FRISCO, Texas – A first half strike from Jairo Henriquez and a late Walmer Martinez goal powered El Salvador to a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Group A of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup on Wednesday night at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
With the result, the Cuscatlecos have qualified for their first Gold Cup quarterfinal since the 2017 edition.
El Salvador came out the stronger of the two sides and soon started testing Trinidad and Tobago GK Nicklas Frenderup, beginning with a Joaquin Rivas effort in the 26’ that produced a diving save.
Four minutes later though, there was nothing Frenderup could do to stop Henriquez from giving El Salvador a 1-0 lead by receiving a pass and shaking a defender with a brilliant turn before hammering a right-footed shot past Frenderup.
Henriquez then nearly notched his second of the day in the 38’, only to see his shot from distance glance off the post.
Trinidad and Tobago looked to respond in the second half and moments after Aubrey David nearly scored off a corner kick, Marcus Joseph was denied the equalizer in the 66’ when his stabbing shot off a cross struck the crossbar.
El Salvador looked to put the three points on ice and it was all there for Juan Portillo to do it, but Frenderup had other ideas and snuffed out Portillo’s shot right in front of goal.
The insurance goal arrived in the 90+1 with Martinez finishing off a frenzied sequence that started with Amando Moreno’s short squirting past Frenderup, hitting the post and rolling across the face of goal on the line. Marvin Marquez swooped in trying to poke it into net, but it was deflected by Frenderup to Portillo, who passed back to Martinez for an easy stroke into net to complete the 2-0 scoreline.