|Trinidad & Tobago||Guatemala|
|Ronald Mauge (62')|
Nigel Pierre (74')
Nigel Pierre (89')
|2001-03-24||Hasely Crawford Stadium||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||10000|
Unimpressive T&T secure 3-1 win
|DENNIS LAWRENCE was not included in the line-up nor was Anthony Rougier, who was scheduled to arrive on the night of the match. And Shaka Hislop took in the action from the bench.|
The scene was the newly-refurbished Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday night. And the occasion was the Trinidad and Tobago senior national football teams final preparation game before their second-round Football Confederation World Cup final round qualifying match against Costa Rica Wednesday.
And playing an unfamiliar outfit and system, coach Ian Porterfields team outscored Guatemala 3-1.
The result was, T&T supporters will be hoping, the confidence booster for which coach Porterfield sought, after T&Ts 1-0 loss to Jamaica in their opening final World Cup qualifying game last month in Kingston.
But if the purpose of Saturday nights encounter was to settle the T&T starting side ahead of the Costa Rica clash, then things are still too unsettled.
Surprisingly, Joe Public defender Cyd Gray made his international debut for T&T in the right back position while his clubmate Stokely Mason was pushed into the left back position to make way for SV 07 Eversbergs Evans Wise in left midfield.
Wise was part of a five-man midfield that included W Connections Reynold Carrington, Bristol Rovers Ronnie Maugé, Joe Publics Angus Eve and Hibernians Russell Latapy. And Manchester United star striker Dwight played solo up front.
But the local players had not been allowed time to get accustomed to their new structure when the Guatemalans stunned them.
Only four minutes had elapsed since the initial blast of Richard Pipers whistle when a build-up down the left flank saw the tiny Freddy García squeeze the ball through three T&T defenders to find Uwaldo Perez unmarked at the top of the box. His one-time left-footed shot went screaming past Clayton Ince between the uprights for T&T and came to rest in the top right-hand vee.
Silenced by the Perez coup, the 10,000 strong crowd watched as the Soca Warriors struggled to come to terms with their new system.
Yorke, accustomed to the constant and accurate service of David Beckham and company at Old Trafford, was certainly lacking in quality crosses from Eve and Wise on either side of the pitch.
Most of Wises dribbling forays managed only to concede possession to the Guatemalan opponents.
But luckily, T&T did not have to depend solely on the Germany-based player for distribution.
Forced to bring the ball out of the defence for most of the first period, the creative Latapy fashioned a cross from the right Marvin Andrews headed against Josue Ortizs far post three minutes from the interval.
In an interview following the game, Yorke said harsh words were exchanged in the dressing room at the break.
Whatever happened at that juncture, T&T came out to net three times in the final half.
Maugé was set up by an Eve right-sided ball that the Guatemalans failed to clear three minutes after the resumption.
And Nigel Pierre, the in-form attacker in the T&Ts tours to Brazil and England, got a double.
But although five changes saw a not-too-pleased Latapy leave the field and afforded the spectators the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the hard-tackling and hard-working Brent Rahim in the middle, most of the fans were left unconvinced by their teams effort.
Even Yorke commented that he was not pleased with the teams general performance and that there was still a lot to be worked on before their next game against Costa Rica on Wednesday.
Unfortunately for Yorke and his team, there is little time to smooth out the rough edges. Perhaps too little, seemed to think the fans streaming out of the Stadium on Saturday night.
|64' Brent Rahim|
|10.||Russell Latapy (capt.)|
|64' Nigel Pierre|
|73' Stern John|
|64' Mickey Trotman|
|64'||Brent Rahim for Reynold Carrington|
|64'||Mickey Trotman for Evans Wise|
|64'||Nigel Pierre for Russell Latapy|
|73'||Stern John for Dwight Yorke|