Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico put on a second free-flowing classic in as many months, in a 3-3 draw in Utah on Friday.
Joevin Jones’ brilliant free-kick in the 69th minute looked to be the winner for Stephen Hart’s men, but Mexico’s reply was just as emphatic – Hector Herrera unleashing a strike from range that swerved into the top corner with just over five minutes of regulation time to play.
"You can only applaud it," Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart said.
The six-goal classic came after Trinidad and Tobago stunned the Mexicans in a 4-4 draw at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.
Like their Gold Cup clash in Charlotte, Trinidad and Tobago – minus powerful forward Kenwyne Jones this time – coughed up a 3-2 lead.
The result spelled an unbeaten start to Ricardo Ferretti’s four-game interim stint in charge, and he will be pleased to see his sight twice fight back from a deficit.
Other positives for Mexico were maiden international goals to Carlos Esquivel and Herrera, and a lively showing from debutant Henry Martin.
Jonathan Glenn opened the scoring for Trinidad and Tobago in the seventh minute, capitalizing on Keron Cummings’ partially blocked shot to nick in behind the defence and nod home.
It was a classic poacher’s goal, but Glenn repaid the favor to Cummings in the 39th minute after the number seven won the ball back for Trinidad and Tobago in determined fashion.
Glenn hunted down Oswaldo Alanis on the right byline, dispossessed the Mexico defender with a well-timed tackle, and sprinted toward goal – laying off a pass to Cummings, who finished at the near post under pressure from the desperate defense.
Mexico, though, had the quick reply, Esquivel’s first goal for his country also the first in the short reign of Ferretti.
After the interval, substitute Raul Jimenez – who had graced the field only two minutes earlier – powered a shot on target from an acute angle, and it deflected first off goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, and then defender Daneil Cyrus for an own goal and the equalizer.
”We were not tight on the ball tonight,” Hart said. ”We gave the ball away cheaply at times. We have to be tighter on offense and better balanced.”
Jones’ free-kick brilliance – he curled a left-foot effort from the edge of the area beyond a rooted Alfredo Talavera – was set to be a stunning winner, but it would be usurped by an even better equalizer as Herrera – somewhat ironically – was Mexico’s hero.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.