Gold Cup: Three from Group B advance as El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago get it done in Houston
El Salvador 1, Haiti 0
El Salvador booked their spot in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup thanks to a controversial 1-0 win over Haiti on Monday night in the final night of Group B action in Houston, eliminating Haiti after the result of the nightcap between Honduras and Trinidad and Tobago.
Rodolfo Zelaya scored the decider in the 76th minute by putting back his own rebound after Haiti goalkeeper Frandy Montrévil saved his initial attempt. Zelaya won the penalty himself when former Real Salt Lake and San Jose midfielder Jean-Marc Alexandre appeared to hold onto his arm as he surged into the box, but the head official didn't point the spot until conferring with his crew.
The Salvadorans had the better of the attack on the evening, and hit the post twice in the first half thanks to some dreadful goalkeeping by Montrévil.
Sporting KC defender Mechack Jerome got the start for Les Grenadiers while his club teammate Peterson Joseph was a second-half substitute at BBVA Compass Stadium as Haiti actually won the possession battle on the evening, but they ultimately couldn't keep the Salvadorans off the board.
Chivas USA defender Steve Purdy went unused by El Salvador.
Honduras 0, Trinidad & Tobago 2
There was less controversy in the nightcap, as Honduras earned a no-doubt-about-it red card in the first half then conceded an equally clear penalty in the second to give the Soca Warriors a 2-0 win in Houston.
Veteran striker Kenwyne Jones potted the penalty three minutes into the second stanza after Honduras defender Orlin Peralta had been whistled for a hand ball. Despite intermittent pressure from the Catrachos, Kevin Molino made it academic when he finished off a nice team sequence in the 67th minute.
The definitve play of the game came late in the first half when José Velásquez committed a brutal challenge from behind on former New York, Columbus and San Jose striker Cornell Glen.
With the win Trinidad & Tobago leapfrogged both Haiti and El Salvador to claim second place in Group B on four points, claiming the tiebreaker over El Salvador based on total goals. Honduras had clinched the top spot – and subsequent entry into the knockout rounds – with six points from their first two games. As one of the two best third-place teams, El Salvador also advance to the quarterfinals.