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22
Wed, May

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Trinidad and Tobago unveiled a new scoring talent but his exploits on Wednesday evening were not enough to prevent the hosts from going down 4-3 to Costa Rica's Olympic team in a friendly at the Marvin Lee Stadium.


Defence Force striker Kevon Carter scored a hattrick on his debut for T&T in front of an appreciative crowd of around 2000 fans in what was a warm up for both nations ahead of their upcoming second round Olympic qualifying matches. T&T got one of it's better starts in recent international outings as the Carter and Kendall Davis combination yielded two goals in the 10th and 35th minutes to give T&T a 2-0 cushion. But the "Ticos" struck just before the break and then jumped to a 4-2 lead with further items in the 48th, 63rd and 65th minutes to shock the home fans who were earlier treated to some attractive play from their "Soca Warriors."

The Costa Ricans made the early threats with some dangerous balls around the T&T penalty box and a poor pass at the back by Silvio Spann allowed Warren Granados to test goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams in the 9th minute.

Inside the next minute though, the homeside struck the first blow. A neat combination saw Davis slipping one through to a swift moving Carter who rounded advancing goalie Daniel Rodriguez before slotting home to the delight of the fans.

Pablo Brennes and Carlos Hernandez forced Williams into good saves in the 12th and 20th minutes but it was T&T who went narrowly close to finding the net This time Davis was sent through on the right of the box but could only look on as his low right footer went agonizingly wide of the left post.

Midfielder Michael Celestine delighted with the crowd when he skilfully rounded two players in succession on the left flank only to have his chip taken by the 'keeper before any of his onrushing teammates could make contact.

A minute later though, there was cause for more celebrations in the T&T camp. Davis collected on the left halfway inside the opposition half and sent a pin point ball for a lurking Carter who met it atop the box and raced goalwards, beating the advancing 'keeper before nailing home for a 2-0 advantage. The cheers in the stands was maybe the loudest heard by the T&T faithful in some time.

Costa Rica had their best attack of the half four minutes before half time and it brought the best out of 'keeper Williams.

First up Ulises Morera forced Williams to push out his effort which saw the loose ball fall for Jairo Arrieta whose effort was kept out by a diving custodian and before the T&T defenders could catch themselves, Oscar Seravallo rifled another drive from atop the box which left Williams sprawling to deny the "Ticos".

But the pressure broke T&T at the back as the defence was caught napping and Morera collected free on the right edge of the box and had enough time to cut in and place his shot away from Williams to leave the scores at 2-1 after 45 minutes.

It was just the break the visitors were hoping for as they came back out with renewed vigour and took control of proceedings.

Good movement on the left saw a cross come over to Arrieta who hit home from close range for the equalizer.Then captain Pablo Salazar silenced the Centre when he unleashed a bullet from about 25 yards out which kept going away from Williams and into the left corner of the net. T&T's misery was far from over as two minutes later, Hernandez drilled a low one which took a miserable deflection on its way past a stranded Williams. The game lost momentum as T&T struggled to gain in attack and the visitors realized the game was theirs for the taking as they sat back and seemed contented with the two goal lead.

T&T came to life again in the closing quarter with Davis failing to capitalize on a good build up as he turned a header wide from close range. Carter then showed him just how it should be done when he coolly slotted another one home from inside the box with five minutes left on the clock.

Disappointing to fall following the two-goal advantage but all in all it was an improved showing from T&T particularly after the 3-0 loss in Heredia a month ago.

“We lost concentration at important times in the game,” pointed out coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier. “We had a much more even share of the game than we usually do at that level,” he added. “It was much more balanced in terms of ball possession. However, I was disappointed with the result. “In the end, it is about the result. But I am trying my best along with the technical staff to develop a winning team playing good football.

“I believe that we lost because we were not as consistent in the second-half as we were in the first. After leading 2-0, we conceded a goal on the stroke of half-time due to lack of concentration.

“In the second-half, we took abut 20 minutes to settle and we lost the game in that period. We need to improve in terms of our maturity at that level.” T&T was off to a swift start when Carter rifled a one-timer from just outside the area past goalkeeper Harry Morera, after nine minutes play. The goal came as a result of a good build-up from the defence. The goal injected confidence in the local youngsters, as they created more scoring opportunities after stringing together several passes.

“There was definitely some signs of improvement in our play at that level,” stated coach Charles-Fevrier. “Although we lost the game, the supporters did not make negative remarks. I think they saw something that we could work with. “Our major problem at the moment is the length of time we have to work with the players. We only have one session a week. It is clear that the team would be much more productive if the staff has more training time with the players. “We feel that with more training time the progress of the team would be much faster.”

Final Score:
T&T 3 vs 4 Costa Rica.

T&T Goal Scorer:
Kevin Carter 10th, 35th, 85th.

Costa Rica Goal Scorers:
Ulises Morera, Jairo Arrieta, Pablo Salazar, Carlos Hernandez.

Venue:
Marvin Lee Stadium - Trinidad.

T&T Line-Up:
Jan-Michael Williams, Lyndon Diaz, Ronald Primus, Julius James (Nigel Daniel 46th), Devon Caseman (Anton Joseph 84th), Silvio Spann (capt), Michael Celestine (Errol Charles 46th), Josh Johnson, Kerry Baptiste (Andre Toussaint 70th), Kendall Davis (Shelton Williams 84th), Kevon Carter.

Costa Rica Line-Up:
Harry Morera, Pablo Salazar (capt), Gabriel Badilla (Michael Umana 42nd), Greivin Portugues, Jose Villalobos (Michael Rodriguez 89th), Pablo Brenes, Warren Granados (Randall Azofeifa 77th), Oscar Seravalli (Leonardo Araya 42nd), Carlos Hernandez, Ulises Morera (Daniel Jiminez 74th), Jairo Arrieta (Fibiany Garcia 89th).