Sun, Mar
Match Report
Trinidad & Tobago Guatemala
T&T flag Guatemala
Russell Latapy (48')
Stern John (85')
Stern John (86')

FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
2005-09-03Hasely Crawford StadiumPort-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago24000

'Warriors' stay in it

T&T’s Warriors did what was required of them yesterday- they beat Guatemala 3-2, on goals from Russell Latapy and Stern John in their 2006 Concacaf World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo in front of a sellout crowd.

The match started in the same vein as T&T’s 1-0 loss to the United States World Cup at Rentschler Field, Connecticut, on August 17. The Guatemalans charged out of the gates and went for the jugular from the opening whistle.

And the match was only three minutes old when the visitors got the opening they were searching for.

Brent Sancho in central defence for T&T took down Guatemala’s Gonzalo Romero just in front of the T&T area; Guillermo Ramirez took the kick and his well- struck shot took a deflection before whizzing past Kelvin Jack in goal for T&T.

The T&T players were not discouraged and immediately went for the equaliser, but John could not get to Russell Latapy’s chip into the Guatemala area.

For his part, Latapy looked nothing close to his 37 years and exhibited his characteristic skill, control and ability to read the game as he commanded his position alongside John in attack.

T&T continued to surge forward in the face of the quick-passing Guatemalans, who won the first leg of the final round tie 5-1. Carlos Edwards and Silvio Spann on the right and Aurtis Whitley and captain Dwight Yorke in the centre of the park,featured in the play.

In the ninth minute, John got a golden opportunity after some poor defensive work by the Guatemalan backline, but he steered his shot wide of the far post with Guatemalan custodian Miguel Klee at his mercy.

After some frantic moments on both ends of the field the Warriors settled down into a more constructive rhythm and built their attacks on either flank through Latapy and Edwards, but the attack was plagued by offside calls nine of them on John.
In the 18th minute, John’s header at the end of a Sancho cross from deep in midfield was bundled away by Klee and the rebound fell to Yorke, who put it in the back of the net. But the goal was disallowed for offside.

The T&T defence looked unsteady at times, but escaped the penalty for slack marking and indecisiveness in the first-half, as the Guatemalans seemed content to ride their lead into the interval.

Jason Scotland, a half-time substitute for Whitley, kept the pressure up for the Warriors, allowing Latapy more space to worry the Guatemalan defence with precise passing, and his efforts paid off. On one such foray in the 47th minute.

Latapy controlled the ball on the right side of the field cut inside the area, dribbled the last defender and curled a shot with his left foot to Klee’s left setting, off frienzied celebrations, which gave lie to his “expect no miracles” suggestion earlier in the week. It was indeed a magical moment.

In the 62nd minute Romero got Guatemala’s second goal off a pass from Elmer Ponciano, which silenced the crowd. Soon afterwards, Klee came up with a couple of saves off shots from Scotland and Birchall, who was not as effective as in his earlier matches for T&T. Warriors began to show signs of fatigue.

In the 72nd minute Spann made way for Scott Sealy and Latapy pulled back into midfield as Beenhakker adopted a more attacking strategy. It paid off in the 86th minute. Latapy’s quickness of eye and feet proved vital as he played the ball to John in the Guatemala area and John put it to Klee’s right with a stiff one-time shot.

Before the goal, the crowd was calling for John’s scalp, but were soon singing his praise he did the unthinkable and gave T&T the three points with a well- taken goal from a pass by Yorke.

With time and space, John chested Yorke’s chip in the area let it bounce and blasted a half- volley past Klee on the first post a minute after his first goal, to set the red, white and black 23,000 plus crowd in a delightful crescendo of acclamation.
The victory takes T&T to seven points, the same as Guatemala and Costa Rica, who host T&T on Wednesday in Costa Rica, when Mexico hosts Panama and Guatemala meets the USA.

Kelvin Jack, Avery John, Brent Sancho, Marvin Andrews, Christopher Birchall, Carlos Edwards, Aurtis Whitley (Jason Scotland 45th - Ian Cox 90th), Silvio Spann (Scott Sealey 72nd), Russell Latapy, Stern John, Dwight Yorke (capt).

Subs not used:
Shaka hislop, Atiba Charles, Densill Theobald, Cyd Gray.

Miguel Klee, Gustavo Cabrera, Sylvyn Ponciano, Angel Sanabria, Fredy Garcia (Carlos Figueroa 57th), Elmer Ponciano, Jilio Giron, Fredy Thompson, Gonzalo Romero, Guillermo Ramirez, Carlos Ruiz (capt).

Paulo Cesar Motta, Victor Hernandez, Rigoberto Gomez, Maynor Davila, Juan Carlos Plata, Edwin Villatoro.

Armando Archundia Tellez.

Goals Scorers:

T&T: Russell Latapy 47th, Stern John 86th, 87th

Guatemala: Guillermo Ramirez 3rd, 61st

21.Kelvin Jack
4.Marvin Andrews
3.Avery John Yellow Card 50 '
5.Brent Sancho
7.Christopher Birchall
11.Carlos Edwards
10.Russell Latapy
16.Subbed outSilvio Spann
 Subbed in 73' Scott Sealy
9.Subbed outAurtis Whitley
 Subbed in 46' Jason Scotland
19.Dwight Yorke (capt.)
14.Stern John
13.Ian Cox
20.Subbed outJason Scotland
 Subbed in 88' Ian Cox
8.Scott Sealy
1.Neil Hislop
2.David Charles
12.Cyd Gray
18.Densill Theobald
 Leo Beenhakker
46'Subbed outSubbed inJason Scotland for Aurtis Whitley
73'Subbed outSubbed inScott Sealy for Silvio Spann
88'Subbed outSubbed inIan Cox for Jason Scotland
50'Yellow CardAvery John