Mexico held to goalless draw by Trinidad in Gold Cup opener

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Defending champions Mexico were held to a goalless draw by Trinidad and Tobago in their Gold Cup opener after losing star striker Hirving Lozano in a scary collision early in the contest.

Napoli's Lozano was carted off the field less than 15 minutes into the match in front of 41,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, Texas, after colliding with Trinidad goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.

Lozano had entered the box with the ball, battling two Trinidad defenders, and was bumped straight into Phillip, whose knee hit Lozano in the face.

Play was halted for several minutes before 25-year-old Lozano was taken from the pitch on a stretcher wearing a neck brace and transported to hospital for observation.

Despite the early setback, Mexico dominated but couldn't break through for a goal.

El Tri thought they had finally scored in the first minute of second-half stoppage time when Jesus Gallardo's cross was redirected into the back of the net, but he was ruled offside in the build-up.

Mexico had one last good chance but Phillip saved a header off a corner kick to preserve the draw for Trinidad.

The match was the only contest on the opening day of the 16-nation championship for teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

El Salvador's scheduled match against Curacao was scrapped after Curacao was forced to withdraw because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the team.

They will be replaced in the draw by Guatemala, who will play El Salvador on Sunday in nearby Frisco, Texas, as Canada face Martinique and the United States take on Haiti in Group B clashes in Kansas City.

Curacao's withdrawal marked another troubled turn for the tournament build-up.

Last week Cuba were forced to withdrawn from preliminary rounds due to "Covid-19 related travel and visa challenges", CONCACAF announced.

The tournament has also lost some of its lustre due to the United States opting to field a virtual second string team for the competition, with most of the country's Europe-based players rested.