Because Wednesday was named, as usual, the worst sports day of the year, Mexico conspired with Trinidad and Tobago to produce some really excellent sports. T&T entered their Gold Cup group stage game ahead on points, so Mexico needed to win the game to top the group. What resulted was an eight-goal circus, capped off by a T&T scoring while they were being pelted with trash to earn a 4-4 draw.
Trinidad and Tobago set out to steal a draw from the start, and the first half-hour of the game was exceptionally boring. Paul Aguilar scored a tap-in for Mexico just after that, and Carlos Vela finished off a very pretty goal just after halftime. It looked like El Tri were cruising to an easy win.
Then T&T forward Kenwyne Jones decided to go all Super Saiyan. He bulldozed through multiple defenders to set up Keron Cummings in the 55th minute, scored a goal of his own in the 58th, then set up Cummings' second -- a total rocket -- to give his team an unlikely lead.
But Jones would not be the Soca Warriors' hero on the night. Three minutes after Mexico pulled level with a lightning bolt of a goal from Andres Guardado, Jones did this in his own penalty area.
Own goals don't get much worse than that. It would be a truly inexcusable error if he wasn't the only reason his team was in the game in the first place. After such a great comeback, it looked like T&T were headed for a horrible gut-punch loss.
But Joevin Jones wasn't going down that easily, and he worked his tail off to beat three Mexico defenders and earn a corner kick in the final minute of stoppage time, which he decided to take himself. He also didn't wait for the referee or police to deal with the fact that fans were throwing trash at him -- he just took the corner kick anyway.
And this was the result.
At this point, I'd like to take a second to pour several out for Zombie 'Maza' Francisco Rodriguez. He actually passed on a really long time ago, and we poured some out for him then, but he's still on the team as an undead monster. T&T re-killed him in this game -- he was at least partially responsible for all four goals, and was the man who was easily beaten on the equalizer. Zombie Maza: he was 3 years old.
Super mega ultra congrats to T&T, who have a pretty solid path to a Gold Cup final. They'll be about even money to beat Panama in their quarterfinal after their first three performances, and the winner of that game will take on the Mexico-Costa Rica winner after that.
By the way, that's the consequence of this. Instead of avoiding Los Ticos in the next round, Mexico has to play them right away. CONCACAF tries to keep two of the top three from meeting in before the semis at all cost, but they both fell through the safety mechanisms. CONCACAF rules.