“Unlucky” was how national football coach Dennis Lawrence described Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Mexico in the World Cup Qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo.
His comment at the post match interview came as no surprise after the Soca Warriors opened the scoring with a thunderous left footer by speedy flanker Joevin Jones in the 32nd minute from a pass by midfielder Khaleem Hyland, but Jamaican referee Valdin Legister, after consultation with his compatriot, assistant referee 1 Richard Washington, waved offside when video replays clearly showed the player was on-side.
“I think we were unlucky with the goal that we scored because it was clearly on-side from what I saw,” Lawrence said.
In summing up the match the coach, himself an ex-national defender said he didn’t feel his players had done enough to win the match, saying they didn’t test the Mexican goalie enough to score.
But he however made it clear his troops had done enough to at least get a point from it.
“In terms of our organisation, our structure defensively, we had to lose the game conceded by a set-piece as it was difficult to break us down in open play, but we didn’t do enough to take the game at the other end, we didn’t test their keeper enough so I felt we just fell short in that aspect.
“But in terms of losing the game, I felt we had done enough to get something from it.
“I feel quite disappointed for the boys because I don’t think they deserved that, but that’s football,” Lawrence said disappointingly.
Warriors, which was led by Kenwyne Jones, surrendered the match from a defensive blunder in the 57th minute, allowing an unmarked Diego Reyes the room, time and space to meet a perfectly delivered left-sided corner on the head past a stranded Jan-Michael Williams in post.
The ball rocketed into the roof of the net on impact as Reyes was allowed to roam freely on top the area.
Lawrence believes his team allowed the Mexicans to take control of the ball from early, saying whenever the Warriors won the ball, it was being given back to them.
He called on the players to have more belief in themselves, saying: “I can’t fault the boys for effort but I said to them that we have to believe in how good we can be.
“We spoke about things before the game and then we allow the Mexican team to get too much control of the game.”
Lawrence also called on the team to keep the focus as they face two challenging away matches in June to the United States and Costa Rica, saying it is up to the boys to believe in themselves and believe that they can still qualify.
Lawrence: We deserved something.
T&T Express Reports.
National football team head coach Dennis Lawrence believes that Trinidad and Tobago deserved at least a point from their World Cup qualifying match that ended in a 0-1 loss to Mexico on Tuesday. But Lawrence also believes his team must be confident of picking up points when they go on the road against the USA and Costa Rica in June.
“I didn’t think we did enough to win the game but we did enough to get something out of the game,” Lawrence said at the post-match press conference. “I think we were a bit unlucky. The goal that we scored was clearly onside, from what I saw.
“I can’t fault the boys for effort. They only thing, I said it: that we need to believe how good we can be,” Lawrence continued. “We have two very difficult games in June, which are going to be two games away from home. We have to prepare ourselves mentally and when we come together as a group, we have to believe that it still can be done.”
Lawrence felt that if anything, his footballers gave Mexico too much respect.
“We allowed the Mexican team to get too much control of the game,” he said. “We had the goal conceded from a set piece. It was difficult to break us down in open play but we didn’t do enough to take the game at the other end. We didn’t test their keeper enough.”
Otherwise, Lawrence felt T&T matched up well with a very good and confident Mexican team which leads the region in qualifying.
“We matched them in a lot of aspects of the game. So, I think in terms of progression, I can take a lot of confidence in our organisation,” Lawrence declared.
“The set piece. That is the defining moment,” he continued. “Because if you keep concentration and you do your job defensively on a set piece, sometimes these are the things that win you and lose you games.”
Meanwhile, Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osori admitted that the match was difficult but was pleased with the result.
“Today was a game where we had to roll up our sleeves and work for it, and the guys understood that,” Osorio said at the post-match conference. “All in all, I think the plan gave us really good results.”
By Ian Prescott (Express)
“We had a goal taken away from us by some poor decision-making but unfortunately, that’s how the game goes,” Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones said, following his team close 0-1 defeat to Mexico in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
T&T scored first, through Joevin Jones but had the effort incorrectly waved offside by Jamaican assistant-referee Richard Washington and the goal subsequently disallowed by another Jamaican, referee Valdin Legister.
“We should have at least had a point from the game, I think, if not go on to win the game,” stated Jones, the experienced former English Premiership striker.
Mexico then went on to win the match with a second-half goal by Diego Reyes, from a corner-kick.
“And then we had a moment of lapse in concentration and it cost us in the end.” the T&T captain lamented.
Overall, Jones was pleased by the performance, as T&T matched zone leaders Mexico in most areas.
“The guys could be proud of their efforts and we could also build on it, looking forward to the other set of games coming up,” Jones added. “In the end, we still did not have a result, so I’m disappointed.”
Even so, the Atlanta United striker does not feel it is beyond T&T getting a good result from the next two games on the road, against the USA and Costa Rica in June.
“It’s necessary to go away and take the points from the team that are at home. So, we have two tough games coming up, USA an Costa Rica. We’re going to buckle down and focus on that when we get together and try and get the points,” Jones said.
“I still have one hundred percent belief in the squad. We still have six games to go, so we going to put our best foot forward.” he declared. “Everyone just has to keep working hard and focus for when we meet up again. The squad is a great one.”