Sat, Sep
Match Report
Trinidad & Tobago Jamaica
T&T flag Jamaica
Stern John (26')

World Cup Qualifier
2001-06-30Queens Park OvalPort-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago4000

Burton sinks battling Warriors

THE Trinidad and Tobago football team produced a valiant effort yesterday in an attempt to revive fading 2002 World Cup aspirations, but it was not quite good enough.

It was Jamaican faces that lit up at referee Gustavo Mendez’s final whistle as the “Reggae Boyz” celebrated a 2-1 win over their hosts in the Concacaf Zone qualifier at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.

Derby County striker Deon Burton had the honour of applying the final dagger for the Boyz as he calmly finished an Andy Williams through ball in the 69th minute following a quick counter-attack.

Aware of the value of his effort—his first goal of the Concacaf final round—Burton stood with hands on hips and glared playfully at his teammates.

“Why couldn’t you give me a pass like that before?” Burton’s body language seemed to imply while his teammates rushed in to congratulate him.

Still, Jamaica’s Brazilian coach Clovis de Oliviera should be the first to admit that the game ran much closer than they could have anticipated.

The 5,000 spectators witnessed T&T’s first defeat at the Oval since their 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in a 1998 World Cup qualifier.

But there was much to admire about the effort of the boys in the red, white and black strip and as the game drew to a close, the entire Jamaican bench were on their feet waving and imploring Mendez to blow off the match.

Certainly miles from the team’s comprehensive 4-2 defeat to Honduras at the Hasely Crawford Stadium—just two weeks ago—when disgusted fans streamed out of the ground before the end of regulation time.

Unlike their last two matches—both defeats—it was the “Soca Warriors” who were first off the mark yesterday.

After conceding six goals in their two previous outings, Brazilian coach Rene Simoes started with three stoppers and two wing backs in an effort to stabilise the T&T defence.

It generally offered suitable resistance against the versatile Jamaican offence of Burton and Onandi Lowe and allowed for a more composed effort from the Warriors.

Nottingham Forest striker Stern John would be an early beneficiary—26 minutes into the game—after good approach work from stopper Marvin “Dog” Andrews.

Andrews gathered a loose ball just inside the Jamaicans’ half and passed firmly towards John while lumbering forward for a return pass.

Ian Goodison, who acted as John’s warden throughout the affair, seemed distracted by the sight of the powerful Andrews in full stride and the English-based striker capitalised in full.

A lowered shoulder and spin allowed the ball to roll past his marker before John buried low to Jamaican custodian Aaron Lawrence’s left.

The goal capped a fine run by the hosts and the only surprise was that Joe Public ace Arnold Dwarika was not involved.

Dwarika, who replaced maverick midfielder Russell Latapy in the starting line-up, was in irresistible form.

Soon after the kick off, the dreadlocked playmaker signalled his intentions by impudently flicking the ball over the head of Jamaican veteran Fitzroy Simpson, who promptly bundled him over.

Micah Hyde, who plies his trade with English First Division team Watford, was next to be embarrassed by Dwarika’s dazzle—five minutes before John’s item.

The Boyz midfielder was left clutching air after Dwarika dragged the ball past him and two more Jamaicans were left in his wake before he hooked his shot wide at the far post.

T&T were humming and it seemed the resignation of star players Latapy and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and the sacking of coach Ian Porterfield were finally forgotten.

The crowd, continually frustrated by the team’s lacklustre performances, were lustily chanting “Ole” when Jamaica responded with a Lowe blow.

A fight between supporters of both teams broke out midway through the first half and, as police and onlookers shifted their focus to in front the Geddes Grant Stand, the Boyz struck back.

Simpson whipped in a cross from the left flank, in the 31st minute, and Lowe steered it with his head high to the left of keeper Clayton Ince for the equaliser.

Dwarika and teammate Nigel Pierre gave the Jamaican defence two anxious moments with promising runs in the penalty area, but the teams remained deadlocked at the interval.

The second half got off to a slower start but, once more, it was Dwarika who controlled proceedings in the middle.

Fourteen minutes after the break, he had the Dos Santos Stand screaming in delight as he “spannered” the ball past Jamaican skipper Linval Dixon, although he failed to complete the play.

Five minutes later, he attempted to make John just as happy as he weaved past two defenders before finding the former El Dorado student unmarked in the area.

But John delayed and Goodison dived in to thwart the Warriors’ best chance in the second half.

Within seconds, his miss became doubly costly.

In a flash, Burton was in possession at the edge of the T&T penalty area after an incisive pass from substitute Williams.

The finish was as confident as the celebration that followed.

It was a hard blow for sweeper Anthony Rougier, who played superbly in place of the injured Dennis Lawrence, but the result did not flatter the gutsy Jamaicans by much.

Although often yielding possession, the Boyz were rarely overrun and again showed the benefits of a workmanlike display and competent on-field organisation.

Simpson may have lacked for Dwarika’s guile but he was every bit as assured on the ball, while Lowe literally did the job of two players as he often dropped deep in his own half to handle defensive duties as well.

At the final whistle, the appreciative crowd offered praise to their fallen heroes.

But it was the Boyz who stole the points.


TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: 21-Clayton Ince, 4-Marvin Andrews, 13-Ansil Elcock, 6-Avery John (10-Lyndon Andrews 86), 5-Reynold Carrington, 3-Dale Saunders, 15-Mickey Trotman (8-Angus Eve 57), 14-Stern John, 18-Nigel Pierre (11-Gary Glasgow 87), 17-Anthony Rougier, 9-Arnold Dwarika

JAMAICA: 13-Aaron Lawrence, 15-Ricardo Gardner, 14-Tyronne Marshall, 18-Deon Burton (10-Ricardo Fuller 72), 4-Linval Dixon, 5-Ian Goodison, 19-Frank Sinclair, 6-Fitzroy Simpson, 20-Daryl Powell (8-Jamie Lawrence 42), 12-Micah Hyde (9-Andy Williams 45), 31-Onandi Lowe

REFEREE: Gustavo Mendez (Uruguay).

21.Clayton Ince
4.Marvin Andrews (capt.)
5.Reynold Carrington
13.Ansil Elcock
6.Subbed outAvery John
 Subbed in 87' Lyndon Andrews
9.Arnold Dwarika
17.Anthony Rougier
3.Dale Saunders
14.Stern John
18.Subbed outNigel Pierre
 Subbed in 82' Gary Glasgow
15.Subbed outMickey Trotman Yellow Card 29 '
 Subbed in 57' Angus Eve
10.Lyndon Andrews
8.Angus Eve
11.Gary Glasgow
1.Michael McComie
7.Dennis Lawrence
16.Anton Pierre
12.Carlos Edwards
 René Simoes
57'Subbed outSubbed inAngus Eve for Mickey Trotman
82'Subbed outSubbed inGary Glasgow for Nigel Pierre
87'Subbed outSubbed inLyndon Andrews for Avery John
29'Yellow CardMickey Trotman