For the first time in NASL History, two league players faced-off at the CONCACAF Gold Cup when El Salvador’s midfielder Richie Menjivar and defender Carlyle Mitchell of Trinidad & Tobago played for their respective countries in the 2-2 draw at the 2013 tournament’s Group B opener to a crowd of 20,000 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on Monday evening.
Menjivar, who was an instrumental part of the Atlanta Silverbacks rise to the NASL Standings that lead to the Spring Title last week, played the full 90 minutes of the match for El Salvador against Trinidad & Tobago.
Meanwhile, FC Edmonton’s Mitchell saw action in first 84 minutes of the encounter for the Soca Warriors before being substituted by defender Daneil Cyrus.
Trinidad & Tobago, who earned their first point in their opening match since the 2005 Gold Cup, scored first when midfielder Keon Daniel fired a right side shot past the Cuscatlecos goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo in the 10th minute.
El Salvador would tie it in the 21st minute via a free kick goal outside the penalty area from forward Rodolfo Zelaya.
In the second half, Zelaya scored his second of the match in the 68th minute, however the Soca Warriors forward Kenwyne Jones notched the equalizer four minutes later.
Zelaya almost had a hat-trick and the possible game-winner for El Salvador with two minutes remaining but his bicycle kick was saved by Trinidad & Tobago’s goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.
In the second encounter of the evening, goals from forward Rony Martínez and midfielder Marvin Chávez in each half paced Honduras to a 2-0 victory over Haiti.
The remaining Group B matches will have Trinidad & Tobago meeting Haiti and then El Salvador taking on Honduras on July 12, at Miami Gardens, Fla. The group concludes three days later (July 15) in Houston, Tex, when El Salvador faces Haiti to be followed by Trinidad & Tobago against Honduras.
Photo - Richie Menjivar of El Salvador (in blue) by Jorge Martinez/Mexsport
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