A 90th minute goal by Joe Public striker Nigel Pierre sealed Trinidad and Tobago’s first international win under new coach Stuart Charles Fevrier as the “Soca Warriors” scoredd a 2-0 victory over Kenya’s Olympic team at the Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi on Monday.
The victory was the first for T&T on African soil and should now set the pace for their two remaining matches against Botswana on June 10 and South Africa five days later.
T&T were coming off a decent display in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Kenya’s Senior team but the homeside’s Olympic team were not to be overridden on the day as they gave their Caribbean counterparts a strong run leading up to their 2004 Olympic qualifier against South Africa later this month.
T&T, with Kerwyn Jemmott and Travis Mulraine introduced into the starting eleven, were guilty of allowing their opponents to see more of the ball in the opening half but never allowed the Kenyans to control proccedings.
Midfielder Silvio Spann had T&T’s first try at goal, free kick from the edge of the box which went wide of the upright after three minutes.
Kenyan midfielder Collin’s Tiego had two tries at Clayton Inces’ goal in quick succession midway in the half but it was T&T’s Scottish-based striker Collin Samuel who should have sent the visitors ahead in the 29th minute. The Falkirk man was played through by Mulraine but then saw a low right footer saved by a diving Arnold Origi from near the six yard box.
Mulraine also went close when he intercepted a pass in the Kenyan defence but directed his effort high and wide in what was a first half of little excitement for the 2,000 odd fans at the venue.
Fevrier introduced Dale Saunders for Spann and Pierre for Jemmott early in the second half which saw T&T, though finding scoring opportunities hard to come by, enjoyed better possession for much of the remaining 90 minutes.
A neat build up then broke the deadlock on 64 minutes. Pierre combined with Scotland who held the ball up nicely before giving the oncoming Carlos Edwards to calmly chip the ‘keeper from the right top of the six yard for a 1-0 T&T lead.
T&T had a couple scares at the back with substitute Nigel Daniel clearing at the last moment and the same player then deflected a low effort to an alert Ince. T&T then pressured for the second item with Scotland firing a left footer over bar from close range and Edwards sending a right footed curler which brought the best out of Origi who had to push out to his right.
As the final whistle approached. Pierre, celebrating his 24th birthday, collected a deep clearance from Ince, inside the penalty box and held off a couple defenders before rifling home from close up.
T&T Line Up:
21.Clayton Ince, 2.Brent Sancho, 3.Reynold Carrington (capt), 4.Keyeno Thomas, 6.Avery John, 7.Carlos Edwards, 8.Silvio Spann (5.Dale Saunders 46th), 9.Jason Scotland (15.Conrad Smith 84th) 11.Collin Samuel (14.Nigel Daniel 79th) 18.Kerwyn Jemmott (16.Nigel Pierre 60th), 19.Travis Mulraine (12.Anton Pierre 79th).
TnT Subs Not Used:
22.Jan-Michael Williams, 13.Derek King, Peter Ramon-Fortune.
Kenya Olympic Team:
17.Arnold Origi, 6.Kelvin Otieno, 3.Justus Mutingi, 8.David Kanyua, 15.Hilary Omondi, 2.Steven Kinuthia, 10.Hilary Echesa (capt), 5.Jamal Mohammed (16.Ibrahim Said), 11.Issiah Omondi (7.Ibrahim Shikanda), 14.Collins Tiego (18.Lawrence Owino), 13.Vincent Ochieng.
Kenya Subs Not Used:
19.Abdurman Ali, 4.Julius Wango, 21.Dennis Okangi.
Fevrier savors first win in T&T colours.
By: Shaun Fuentes in Nairobi.
“One down, two wins to go.”
Those were the words coming from Trinidad and Tobago captain Reynold Carrington following his country’s 2-0 victory over the Kenyan Olympic team on Monday. The win was T&T’s first since a 1-0 shut out of Guadeloupe in March and more significantly, T&T’s first under recently appointments of head coach Stuart Charles Fevrier and assistants Brian Williams and Jamaal Shabaaz.
Following the match, TTFF Vice President Jack Warner treated the T&T contingent to dinner at the Nyama Choma Ranch, rated as Nairobi’s most exciting African restaurant which served several different meats as Giraffe, Crocodile, Zebra. Ostrich, lamb and various styles of beef to the “Soca Warriors.”
Goalscorer Nigel Pierre was then presented with a birthday cake by some of the attractive in-house African dancers as a live band performed reggae and calypso styles.
“I think this goal couldn’t have come at a better time and it was long overdue This should now boost me for the games to come. Actually the guys should now be able to depend on me a bit more to get the goals from today on with the type of confidence I’m playing with, ”Pierre told TTFF Media.
Coach Fevrier was also pleased with his first win in charge of T&T. “Today was really our first win on the African tour and for me personally it was my first win as coach and I must say it was a pleasing feeling. But there are many more serious games to be played and this victory will only serve as a motivator for me,” Fevrier told TTFF Media.
“I was quite pleased with efforts of the lads today, particularly in the second half. We were more patient after the break and at the final whistle we came away with a 2-0 victory which to my mind was very important for our confidence looking ahead to the rest of this tour and matches to come. I must say the guys continue to enjoy the tour and we are enjoying working with the players. I hope that we can build on this win and continue the tour without any defeats,” he added. T&T travel to South Africa on Tuesday night for three days before moving on to Botswana.