SAN LUIS, Mexico, (CMC) – Three goals in the space of 16 minutes at the end denied Trinidad and Tobago a shock win as powerhouses Mexico stormed to a 3-1 victory in the penultimate series of matches in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup here Friday night.
The already-eliminated visitors led through Shahdon Winchester’s 66th minute strike at the Estadio Alfonso Lastras but El Tri rebounded through goals from Hirving Lozano, Javier Hernandez and Hector Herrera, to remain unbeaten in the six-nation tournament and assure themselves of top spot.
T&T, meanwhile, remained bottom of the standings with three points, suffering their eighth loss in nine games in what has been a wretched campaign.
Hoping to end the qualifying round on a high and rescue some pride, T&T managed to keep the hosts scoreless in the first half, as the game went to the break nil-all.
Winchester, who plies his trade in Mexico, then silenced the home crowd when he got on to the end of a Levi Garcia’s headed pass to beat goalkeeper Jesus Corona from inside the 18-yard box.
Mexico then pressed for the equaliser in an effort to avoid their first defeat of the qualifiers and they found the precious goal in the 78th minute when Lozano, a 55th minute substitute, collected Miguel Layun’s left-sided cross and volleyed past custodian Adrian Foncette.
Former Manchester United frontman and current West Ham striker, Hernandez, then put Mexico ahead two minutes from time with a header from close range and Herrera put the game to bed deep in stoppage with a superb free kick from about six yards outside the 18-yard box.
T&T will now return home to host United States in their final match of the qualifiers on Tuesday.