Gold Cup: Late strike by Raul Jimenez sends Mexico past Trinidad and Tobago and into semifinals
Raúl Jiménez scored with six minutes remaining in regulation to lift Mexico to a narrow 1-0 Gold Cup quarterfinal win over Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday night at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The result sets up a rematch between Mexico and Panama in the semifinals to be held on Wednesday, July 24, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Panamanians, who routed Cuba 6-1 in the other quarterfinal, recorded a historic 2-1 triumph over El Tri in the group stage.
Mexico created numerous scoring chances throughout the match but Trinidad and Tobago and goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams kept them at bay until Jimenez's late strike. Right back Miguel Layún delivered the driven cross from the right side and Jiménez applied the touch at the near post for the 84th-minute game-winner.
The Club América striker came closest for Mexico on two separate occasions earlier in the match. In the first half, his 26th-minute header on a cross from the left side was telegraphed right at Williams. Then in the 55th minute, Jiménez made the play of the game to salvage a loose ball in traffic and send a flying shot with the outside of his right foot against the right post.
While Mexico may have dictated the game, Trinidad and Tobago had a handful of chances of their own. A sensational diving stop by Mexican goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco thwarted a swerving drive from midfielder Andre Boucaud in the 10th minute. Trinidad's star striker Kenwyne Jones also had a 78th minute header that threatened Orozco's goal.
By then, with both teams tiring and losing their attacking edge, the match looked destined for extra time — Trinidad manager Stephen Hart looked to be saving all three of his subs for the extra periods — only for Jiménez to thwart those plans with a lethal finish.