Thu, May
Match Report
Costa Rica Trinidad & Tobago
Costa Rica T&T flag

World Cup Qualifier
2005-09-07Estadío Ricardo SaprissaSan José, Costa Rica17000

Warriors still in it despite loss in San Jose

This country remained with their destiny in their own hands after Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium, San Jose, a result which left the ‘Warriors’ in fifth spot on seven points, one behind Guatemala who earned a point at home to United States.

Leo Beenhakker’s team must now beat Panama away from home on October 8 and also pull off a win at home to Mexico if they are to at least finish fourth and take the playoff spot. At the same time, they must also hope that Mexico overcomes Guatemala at home next match. Consecutive wins for T&T will leave them on 13 points, while Costa Rica (13 points) following their next outing with the USA, will travel to Guatemala in their final game possibly looking for a win to confirm third place which sets the stage for a gruelling affair there on October 12. Panama meantime are virtually out of it.

Before 18,000 fans, T&T went for the win and could consider themselves a bit unfortunate with not coming away with at least a point as they dominated the closing stages of the first half where they could have grabbed the lead with Chris Birchall and Marvin Andrews getting chances.

T&T had also  gone into the game without defender Brent Sancho who pulled up with a hamstring injury following training on the eve of the game.

The visitors had a bit of home tonic as the support drummed up by CLICO and TSTT saw close to 130 T&T fans in white with flags and all occupying one of the bottom stands near the corner spot and the Laventille Rhythm Section was heard throughout the tight venue despite the large amount of Costa Ricans on hand.

From the opposite end of the Stadium where T&T President Maxwell Richards was seated, the sounds of iron and horn was also heard and at one point it dominated as T&T’s  play silenced the home fans.

But in the end, the home-side did what mattered most, they got the goals and it left Beenhakker’s men in a desperate do or die situation. Alvaro Saborio got the opener from close range after T&T failed to deal with an incoming ball from Ronald Gomez on 14 minutes  Then Costa Rica got a free kick even though the adjudged foul looked doubtful and Walter Centeno curled a bullet past Kelvin Jack  in the 50th minute.

T&T controlled the last few minutes of the first half with Birchall forcing the ‘keeper to push over bar and Andrews somehow failing to direct his effort home from a left side ball. Substitute Jason Scotland also had a left footed volley go just wide of the near left post. Jack also had to pull off a couple timely saves to prevent T&T from falling further behind.

“Yea, obviously it means that we must go and win our next two games against Panama and Mexico. It is still in our hands and that is the most important thing for us right now,” Beenhakker said.

“Once again we conceded an early goal but we didn’t give up and we created our chances but we did not put them away and when you do that and the other team puts their chance away, you pay the price for it. But all is not lost and we still have a good chance of going through.”

The T&T dressing room had disappointment written all over it following the match but the contingent, including Latapy was still upbeat over the chances in the next two games.

“It was  a good game of football. We wanted to come here and see if we could win the game because that was the only way could qualify directly. But Costa Rica got an early goal and that made it quite difficult for us. Then we came out in the second half thinking that we had to go for it and then they got the second goal to leave us chasing the game. That made it difficult from there on,” Latapy told TTFF Media.

Yorke on the other hand, felt T&T should have capitalized on the stages of the game when they had the Costa Ricans on the backfoot.

“It was a very difficult game and we always knew it would be like that. Costa Rica got off to a perfect start at a time when we trying not to concede a goal. All in all Costa Rica maybe deserved the win. It’s still very close. Costa Rica got the result they wanted and maybe a win or  draw in their next game will take them to the World Cup. Now it’s Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala left fighting for the fourth spot and we definitely are still in with a very good chance of realizing the dream,” Yorke said.

The T&T contingent returns home via Miami on Thursday while the overseas-based pros return to their respective destinations.

21.Kelvin Jack
4.Marvin Andrews
13.Ian Cox
6.Dennis Lawrence
7.Christopher Birchall Yellow Card 39 '
11.Carlos Edwards
10.Russell Latapy
16.Subbed outSilvio Spann
 Subbed in 70' Scott Sealy
9.Subbed outAurtis Whitley
 Subbed in 59' Jason Scotland
19.Dwight Yorke (capt.)
14.Stern John
20.Jason Scotland
8.Scott Sealy
1.Neil Hislop
2.David Charles
24.Cyd Gray
23.Glenton Wolfe
18.Densill Theobald
 Leo Beenhakker
59'Subbed outSubbed inJason Scotland for Aurtis Whitley
70'Subbed outSubbed inScott Sealy for Silvio Spann
39'Yellow CardChristopher Birchall