the best possibility for either team.

After the frantic final minutes counted down, the split points left the Trinidad and Tobago squad, as well as Guatemala’s, eliminated. Despite the elimination, both teams can be proud of their effort.

Trinidad and Tobago manager Angus Eve, the team’s most-capped player in their history, knew the team didn’t completely control its destiny in Group A but believed his squad could hold their head high no matter the outcome if they played well.

“We are very confident,” Eve said.

The team rewarded his belief, playing a smart match to hold an early advantage for most of the game. Yet Guatemala was brave in its own right, fighting back to find an equalizer and ensure they left the Gold Cup with at least one positive result. As Guatemala’s coach, Rafael Loredo said before kickoff, “If we want to grow, we need to have international competition.”

It is both sides' participation and matches like this that make the Gold Cup special.

A first-half strike from Jairo Henriquez and a late Walmer Martinez goal powered El Salvador to a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Group A of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup on Wednesday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

With the result, the Cuscatlecos have qualified for their first Gold Cup quarterfinal since the 2017 edition.

El Salvador came out the stronger of the two sides and soon started testing Trinidad and Tobago GK Nicklas Frenderup, beginning with a Joaquin Rivas effort in the 26’ that produced a diving save.

Four minutes later though, there was nothing Frenderup could do to stop Henriquez from giving El Salvador a 1-0 lead by receiving a pass and shaking a defender with a brilliant turn before hammering a right-footed shot past Frenderup.

Henriquez then nearly notched his second of the day in the 38’, only to see his shot from distance glance off the post.

Trinidad and Tobago looked to respond in the second half and moments after Aubrey David nearly scored off a corner kick, Marcus Joseph was denied the equalizer in the 66’ when his stabbing shot off a cross struck the crossbar.

El Salvador looked to put the three points on ice and it was all there for Juan Portillo to do it, but Frenderup had other ideas and snuffed out Portillo’s shot right in front of goal.

The insurance goal arrived in the 90+1 with Martinez finishing off a frenzied sequence that started with Amando Moreno’s short squirting past Frenderup, hitting the post and rolling across the face of the goal on the line. Marvin Marquez swooped in trying to poke it into the net, but it was deflected by Frenderup to Portillo, who passed back to Martinez for an easy stroke into the net to complete the 2-0 scoreline.

 

Deneisha Blackwood found redemption after missing a first-half penalty when she scored the only goal of the match in Jamaica’s 1-0 win over Nigeria in the opening match of the 2021 WNT Summer Series in Texas yesterday.

Blackwood scored in the 51st minute after Vyan Sampson collided with a Nigeria defender causing the ball to slip through past the far post. Jody Brown chased it and passed it back to Blackwood, who slammed it into the upper left corner from eight yards.

She would have been relieved after missing a penalty after Jody Brown was taken down inside the 18-yard box by past midfielder Rita Chikwelu. Expected to score, Blackwood kicked a tame shot directly at goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, who kneeled to effect an easy save.

Just before Blackwood scored what proved to be the game-winner, Ijeoma Okoronkwo seemed to have scored but she was ruled offside.

Nigeria almost pulled level in the 83rd minute, when forward Michelle Alozie’s shot struck the crossbar with a left-footed shot from outside the box.

Jamaica also came close to scoring again in the dying moments of the game when Tiffany Cameron got loose on a breakaway but Oluehi closed her down and went to ground to save Cameron’s shot.

Veronica Campbell-Brown was second in the 100m at the 2021 USATF Open on Tuesday. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was among several notable Caribbean athletes, who competed at the meet held at the Athletic Performance Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas.

Tyra Gittens believes things are falling into place for another great performance in the heptathlon at this weekend’s SEC Championships. Her confidence would have been further buoyed by encouraging performances at the Aggie Invitational at Bryan-College Station in Texas on Saturday.

Texas A&M's Tyra Gittens was super excited about her new personal best in the heptathlon this weekend but acknowledged that there is still room for a lot of improvement. This is especially true if he wants to achieve her goal of competing in the multi-event discipline at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The 22-year-old Trinidadian, the 2021 NCAA pentathlon champion competing in her first heptathlon is more than two years scored an NCAA-leading 6274 points after completing the seven events at the Texas A&M Invitational held at Bryan-College Station in Texas on Friday and Saturday.

She won all four disciplines in windy conditions on Friday. She opened up with a time of 13.14 in the 100m hurdles for 1103 points, cleared 1.82m in the high jump, scoring 1003 points and won the shot put with a throw of 12.85m that earned her 717 points. In the final event of the day, she won the 200m sprint in 23.33, scoring 1046 points.

She returned on Saturday morning winning the long jump with a leap of 6.67m that earned her 1062 points. She only managed 631 points for the javelin and then rounded out the competition with a 2:28.52 run in the 800m for 712 points.

“Mood for a huge personal best, new school record, and an NCAA leading 6274 points in my first heptathlon in forever! Still so much to work on and I can’t wait to recover and get back into training” she posted on Instagram afterwards, very much aware of the work that she needs to get done if she is to book a ticket to Tokyo.

The 6247 points she scored is still 173 shy of the Olympic qualifying standard of 6420 points.

 

The Jamaica-born duo of Stacey-Ann Williams and Charokee Young finished first and second for their respective universities in the women’s 400m at the Texas vs Texas A&M Dual track meet on Saturday.

Williams, the former ST Elizabeth Technical athlete, now competing for Texas, crossed the line first in a time of 51.24, comfortably ahead of Young who finished in 51.52 for Texas A&M.  Syaira Richardson, also of Texas A&M was third in 52.17.

In the women’s 100m, former Edwin Allen star Kevona Davis clocked 11.35 but had to settle for second place behind Texas teammate Kynnedy Flannel who took the top spot in 11.23.  Texas A&M’s Kaylah Robinson was third in 11.69.

At the same event, O’Brien Wasome, formerly of Jamaica College, took the top spot in the men’s triple jump.  Competing for Texas, Wasome recorded a distance of 15.83m, comfortably ahead of CJ Stevenson who was second with 15.19, and teammate Stacy Brown Jr who was third with 14.65m.

In the women’s high jump, the day belonged to Trinidad and Tobago jumper Tyra Gittens who leapt 1.90m to claim the top spot for Texas A&M.  Texas’ Marlene Guerrero was second with 1.73 and her teammate Trinity Tomlinson third with the same height.

Damion Thomas and Sparkle McKnight were winners on Saturday’s final day of the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays held at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Ackera Nugent was announced as the Big 12 Conference’s Women’s Outstanding Freshman of the Year on Thursday.

It was all about the comeback for Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, who rebounded from a disappointing first day at last week’s SEC Indoor Championships to win two gold medals and consequently, the coveted Cliff Harper Award for scoring the most points.

It was her second hold on the award and the first time an athlete has won it outright since 1997.

In two weeks, she will seek pentathlon redemption at the NCAA National Championships where she intends to break the collegiate record of 4703 points held by Georgia’s Kendall Williams.

“To win the Cliff Harper Award for the second time was definitely a good feeling. After my performance on Thursday, I was definitely down, I was definitely embarrassed, I was definitely upset but it’s all about the comeback. It’s all about how you come back from a terrible performance,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“We are all human. We are all going to have those days as athletes but I was very proud of myself. This is my first time winning two gold medals at SECs and I was so happy to be able to put up 23 points. It’s reassuring knowing my team can rely on me and I know I can rely on myself to come back from devastating situations.”

Expected to do well in the pentathlon, after scoring a personal best 4612 points at the Texas Tech Invitational on January 29, things could not have gone worse for the 22-year-old Trinidadian in her efforts to defend the title she won in 2020.

The worst of those performances came in the long jump where she only managed to register a mark of 4.11m, well below her season-best of 6.62m.

She was forced to settle for sixth place, her score of 3818 points, a massive 703 shy of the 4501 scored by the newly crowned 2021 champion, Anna Hall of Georgia.

Despondent and embarrassed by her poor showing, Gittens turned to family for refuge.

“After talking to my family and talking to my sister, she played college volleyball, and she said anytime a negative thought would come in she would grab the thought and just throw it away and all of last night (Thursday) that is what I was doing,” she revealed.

“I wouldn’t even let it linger. As soon as I felt some negativity, I just grabbed it and threw it away and it worked because today (Friday) it was only positive and negative Tyra was out of sight.”

It worked.

Within an hour late Friday, Gittens won two gold medals for Texas A&M. First, cleared 1.89m – just shy of her personal best 1.91m - in the high jump to defeat LSU’s Abigail O’Donohogue and avenge her pentathlon loss to Hall, who were second and third, respectively, each having cleared 1.86m.

She then equalled her personal best (6.62m) to win the long jump ahead of LSU’s Aliyah Whisby (6.61m) and Georgia’s Titiana Marsh (6.39m).

“Today (Friday) was all about beating myself because yesterday I let the negative Tyra, the bad Tyra that we don’t like to see, overtake,” said an elated Gittens afterwards.

“I let her win yesterday and today (Friday) I relaxed, I had fun. I did everything that I wanted to do with executing and I cannot be happier. I am exhausted, but I am so proud of myself, and I am very happy.”

The comeback completed, redemption comes next and that will be the point of her focus over the next two weeks.

“These two weeks are going to be very important. I have a lot to work on,” she said. “I am going to use it to train and just get consistent and I am coming for the NCAA record.”

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.