Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup team hopefuls put on a decent display in front of head coach Leo Beenhakker in a 1-0 win over Florida International University at the Sunrise Hilton Ground, Fort Lauderdale on Friday evening.
Using the match as a warm up and trial in one ahead of the upcoming friendly international against Iceland, Beenhakker got a chance to see what his 15 called up players had to offer and he saw new CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh signing Anthony Wolfe net a 75th minute winner following some persistence by substitute Kerry Baptiste on the right flank.
The game was not the most exciting for the 150 odd fans who turned up but it seemed to had given Beenhakker just what he was hoping for in terms of the exercise.
“It’s just a training exercise for us really. The guys played their game and we have another day of training tomorrow and a game on Sunday and then I will be able to draw my conclusions,” Beenhakker said.
Striker Errol McFarlane had the first try of the opening 15 minutes for T&T when his effort after a good build up inside the box just missed the target. Florida University also had a couple good tries but nothing to really trouble goalie Jan Michael Williams with Tobago-born player Carron Williams having a crack at the T&T goal just before the half hour.
Aurtis Whitley and Cyd Gray were evidently a cut above the rest on the pitch with the latter making some solid runs up and down the right flank and was able to get a few crosses into the box but none could really find his target men in the first half.
Whitley had two good tries at goal in the 29th and 30th minutes.
Beenhakker had started with Williams in goal, Anthony Noreiga, Cyd Gray, Nigel Henry and Silvio Spann in the back, Anthony Rougier, Whitley, Julius James, Kevon Neaves in the middle and McFarlane and Darryl Roberts up top.
At the half, mentioning that he wanted to see every player for at least a half, he then replaced Rougier, James, Spann and McFarlane with Atiba Charles, Kerry Baptiste, Osei Telesford and Wolfe.
It was obvious that Henry, Baptiste, and Rougier had given good account of themselves, Rougier, given the armband by Beenhakker, controlled proceedings in the middle and Henry, who was given the armband by beenhakker went Rougier went off, was composed throughout in the centre back position along with the intelligent Noreiga. Baptiste demonstrated keen hunger and was applauded when he hustled the last defender on the right flank to win possession and then play back for Wolfe to slap home from inside the box for the winner. Neaves settled in the second half and showed glimpses of his ability to shake players off and move with purpose on the left flank. James also went on a second time and looked a more settled player Roberts was left up top alone in the second half and while not having any clear cut chances, he managed to hold his own in spurts but without posing much danger to the Florida defense. Click here for more photos from Shaun Fuentes with T&T vs FIU.
Jan Michael-Williams, Anthony Noreiga, Cyd Gray, Nigel Henry (vice-capt), Silvio Spann (Osei Telesford 45th), Anthony Rougier (capt) (Atiba Charles 45th), Aurtis Whitley, Julius James (Kerry Baptiste 45th), Kevon Neaves, Errol McFarlane (Anthony Wolfe 45th), Darryl Roberts.