Sun, Oct
Match Report
Haiti Trinidad & Tobago
Haiti T&T flag
 Steve David (15')

FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
1973-12-04Stade Sylvio CatorPort-au-Prince, Haiti12816

We were robbed

If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would not believe it. Trinidad and Tobago scored five times and should have gotten a penalty in each session but lost 1-2 to Haiti in a very one-sided match at the Sylvia Cator Stadium here last night. They say goals win matches. This is one time they didn’t.

I know it will be hard for the pessimistic fans home to believe. But our boys played over through and around the home team from start to finish so much so that Philippe Vorbe, voted Player of the tournament in Trinidad two years ago, looked like an ordinary schoolboy and even the Haitian people hardly noticed that he voluntarily left the field eight minutes before time.

Perhaps it was voodoo working against us but for those who do not care for the supernatural, I can blame it on the very strange decisions of referee Jose Enrique (El Salvador) and James Higuet (Canada).

They virtually nailed us to the cross. Because of last night, the team which played like champs are now likely to return home as chumps.

Henrique who does not understand a word of English, decided it was a goal in the 12th minute when a long throw from Winston Phillips landed in the net after brushing off a Haiti defender. It looked legal to me and to the referee on the spot. But with the ball ready to be kicked off, Haitians in the crowd drew the players attention to the fact that the linesman Higuet’s flag was up. I do not know what Higuet could have said but his action, signifying that the goalie had been jostled were strange since Rudy Roberts was the only player close enough to worry the goalie and did nothing of the sort suddenly found favour with the referee whom I repeat had been on the spot and had said goal.

This was just the first of many strange decisions which caused players and officials to be in tears when the final whistle came and many Haitians to line the streets and cheer us on the way back to the hotel.

At the time of the first disallowed goal, TT was trailing 0-1 on a ninth minute goal from Emmanuel Sanon - his third of the series. He was on spot to tap home a low cross from right winger Claude Bartholomew which had eluded the TT defenders.

Two minutes after this setback, however, Steve David notched the second goal of the series to win a case of beer bet with one of TT’s leading pessimists ‘Short Mikey’ from Belmont. Archibald went up the left flank and sent over a low pass for David to do the rest.

That was the signal for an all out onslaught on the Haiti goal. In the 30th minute, another Phillips throw tweaked goalie Henri Francillon fingers and landed in the net. No goal, of course.

Seconds later, a Cummings crack had Francillon diving to hold and the same player shot off a bullet from about 20 yards which was back in play off the upright before Francillion could move.

It was really vintage soccer and Archibald made the unofficial half time score 4-1 by heading in the ball after Cummings had taken it to the line before squaring it back. Why was it disallowed? Ask linesman Higuet. He ruled offside.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first. The midfield trio of Douglas, Moraldo and Cummings so dominated play that Haiti had only two cracks from well outside the box before getting the winner during a scrimmage in the 87th minute from left winger Roger St Vin.

In the 61st minute a Roberts’ flick bounced off Francillon’s shoulder and fell on an obliging Steve David head. Again the decision went against us. It was ruled a foul on the goalie.

After the match everyone was sympathetic towards us. But who cared. We were robbed for sure. No hand shake will change that.

“I will never forget this night as long as I live,” said English professional coach Kevin Verity.

Ron Newman, coach of the US pro soccer team Dallas Tornado also had a comment. “You can quote me on this. You were robbed. I have never seen anything like this in my life.”

Needless to say our boys are disgruntled. Some are saying they are not feeling to play any more. I can understand that feeling. It was real tough luck...”

 Kelvin Barclay
 Selris Figaro
 Dennis Morgan
 Selwyn Murren (capt.)
 Winston Phillips
 Lawrence Rondon
 Everald Cummings
 Anthony Douglas
 Warren Archibald
 Steve David
 Subbed outRaymond Roberts
 Subbed in 83' Wilfred Cave
 Kevin Verity
83'Subbed outSubbed inWilfred Cave for Raymond Roberts