|Trinidad & Tobago||Jamaica|
|Stern John (26')|
World Cup Qualifier
|2001-06-30||Queens Park Oval||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||4000|
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 Mendezs final whistle as the Reggae Boyz celebrated a 2-1 win over their hosts in the Concacaf Zone qualifier at the Queens 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 efforthis first goal of the Concacaf final roundBurton stood with hands on hips and glared playfully at his teammates.
Why couldnt you give me a pass like that before? Burtons body language seemed to imply while his teammates rushed in to congratulate him.
Still, Jamaicas 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&Ts 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 teams comprehensive 4-2 defeat to Honduras at the Hasely Crawford Stadiumjust two weeks agowhen disgusted fans streamed out of the ground before the end of regulation time.
Unlike their last two matchesboth defeatsit 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 beneficiary26 minutes into the gameafter 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 Johns 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 Lawrences 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 Dwarikas dazzlefive minutes before Johns 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 teams 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 Dwarikas 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).
|4.||Marvin Andrews (capt.)|
|87' Lyndon Andrews|
|82' Gary Glasgow|
|15.||Mickey Trotman 29 '|
|57' Angus Eve|
|57'||Angus Eve for Mickey Trotman|
|82'||Gary Glasgow for Nigel Pierre|
|87'||Lyndon Andrews for Avery John|