Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers put in an encouraging performance but it was not enough to have an effect on Jamaica’s impeccable home record as the “Reggae Boyz” labored to a 1-0 victory at the National Stadium, Kingston on Sunday night.
There was a lot going on in the pre-match build up to the encounter with both teams continuing their keen rivalry and preparing for the Digicel Caribbean Cup. And it turned out that Dane Richards’ 19th minute penalty was all that separated both teams on the night.
It was the visitors who made the brighter start of the two teams as striker Devon Jorsling almost silenced the home fans inside the first minute when his fierce left footer effort brought the best out of goalkeeper Richard McCallum as he pushed around the left post.
T&T did in fact enjoy the better of the early exchanges with Cornell Glen firing well wide after a good switch over from the left in the 10th minute.
T&T custodian Jan Michael Williams was solid for much of the encounter and did well to parry away an effort in the 12th minute. He also pushed away another effort from Eric Vernan as Jamaica began to assert themselves after going ahead from the penalty spot.
That resulted when Eric Vernan was adjudged to have been brought down by Daneil Cyrus in the 18th minute. Dane Richards stepped up to hit home on Williams’s left side.
After that, Glen had a powerful header well pushed out by McCallum in the 22nd minute from a Trent Noel corner. And debutant Morgan then sidefooted over bar close to the break as Jamaica tried to stretch their advantage and get their fans back into the match after they went silent for long periods.
Lester Peltier started on the left for T&T but never settled while defender Yohance Marshall made a pleasing debut at the heart of the T&T defense. DC United’s Julius James did not start after recovering from a virus late on the eve of the encounter. He did however enter the match in the second half in place of Cyrus.
T&T again had the better of the exchanges as the match resumed after half time and forced two consecutive corners after Leon’s effort was deflected just wide of the right post following a good combination between Keon Daniel and Jorsling. And the introduction of midfielder Hughtun Hector and Keon Daniel added some added zip to the T&T attack as they went in search of an equalizer.
The workhorse Anthony Wolfe dropped into a more defensive position as the second half progressed. Left back Jovin Jones was one of the positives for T&T with his intelligent play and he had the opportunity to roam up the flank some more in the second half.
On 64 minutes, Glen got possession from Shavar Thomas ball deep in the Jamaica half but opted at squaring for a lurking Jorsling instead of cutting back and hitting at goal. The eventual cross was collected by the goalie.
T&T kept on pressing and Jamaica also had a goal ruled offside in the 73rd minute when Dever Orgill slotted home and Williams had to do well to prevent Ryan Johnson’s effort from going in soon after.
Marshall also did well to get in the way of Orgill’s close range effort which led to a T&T counter attack as Daniel sent a diagonal ball up field, releasing Glen behind the Jamaican defense but McCallum was quickly off his line to deny the charging forward.
Daniel had a right footer deflected to McCallum in the 87th and Jorsling also had a one time left footed shot go inches wide of the near left post.
In added on time, substitute Jamal Gay had a weak flick on header go straight to McCallum. The T&T players acknowledged the presence of the 60 odd T&T fans in the open stands who seemed far from dismayed with T&T's showing on the evening.
T&T: - Jan-Michael Williams, Yohance Marshall, Joevin Jones, Daneil Cyrus (Julius James 85th), Kern Cupid (Hayden Tinto 78th), Trent Noel, Clyde Leon (capt) (Hughtun Hector 68th), Anthony Wolfe, Lester Peltier (Keon Daniel 46th) Cornell Glen, Devon Jorsling (Jamal Gay 78th).
Jamaica team from: - Richard McCallum, Jermaine Taylor, Adrian Reid, Shavar Thomas (capt), Marvin Morgan (Ryan Johnson 55th), Shaun Francis, Eric Vernan, Rodolph Austin, Oliver Trail, Dane Richards, Ricardo Fuller (Dever Orgill), Keammar Daley, Andre Blake, Navion Boyd, Ryan Johnson, Troy Smith, Dicoy Williams, Richard Edward, Ricardo Cousins.
Boyz score narrow 1-0 win over T&T.
By: Ian Burnett (Jamaica Observer).
Jamaica continued their dominance over Trinidad and Tobago with a 1-0 victory in the return leg of the two-match home-and-away series at the National Stadium last evening.
New York Red Bulls striker Dane Richards was the man on target with a 19th-minute penalty, but the margin could have been wider had it not been for Trinidadian goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams, who came to his team's rescue on a number of occasions.
The visitors started the more positive of the teams with striker Devon Jorsling, who scored his team's lone goal in the first leg 1-3 loss at home in August, testing Jamaican goalkeeper Richard McCallum with a long range shot in the first minute of play.
The home team gradually settled into a rhythm, however, and Richards, who has been in immaculate form for his club in the US Major League Soccer, weaved his way past a couple defenders from the right hand side of the field, but after clearing his way to the centre of the penalty area, his weak left-footed shot was gratefully accepted by goalkeeper Williams.
Shortly thereafter, Richards and Eric Vernan used their pace to telling effect on the right to open up the Soca Warriors' defence, but Williams pulled off a brilliant blocking save from point-blank range from the diminutive Vernan.
There was no letting up and the two made amends within minutes when Vernan was clipped by two retreating defenders after he was played through in the penalty box by Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller, giving Mexican referee Armando Archundia no choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Richards calmly converted, placing the grounder to the left of Williams for his second international goal in front of a sparse crowd.
Though behind, the Soca Warriors continued to launch attacks and McCallum had to be sharp to hold onto a firm header from Daniel Cyrus on the goal line from a left side corner.
Fuller then tricked his way past a few markers on the left of the penalty box before centring for debutant Marvin Morgan, whose shot was blocked.
The hosts were on the rampage and moments later Morgan was the beneficiary of Jamaica's best move all night.
Quick on the counter attack from a corner, the ball was spread to mid field then to the left flank before switching to the right where Vernan played a neat ball to Morgan, but the inexperienced player wasted the chance by booting high over the horizontal from inside the penalty box, when he had enough time to control the ball then take his shot.
The visitors had the better of the exchanges in the opening period of the second half, without actually threatening McCallum in the Jamaican goal.
Their best chance came after the Jamaican defenders lapsed and gifted possession of the ball to Cornell Glen, whose cut back from deep inside the area was well anticipated by McCallum, who sprawled to the ground to deny an unmarked Jorsling, who was waiting on the other side to tap home.
As the coaches introduced changes, Trinidad and Tobago clearly benefitted from the introduction of Keon Daniel on the left side of midfield, in place of Lester Peltier at the start of the second half, and similarly, the introduction of Ryan Johnson and Dever Orgill in place of the ineffective Morgan, and Fuller, lifted the Reggae Boyz's play.
Orgill, also on debut, was clearly the most impressive of the lot of debutantes, which included Shaun Francis and Oliver Trail. The St Georges Sports Club striker brought a bundle of energy and commitment, and went close to opening his account on a number of occasions.
He was well placed to slot home a headed pass from Navion Boyd, after Vernan had escaped his marker down the right flank, but a retreating defender got back in the nick of time to block his effort.
Then shortly after he thought he had indeed scored on debut when he rounded Williams to slot home, but by then assistant referee Garnet Page had long raised the flag for an off side call, thus rendering Orgill's celebratory back flicks and summersaults useless.
His endeavour paid off seconds later when he robbed a defender of the ball on the right and fed Johnson, who turned his marker inside the box before rifling a left-footed grounder, which was well saved by Williams.
In-between, McCallumm had to be alert to thwart Jorsling to a through ball, and in time added, Orgill was denied yet again by Williams, after being perfectly set up by Johnson.
Witmore to continue testing players.
Jamaica Gleaner Reports.
Having given debut starts to two new players and introduced a couple others in the second half of yesterday's friendly international against Trinidad and Tobago, Theodore Whitmore, the head coach of Jamaica's Reggae Boyz, says he will continue to test new players as he sifts to find the right mix for the regional football championship finals, which will be played next month.
"It is a work in progress, our main aim is the Digicel Caribbean Cup. We have been looking on players and we will continue to do so," Whitmore told the media following the 1-0 win at the National Stadium, as Jamaica continued its dominance over the Soca Warriors.
Dane Richards scored the winner, coolly slotting a penalty past goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams - who dived the right way - in the 19th minute.
One of two newcomers to the team, 24-year-old Columbus Crew midfielder, Shaun Francis, was involved in the lead-up play to the penalty, when he supplied the ball inside, from which Eric Vernan was eventually toppled to earn the goal-making opportunity.
A largely- left-sided player, Francis was more impressive than the other starting debutant, the much-talked-about teen, Marvin Morgan Jr. Both showed a lot of confidence, but their production, especially that of Morgan, never quite matched their self-belief, on the night.
One senior team debutant who probably ensured himself another look-in is the former Titchfield High scoring ace, Dever Orgill, who is at Portland Digicel Premier League outfit, St Georges Sports Club, after doing a stint in the US second-tier competition with Canadian team Vancouver Whitecaps.
Having replaced Morgan at the 55th minute, he showed good movement and positioning to find clear openings and may have had a hat-trick on another day, with a bit of luck. He had what appeared a legitimate goal waved off for offside, after rounding the keeper to convert, and had two shots cleared off the goalline.
The victory was the 17th for the Jamaicans over their Caribbean archrivals, in 34 internationals. Trinidad and Tobago have won seven, while the other 10 ended in draws.
The Jamaicans had to work hard for their latest victory, even though they made by far the bulk of, and better scoring chances.
In truth, the Boyz, without really stamping their authority, were superior in the first half but thoroughly outplayed in the second, as they gave an error-riddled display.
During the second stanza, Whitmore made a number of substitutions as he tried other players. However, they still found it difficult to wrestle free from the stranglehold brought on by Trinidad and Tobago's increased possession, that led to territorial domination.
"Our first half was a better one than the second half. We lost the game a bit when we started to make the changes, but all in all I was satisfied," Whitmore said.
This was actually the second in a two-game series, which saw the Jamaicans putting in a more dominant performance for a 3-1 win in Trinidad and Tobago in August.
With regards to the play last night, however, Whitmore thought otherwise.
"It was a game we were looking forward to based on the last result and I thought it was a much better game than we played in Trinidad and Tobago," he said.
His opposite number, Russell Latapy, also a midfield genius while representing his country, was relieved with his southern-Caribbean team's second showing and decried their attempts to score.
"In football you need to outscore your opponents. We missed a few scoring opportunities. By the time we get to the Cup I hope our finishing and our technical play is where we will want it to be."
Despite having the lion's share of possession, they lacked real danger and hardly created clear-cut chances to score. Still, they were so greatly inferior at home that he had enough reason to be buoyant.
"Tonight I was a lot happier than our home game, it was different personnel but it was a better performance," Latapy remarked.
"But our real goal is the Digicel Cup and this game was a good tune-up. Based on our performance tonight I really think we are heading in the right direction."