Thu, Jan
Match Report
Mexico Trinidad & Tobago
Mexico T&T flag
 Hayden Tinto (46')

World Cup Qualifier
2009-06-10Estadío AztecaMexico City, Mexico92000

T&T go down in Mexico but still in the race

#10 Hayden Tinto, T&T's lone ranger.If it was one time T&T ever had a chance of stealing a point in Mexico it would have been tonight as Mexico was very vulnerable in defence, didn't put away their chances and didn't look too confident. But on the other hand, so too was T&T...

The "hexagonal" has reached its midpoint and Trinidad and Tobago will have to recap and come a lot better if they are to keep their World Cup 2010 hopes alive. At this moment the Soca Warriors is hanging by a thread and it looks impossible for them to reach South Africa. But as the Adidas commercial goes, Impossible is Nothing.

T&T remains in cellar-place of the 2010 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying series after a 2-1 defeat to Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico, on Wednesday night. A game that was all one-way traffic by the host, but- there was a few bright moments for Latapy's men. At half time T&T must have counted themselves lucky to be heading into their locker-room with a surprising 1-1 tie.

Striker Guillermo Franco took advantage of a T&T defensive blunder to send his side up 1-0 as early as the first minute of the game. From there on it was all Mexico, they piled attack on-top off attack on T&T's goal but the heroics of Clayton Ince kept the Mexican at bay and the scoreline a respectable one.

T&T defence was suspicious and nerve wrecking for most parts and Mexico took full advantage of that. Surprisingly the more experienced Keyeno Thomas was left on the bench and Makan Hislop along with newcomer Radanfah Abu-Bakr was caught in no man's land on many occasions. Though, both made some good close up saves they just couldn't keep up with the wing play of the Mexican team. Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Israel Castro was having a field day with T&T defence. While Alberto Medina was having target practice on Clayton Ince.

The Mexicans saw the inexperienced and slow pace in T&T's defensive duo and throughout the game they would attack down the wing especially down the left side (T&T's right side) finding huge gaps in T&T defence. But, the men in green did everything right except get on the score-sheet and it almost cost them as the visitors equalised on the stroke of half time.

Seconds before the halftime whistle blew T&T got a lifeline and from a source no one probably expected. Joe Public midfielder Hayden Tinto picked up on a loose ball and made no mistake as the former Malick winger slip pass two Mexican defenders before unleashing a right-footed blast inside the 18 that eluded goalkeeper Oscar Perez into the upper right corner to send T&T into the half with a 1-1 tie and Mexicans in disbelief.

Tinto's goal was not only refreshing but it will go down into the history books for T&T as it's the first ever goal scored by that nation in the Azteca. The former Caledonia AIA winger had more shots on goal than his £20million rated teammate Kenwyne Jones, who, by the way should have buried one pass Perez in the 37th minute when he got a clean pass from Keon Daniel who eluded his man with ease. Jones had the goal at his mercy but Oscar Perez managed to get his finger-tip on the ball before the big Sunderland striker could take a shot, the ball ricocheted off Jones and was heading into an open net, but goalscorer Oscar Rojas got there before the onrushing Tinto to stop the ball from entering into the goal.

The second half resumed and it was more or less the same, Mexico got of to a brilliant start again, and it took them only three minutes this time to get on the scoreboard. Midfielder Oscar Rojas scored with a 35-yard blast that eventually gave the Mexicans a 2-1 victory over the Soca Warriors and a win that revived El Tri’s World Cup hopes after a disappointing 2-1 defeat to T&T's next opponent El Salvador four days earlier.

After the match Mexican striker Nery Castillo told FIFA.COM - "I think we improved our performance from the last time out," said Castillo after the final whistle. "It's too bad we couldn't score more goals, but overall I am a happy man. We're not playing that badly and we won the game. That's all that matters, no matter what the journalists say."

As for T&T, in the early stages of the game Dwight Yorke had to work extra hard in bailing out his defence with many important tackles. The T&T captain was running on empty and started to fall off a bit coming to the end, but, the former Manchester United man still managed to be one of T&T's better midfielders of the night as Trent Noel was having an awful game, Keon Daniel held the ball too long and didn't make full use of the few chances he got. Christopher Birchall had some lost moments and could not contain his man.

Carlos Edwards was hesitant in his tackles and quite often escorted his marker into T&T defence. Marvin Andrews got beat for pace every time Mexico came forward, he looked a shadow of his old self but was still T&T's best defender of the night. Kenwyne Jones has an athletic built and at 6' - 2"- he could not escape his midget marker to even get a shot on goal.

Despite scoring the goal in only his second start for T&T, Tinto still needs to learn how to play the wing more effectively, but for a newcomer he can surely teach some of the older players a trick or two. On the other hand, Clayton Ince has gotten my vote for T&T's man of the match for saving us on numerous occasions - the score could have easily be in the double digits.

T&T did deserve some credit though as they fought to the end. They kept the result respectable and could have scored if they took advantage of the few opportunities that were created. But results are what really matter and the Soca Warriors will have two months to prepare (yes Latapy, a friendly or two might do T&T some good) and possibly find a solution to plug their leaky defence.

Coming off its first World Cup appearance, the Soca Warriors have three home games left, but included are meetings with the United States (Sept. 9) and Mexico (Oct. 14). The top three teams qualify, and forth-place meets the fifth-place nation from South America in a playoff.


Trinidad & Tobago: 1.Clayton Ince; 11.Carlos Edwards, 4.Marvin Andrews, 2.Makan Hislop, 3.Radanfah Abu-Bakr; 10.Hayden Tinto, 17.Dwight Yorke (capt), 7.Christopher Birchall, 8.Trent Noel (16.Silvio Spann 72nd), 9.Keon Daniel (13.Kerry Baptiste 80th); 15.Kenwyne Jones (6.Devon Jorsling 54th).

Subs not used: 14.Collin Samuel, 5.Keyeno Thomas, 21.Marvin Phillip, Densill Theobald, Khaleem Hyland.

Trinidad & Tobago Coach: Russell Latapy.

Mexico: 1.Oscar Perez, 2.Francisco Rodriguez, 3.Carlos Salcido, 5.Ricardo Osorio, 6.Oscar Rojas, 8.Israel Castro, 16.Carlos Esquivel (7.Alberto Medina 53rd), 18.Andres Guardado, 9.Nery Castillo (14.Miguel Sabah 35th), 10.Cuauhtemoc Blanco, 11.Guillermo Franco (17.Giovani Dos Santos 77th).

Mexico Coach: Javier Aguirre.

Final Score: - MEX 1 (Guillermo Franco 1st, Oscar Rojas 48th) v T&T 1 (Hayden Tinto 45th)

Compare 2005 - 2009 - Where are we.
2005 qualifiers

In 2005 T&T results after 5 games.

USA 2 v T&T 1
Guatemala 5 v T&T 1
T&T 0 v Costa Rica 0
T&T 2 v Panama 0
Mexico 2 v T&T 0

In 2005 T&T Standings after 5 games.

P  W  L  D  F  A  PTS
USA  5  4  1  0  11  3  12
Mexico 5  4  0  1  9  3  12
Costa Rica 5  2  2  1  6  8  7
Guatemala 5  1  3  1  7  8  4
T&T  5  1  3  1  6  9  4
Panama 5  0  3  2  2  8  2

2009 qualifiers

In 2009 T&T results after 5 games.

El Salvador 2 v T&T 2
T&T 1 v Honduras 1
USA 3 v T&T 0
T&T 2 v Costa Rica 3
Mexico 2 v T&T 1

In 2009 T&T Standings after 5 games.

P  W  L  D  F  A  PTS
Costa Rica 5  4  1  0  9  5  12
USA  5  3  1  1  10  6  10
Honduras  5  2  1  2  6  6  7
Mexico 5  2  3  0  6  8  6
El Salvador 5  1  2  2  6  7  5
Trinidad & Tobago 5  0  3  2  6  10  2

Player Ratings: Mexico 2-1 Trinidad

Mexico scored early in each half but failed to do much of anything else positive in a 2-1 win over Trinidad.'s Joel Aceves rates the players from both sides.

Perez – (5) El Conejo, aside from Tinto’s non-stop shot at goal, was rarely forced into action. 

Rojas – (7) El Kevin showed great improvement from his previous match perhaps because he seemed to have been prohibited to cross the ball. Still, Rojas was very active constantly linking up to the attack. Kevin rounded up his display with a GOLAZO that gave Mexico a very valuable three points.

Rodriguez – (5) A regular display from Maza Rodriguez who was rarely challenged by the Trinitarians. The PSV defender did well to filter passes from the back but came close to committing two costly mistakes which fortunately for him went unpunished.

Salcido – (5) Salcido’s once dangerous runs into attack seem to be a thing of the past.  The PSV defender was imprecise and benefited from a mediocre opponent.

Osorio – (5) The Stuttgart defender did not seem conformable when playing in center defense.  Given T&T’s lack of scoring opportunities Osorio did not have much to worry about.

Castro – (6) Took over the defensive midfield and did an overall good job containing the Trinidadians. 

Guardado – (4) Despite continuously beating his mark, failed to make the best of his chances. Allowed T&T to level the match with an awful back pass that set up Tinto.

Esquivel – (4) The Toluca midfielder proved to be too inexperienced, internationaly, to suit up for the Tricolor in a must win match at home. Esquivel was overcome by nerves and failed to show why he was one of the best players of the Claususra 09 season.

Blanco – (7) Showed his leadership skills with a very good work ethic. Blanco proved he still has what it takes to play a full 90 and was Mexico’s most consistent player. Failed to cap his performance with a goal but did well to fuel the Tricolor’s lackluster attack.

Castillo – (6) Set up Franco with a nice through pass to open the scoring. Unfortunately, a 35th minute injury forced Nery to abandon the field. A shame as he was beginning to look like he had regained his form.

Franco – (6) Scored on his first attempt at goal and then fizzled out. Guille, aside from one good pass to Blanco, spent too much time flopping on the ground. Proved why he is no longer needed at Villarreal.

Sabah – (4) The top Mexican scorer in the Clausura 09 season proved to be the worst striker in the Tricolor. Sabah, along with Ince, turned what should have been a lopsided score into a close match. This was Sabah’s moment to shine and he failed to live up to expectations.

Medina – (6) The speedy midfielder replaced Esquivel early in the second half giving Mexico a much needed boost in attack. El Venado seemed to ball-hog at times but was given very little option as Mexico’s attack was poor, could have done a better job shooting at goal.   

Giovani – (5) Gio had one good shot at goal and then that was it. Perhaps, twenty minutes in the field were not enough for him to get into rhythm.


Ince – (8]  Kept T&T from being ran to the ground with two key saves against Nery and Franco and then denied Blanco a much-deserved goal allowing the Soca Warriors to level the match. In the second-half Ince rose to the occasion with two more brilliant saves against Blanco and Giovani.

Abu – (4) Abu allowed the nervous Esquivel to go by him on at least three occasions and was later forced to run circles by second-half sub Medina. Abu received the only yellow card of the match; ruining what could have been T&T’s most clean game ever at the Azteca stadium.

Andrews – (5) Was burned early in the match by Nery’s no-look pass to Franco. Still, Andrews managed to hold down a very shaky defensive line that would have crumbled to pieces had it not been for an on-fire Ince and a very inaccurate Mexican offense.

Hislop – (5) Had a difficult time with Franco and Sabah, benefiting the most from their inaccuracy, but did not allow the Tricolor strikers to take better aim.

Birchall – (5) Defended to the best of his abilities and still managed to join the attack on a few occasions including a memorable shot straight to the Azteca stadium rafters.

Tinto – (6) The always lurking Tinto took advantage of Guardado’s terrible back pass to level the match.

Daniel – (5) Failed to take command in the middle of the field.

Jones – (5) Far from his usual strong self; a better performance by Jones could have helped Trinidad pull out historic draw.

Noel – (4) Failed to contain Guardado who was not even having a good game. Coach Latappy could have easily replaced him with an orange practice cone and it would have not made much difference.

Yorke – (4) The former Manchester United striker is now a shadow of the player he once was. The time has come for “the smiling assassin” to hang up his boots.

Edwards – (4) Seemed to lack faith in himself and was not as dangerous with the ball as he should have been.

Jorsling – (5) Virtually nonexistent in more than half-hour of action.

Spann – (5) Replaced Noel in the 71st minute and did a better job. Gave the Tricolor a few fits with his scrappy field play.

Baptiste – (5) Was non-factor in final 12 minutes as Mexico held the ball for most of that time.

1.Clayton Ince
3.Radanfah Abu Bakr Yellow Card 90 '
4.Marvin Andrews
2.Makan Hislop
7.Christopher Birchall
9.Subbed outKeon Daniel
 Subbed in 80' Kerry Baptiste
11.Carlos Edwards
8.Subbed outTrent Noel
 Subbed in 71' Silvio Spann
10.Hayden Tinto
17.Dwight Yorke (capt.)
15.Subbed outKenwyne Jones
 Subbed in 55' Devorn Jorsling
16.Silvio Spann
13.Kerry Baptiste
6.Devorn Jorsling
18.Marvin Phillip
5.Keyeno Thomas
14.Densill Theobald
12.Collin Samuel
 Russell Latapy
55'Subbed outSubbed inDevorn Jorsling for Kenwyne Jones
71'Subbed outSubbed inSilvio Spann for Trent Noel
80'Subbed outSubbed inKerry Baptiste for Keon Daniel
90'Yellow CardRadanfah Abu Bakr