Look out CONCACAF: Trinidad and Tobago appear to be for real.
The Caribbean country emerged from the 2015 Gold Cup Group C as the surprise winners on Wednesday, following a thrilling 4-4 draw over tournament co-favorites Mexico that only became more exciting as the minutes ticked by. Paul Aguilar, Carlos Vela and Andres Guardado scored for El Tri, while T&T got a brace from Keron Cummings, a goal and own goal from Kenwyne Jones, and the last-second equalizer courtesy of Yohance Marshall.
Both teams had already booked passage into the knockout stage prior to the final group game, with only placing to play for in this game. Mexico were coming into the match somewhat stunned after being held to a scoreless draw against border rival Guatemala in the second group game, while Trinidad & Tobago were surprise leaders of the group after beating Guatemala and Cuba in their first two games of the tournament.
After a half hour in which Mexico dominated possession with a full three-quarters of the ball, Aguilar was Johnny on the spot in the 32nd minute, as Yasser Corona's cross into the box was flicked on by Vela. Aguilar, making a run to the far post, slotted the ball into the side netting from a tight angle to give El Tri the lead.
10 minutes later, Giovani Dos Santos, announced earlier on Wednesday as a new signing for the LA Galaxy, did well to win the ball in T&T's box, then dribbled through traffic before unleashing a dangerous shot, though in the end it was just wide of the target. He suffered what was later called a thigh injury minutes later, however, and was replaced at halftime by Oribe Peralta.
Vela doubled the lead in the 51st minute, taking the ball on a terrific through ball from Andres Guardado, executing a nice cutback in the box and finishing his shot off the near post and in the goal.
But Trinidad were determined to make it a match, and Cummings narrowed the lead in the 55th minute, taking a feed from Kenwyne Jones to bury the shot past Guillermo Ochoa. Jones then got in on the scoring himself, for the first time in the tournament, as the longtime English Premier League veteran made a terrific run to the near post and turned Cordell Cato's cross into the net to tie it up.
Cummings then achieved the improbable, as he latched onto a loose ball in the corner of the box off a throw-in that Kenwyne Jones laid off, and blasted it past a stunned Mexico defense in the 67th minute to make it 3-2.
It appeared T&T would be the only country to emerge from the group stage of the tournament with a perfect record, but Guardado tied up the match in the 88th minute, sending a blast in to bring El Tri level.
Then Jones went from hero to goat less than two minutes later, as he stuck a leg out on a cross off a Mexico corner, and sent the ball into his own net to apparently concede the points.
Still, there were more heroics left in the game, as Yohance Marshall sent a pinpoint header off Joevin Jones' corner kick on the last play of the game to make it 4-4 and put T&T on top of the group.
Mexico will next face Group B runner-up Costa Rica in a major test for both countries in the quarterfinal round on Sunday (7:30 pm ET, FOX Sports 1/Univision/UDN in US, SN ONE in Canada). Trinidad & Tobago, meanwhile, will take on Group A third-place finisher Panama (4:30 pm ET, FOX Sports 1/Univision/UDN in US, SN ONE in Canada), also on Sunday, with both games taking place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.