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T&T and Honduras battle to 1-1 draw…
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All to play for in second Futsal qualifier

Trinidad and Tobago’s National Men’s Futsal Team will have it all to play for in Thursday’s second leg CONCACAF playoff qualifier after keeping themselves in the race for a Final round place with a well played 1-1 draw with Honduras at the BN Arena in San Jose, Costa Rica on Wednesday.

T&T got an equalizing goal from Kerry Joseph in the 24th minute and could have stolen a last gasp winner after Kareem Perry’s close range effort was blocked Honduran goalkeeper Norman Vega and Jerwyn Balthazar’s follow up attempt was also deflected to safety in the closing stages of the match.

Both teams will battle each other from 7:30pm TT Time on Thursday with the winner advancing to the CONCACAF Finals towards the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia. If the scores are locked after the regulation 40 minutes, then there will extra time comprising of two 5-minute halves. If there is still no winner, there will be penalty kicks starting with three kicks per team.

In Wednesday’s contest, Honduras took the lead against the run of play in the seventh minute, with Juan Hernandez and Oscar Lopez exchanging passes on a quick surge forward and Lopez collected a return ball before slotting home from close range with T&T outnumbered at the back. Their goal came after T&T had the better of the early opportunities, their closest being an effort by Joseph which crashed off the right far post. Ishmael Daniel also fired over bar with only the ‘keeper to beat while Balthazar should have also done better with two efforts from good positions with the goal in clear sight but his shots lacked venom.

T&T goalkeeper Kevin Graham pulled off several good saves on either side of the half as Honduras put T&T under pressure at different points of the match with their number 10 Hernandez being their most lively player on the evening.

T&T leveled the scores in the fourth minute of the second half when Jameel Neptune of Morvant Caledonia United, fought off a couple strong challenges and played line to Joseph who slotted home on the near post from a tight angle on the left of the goal.

Honduras enjoyed a good period midway through the second half but then T&T came back into it and began to take charge in the closing eight minutes or so.

Kareem Perry had a powerful right footed shot from about three metres out which whizzed past the upright and with the clock winding down his effort was kept out by the legs of Honduran captain Carlos Montes after Perry had eluded a defender and the advancing goalkeeper. The ball rebounded into the path of Balthazar but his powerful drive was also stopped by a Honduran inches off the goal line with the goalkeeper in no man’s land.

In the other qualifying match played in San Jose yesterday, the United States and Canada played to a dramatic 4-4 draw. Canada came from three goals down to take a 4-3 lead before the US snatched an equalizer on the final play of the game.

T&T Starting 5 – 1.Kevin Graham (GK), 3.Cyrano Glen, 8.Jerwyn Balthazar,9. Kerry Joseph and 5. Noel Williams

Subs: 2. Adrian Pirthysingh (GK), 4. Bevon Bass, 6. Ishmael Daniel, 7. Jameel Neptune, 10. Colin Joseph, Kevaughn Connell, 12. Kareem Perry, 13. Jamel Lewis, 14.Keston Guy (GK)

Head Coach: Clayton Morris.

Referee: Roberto Sanchez (Cuba)