|Trinidad & Tobago||Haiti|
|Anton Pierre (59')|
|2005-02-01||Queens Park Oval||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||1500|
Warriors have a lot to do
|With just a week to go before they face the United States at the
Queen's Park Oval in the first of their final round World Cup
qualification matches, Trinidad and Tobago's "Soca Warriors" have a lot
to do to prove they are up to the challenge.|
Their 1-0 victory over Haiti in the first of two friendly matches yesterday did little to inspire a very modest crowd at the same venue at which they will tackle their top CONCACAF opponents next Wednesday.
Although the Haiti front line were not thoroughly effective in making use of some great chances, they still provided a stern test for the T&T defence, who were quite fortunate to complete the 90 minutes with the advantage.
The most encouraging sign about the Warriors' play was the defence, which kept them from going behind in the first half and preserved their lead in the second period.
Anton Pierre was once more solid in defence, cutting out anything that came his way.
The Haitians were on the attack from the onset and confident to boot, running at the hosts' back line, which initially took a few minutes to settle in.
When they did go forward, the T&T players, losing the battle in midfield, opted to try the long ball to find Stern John up front, but with the Coventry City player alone in the Haiti penalty area, few passes were clinical enough to cause a disturbance.
Turlien Romulus had the visitors' first real chance of the match, his free kick just missing Eliphene Cadet in the fifth minute. Romulus also had a shot on goal a few minutes later, but his weak attempt provided little trouble for Clayton Ince in the home goal.
The Crewe Alexandria custodian had an excellent match, with some wonderful reflex saves, including a one-handed effort that deflected Roosevelt Desir's right hand side cross away from goal. His one error, though, came in accepting a back pass a trifle too casually and he needed to dribble the onrushing attacker in the area to prevent an embarrassing goal.
Still, the T&T defence managed to come up trumps when Ince was beaten, Brazil-born Jose Luis Seabra diving to repel a shot by Cadet in the 38th.
In reply, the Warriors had their shots on goal, but again the weakness in the midfield let them down. The last attempt before halftime was a strike to Ince's near post by Desir.
In the second period, T&T, with more positive play, pushed for the opening goal, Cornell Glen causing some problems for the Haitian defence.
But the item came off the boot of Pierre, who drilled home a free kick to goalie Luidgi Beauzile's right from 17 metres.
In the second half, T&T had some close calls, with two appeals for a penalty going their way and captain Angus Eve (75th minute), then Densil Theobald in stoppage time cleared off the line to preserve the 1-0 scoreline and a win for the Soca Warriors.
But after this match and with even national coach Bertille St Clair admitting his disappointment in the performance, it remains quite clear that something much more is required if T&T are to have a shot at challenging for a berth in next year's World Cup.
The Warriors next face the Haitians in a second friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium tomorrow from 6 p.m. in their final warm-up match before opposing the Americans next week.
|46' Cyd Gray|
|66' Avery John|
|54' Gary Glasgow|
|54' Densill Theobald|
|39' Angus Eve|
|Stern John (capt.)|
|75' Scott Sealy|
|Bertille St. Clair|
|39'||Angus Eve for Jose Seabra|
|46'||Cyd Gray for David Charles|
|54'||Gary Glasgow for Leslie Fitzpatrick|
|54'||Densill Theobald for Anthony Rougier|
|66'||Avery John for Marlon Rojas|
|75'||Scott Sealy for Stern John|