Trinidad & Tobago outlast French Guiana in penalties
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Trinidad & Tobago outlast French Guiana in penalties

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Trinidad and Tobago punched their ticket to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup group stage thanks to a dramatic 8-7 penalty shootout win over French Guiana following a 1-1 draw in the Second Round of the 2021 Gold Cup Prelims on Tuesday at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Trinidad and Tobago GK Nicklas Frenderup was the hero, saving French Guiana’s eighth attempt, allowing Curtis Gonzales to then stroke home the winning spot kick for the Soca Warriors, who will join Mexico, El Salvador and Curacao in Group A.

In the first half, French Guiana were first to have a crack at goal, with Sloan Privat firing a right-footed effort just over the crossbar in the 24’.

But it was Trinidad and Tobago who would net the game’s first goal in the 28’, as an Alvin Jones shot rocketed off the post and fell right to Kevin Molino, who promptly deposited the ball into net for a 1-0 Trinidad and Tobago lead.

French Guiana went into the halftime locker room with momentum on their side, though, as Arnold Abelinti took advantage of a misplayed clearance from the Trinidad and Tobago defense and fired into goal in the 44’ to pull Les Yana Dokos level, 1-1.

French Guiana stayed on the front foot and Thomas Vancaeyezeele almost snuck in a shot inside the far post from the right edge, followed by a Rhudy Evans free kick that forced a save from Trinidad and Tobago GK Nicklas Frenderup.

A winning goal could not be found, so the teams had to settle matters in a penalty shootout.

From the spot, each side converted their first seven kicks until Frenderup managed to block Kevin Rimane’s attempt. Gonzales then coolly converted to earn the 8-7 shootout triumph for Trinidad and Tobago.