El Salvador vs. Trinidad and Tobago: Final score 2-2, Thrilling draw opens Group B play

Rich Schultz

Rodolfo Zelaya was brilliant and notched a brace, but Trinidad and Tobago tallied two goals of their own to draw El Salvador.

El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago are expected to battle for second place and the final automatic knockout stage qualifying spot in Group B of the 2013 Gold Cup, but neither got any separation on the opening matchday. That wasn't for lack of effort as both teams put on great, entertaining displays on Monday night at Red Bull Arena, but in the end they had to settle for a point apiece in a 2-2 draw.

It took just 11 minutes for the Soca Warriors to go in front, although it came thanks to a bit of fortune. A deflected ball found Daniel, who was in alone on goal and able to slot the ball home.

Rodolfo Zelaya got involved from that point on and, frankly, dominated the match. He caused fits for the Trinidad and Tobago defense time and time again and he finally broke through in the 22nd minute on a stunning free kick. He hit a dipping rocket over the wall and under the bar to find the back of the net.

The match was level, but the excitement didn't stop. Kenwyne Jones had a couple opportunities and Zelaya continued to trouble the Soca Warriors. The teams played at a high pace and got plenty of looks at the goal, but it wasn't until the the 69th minute that another goal came.

Once again, it was Zelaya who did the honors, this time by getting on the end of a cross to head home from close range and put a ribbon on a beautiful El Salvador counterattack. It would have been the winner too, but Jones answered.

Trinidad and Tobago played a ball over the top to Jones, but it asked a lot of the striker to get on the end of it. He had to rid himself of one defender and outrace another to the ball, which he did before finishing clinically to level the match at 2-2.

Zelaya spent the last 10 minutes chasing his hat trick and the match-winner, but it wasn't to be. His shots were blocked or just missed the frame and when he finally got a shot on frame -- a brilliant, spinning bicycle kick -- Jan Jan Williams made a brilliant save to deny him and earn Trinidad and Tobago a point.

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