Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors defeated Guyana Jaguars behind three first-half goals (3-0) in their opening-round 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers at the Pan American Stadium in San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic on Thursday night.
The Soca Warriors moved to the top of Group F and ahead of St Kitts & Nevis which defeated Puerto Rico 1-0 on Wednesday night. The latter will host T&T on Sunday.
The Soca Warriors opened their account when midfielder Levi Garcia, who plies his trade for AEK Athens in Greece, opened the scoring after he robbed two defenders on the goal-line and fired a right-foot shot into the goal beating goalkeeper Akel Clarke for placement in the eighth minute.
Eight minutes later, defender Sheldon Bateau extended to the T&T lead when he scored when he raced into the penalty area behind the defence and the ball hit his body and raced into the goal of a Garcia's freekick from about 25 metres out.
Midfielder Jovin Jones got an opportunity to put his name on the scoresheet penalty spot after defender Trayon Bodd fouled striker Ryan Telfer, who attempted to dribble past two defenders. Jones right-foot shot was save by the keeper's out-stretched right-hand which diving to his right, and on the rebound, Jones again had his second attempt saved by the keeper's right and his third attempt all in one play, went out of play.
However, two minutes from half-time, Telfer, then made it 3-0 when he challenged the keeper for a ball that was played upfield by the T&T goalkeeper Nicklas Frenderup. The Guyanese keeper Clarke missed judged the fight of the ball and was caught outside the penalty area and in his attempt to retreat into his area the ball slipped through his hands and legs and Telfer kicked the ball into an open goal.
Guyana had two good chances in the first half but the T&T defence which was well marshalled by goalkeeper Frenderup, who earned his first national cap along with Daniel Phillips withstood that pressure.
The second half was an even contest with both team building plays but not executing effectively. However, the second stanza was dominated by players from both teams being showed Yellow cards, two from T&T Telfer and Phillips, while and two from the opposition.
Meanwhile, the concerns within the T&T senior men’s football team camp ahead of the match on Wednesday about a possible coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak turned out to be false.
This after a retest result for the previously unnamed player was received and was deemed negative yesterday.
In keeping with T&T Football Association (T&TFA) medical protocol and best medical practice, the media release said: This player would remain isolated from the squad until a second consecutive negative result has been achieved.
Isolated training and travelling privileges would be allowed to maintain social distancing from the rest of the squad and strict hygiene practices as best as possible at all times.
Once a second negative result has been achieved, this player would be reintroduced into team activities and eligible for participation in the second World Cup Qualifier against Puerto Rico on Sunday.
Trinidad and Tobago 3 (Levi Garcia 8, Sheldon Bateau 16, Ryan Telfer 43) v Guyana 0, Estadio Panamericano, Santo Domingo.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-1-2-3): 21.Nicklas Frenderup (GK); 2.Aubrey David, 12.Robert Primus, 4.Sheldon Bateau (17.Justin Garcia 46), 15.Neveal Hackshaw; 18.Michel Poon-Angeron (Yellow 53); 8.Khaleem Hyland (captain), 19.Daniel Phillips; 11.Levi Garcia (20.Noah Powder 68), 7.Ryan Telfer (Yellow 72) (13.Brent Sam 75), 3.Joevin Jones (10.Judah Garcia 75).
Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 5.Leland Archer, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 9.Willis Plaza, 14.Andre Boucaud, 16.Marcus Joseph Jr, 23.Jabari Mitchell.
Standbys: Denzil Smith (GK), Sean Bonval, Duane Muckette.
Coach: Terry Fenwick.
Guyana (4-2-3-1): 22.Akel Clarke (GK); 5.Miquel Scarlett (2.Bayli Spencer-Adams 64), 15.Terence Vancooten, 3.Matthew Briggs, 23.Kadell Daniel; 8.Sam Cox (captain), 14.Daniel Wilson (12.Pernell Schultz 70); 11.Callum Harriott (9.Kelsey Benjamin 75), 7.Keanu Marsh-Brown (6.Jobe Caesar 64), 20.Trayon Bobb (17.Omari Glasgow 64); 10.Emery Welshman.
Unused substitutes: 1.Kai McKenzie-Lyle (GK), 18.Shawn Adonis (GK), 4.Jeremy Garrett, 13.Nicolai Andrews, 16.Ryan Hackett, 19.Nicholas Mc Arthur, 21.Nathan Moria-Welsh.
Coach: Márcio Máximo.
Soca Warriors off to winning World Cup qualifying start after beating Guyana 3-0.
By Joel Bailey (T&T Newsday).
T&T MEN’S football team got their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign off on a winning note when they brushed aside Guyana 3-0 on Thursday, in their Concacaf Zone Group F fixture at the Estadio Panamericano, San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.
Levi Garcia, Sheldon Bateau and Ryan Telfer got their names on the scoresheet for T&T, as they took advantage of an under-par Guyanese squad on a day and uneven surface.
With the result, T&T moved to the top of the five-team standings with a superior goal-difference of plus-three, compared to St Kitts/Nevis’ plus-one. St Kitts/Nevis edged Puerto Rico 1-0 at the Estadio Panamericano on Wednesday.
Garcia, who has been in fine form for his Greek club AEK Athens, capitalised on poor defending to break the deadlock, after seven minutes.
Wing-back Aubrey David’s long ball was chased down by Garcia, on the right flank. Garcia spun between defenders Kadell Daniel and Matthew Briggs before drilling his left-footed shot past goalkeeper Akel Clarke.
The Guyanese team, coached by Brazilian Marcio Maximo, featured seven English-born players (Daniel, Briggs, fellow defenders Miquel Scarlett and Terence Vancooten, as well as midfielders Samuel Cox, Callum Harriott and Keanu Marsh-Brown) and a Canadian-born striker (Emery Welshman).
T&T’s coach Terry Fenwick handed fellow English-born player, 19-year-old Daniel Phillips, his international debut and the defensive midfielder gave a mature performance, while a surprise selection between the uprights, Denmark-born Nicklas Frenderup, looked mostly assured.
Garcia had a hand in T&T’s second goal. In the 15th minute, the winger swung a freekick from the right which grazed the left hip of central defender Bateau and nestled into the back of the net.
Guyana had a couple of chances to trim the deficit.
In the 23rd, Marsh-Brown intercepted a poor clearance from Phillip in the penalty box, but his deflected left-footed effort went wide. Five minutes later, Welshman got a through ball from his skipper Trayon Bobb but could only watch in agony as his right-footed drive struck the post, with only Frenderup to beat.
Mexican referee Marco Antonio Ortiz awarded T&T a penalty in the 35th when Telfer was brought down by Marsh-Brown, but Joevin Jones was thwarted three times by Clarke, a former St Ann’s Rangers, Central FC and North East Stars goalie.
Clarke dived to his right to deny Jones’ first effort, used his right hand when Jones tried to chip home the rebound, while the third try smashed off Clarke’s right leg.
Frenderup was alert to save a right-footer from midfielder Daniel Wilson, after he capitalised on a weak pass from Michel Poon-Angeron.
Guyana were made to pay for their mistakes when Telfer smashed his right-footed shot into an open net, two minutes before the half-time interval, after Clarke failed to hold a long ball from Frenderup.
Both teams made changes in the second half and the tempo was not the same. In a rare attempt on goal, T&T substitute Brent Sam met a ball from Poon-Angeron but he headed straight at Clarke.
This game was played in the Dominican Republic, instead of T&T, due to the government’s covid19 quarantine regulations.
T&T will continue their World Cup quest on Sunday when they meet hosts Puerto Rico at Mayaquez while Guyana will remain in the Dominican Republic to face Bahamas on Tuesday, at Santo Domingo.
Watch Highlights of T&T's 3-0 Win over Guyana in opening WCQ
Watch Fenwick's Post-Match Comments following T&T's 3-0 win over Guyana
Watch Hyland: It's a Positive start to our World Cup campaign
Watch The morning after: Guyana captain Samuel Cox reflecting on TT vs Guyana.