|Trinidad & Tobago||Costa Rica|
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
|2016-11-11||Hasely Crawford Stadium||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||13345|
Costa Rica tame Trinidad and Tobago 2-0
CHRISTIAN BOLANOS and Ronald Matarrita scored second- half goals as Costa Rica inflicted a 2-0 beating on Trinidad and Tobago in their FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo last evening.
In the 65th minute, Bolanos was picked out inside the sixyard box by right-back Christian Gamboa after the TT defence were caught napping, and tapped into the vacant net.
And, in stoppage time, with the TT team seeking the equalising goal, they were caught on a counter-attack as Matarrita slotted his left-footed shot past TT goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.
With key TT playmaker Kevin Molino suspended by coach Stephen Hart, winger Jomal Williams was brought in to the starting line-up, for his seventh international cap.
Costa Rica were steady in the first half, but they had a good chance to open the scoring in the fourth minute, with left-back Francisco Quesada sending a free-kick narrowly wide from the left.
Trinidad and Tobago’s strategy was clear from the onset, with long balls from the back to Cordell Cato and Joevin Jones on the flanks, who were then given the license to attack the Costa Rica wingbacks.
However, the Costa Ricans, coached by Oscar Ramirez, decided to double-team the TT wingers whenever the chances arose.
TT centre-back Sheldon Bateau, in the 19th, stayed up from a Khaleem Hyland corner and met a cross from the midfielder; however his header went wide from the mark.
Jomal Williams had a subdued first half showing, but he had an opportunity to score in the 32nd.
Right-back Daneil Cyrus swung a cross which was missed by Kenwyne Jones, but Williams swiveled and unleashed a right-footed volley which went overbar.
TT goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams was called into action in the 39th, as he produced a fine close-range save to deny Kendall Watson’s header.
The visitors were forced to make a change three minutes later with Quesada, who suffered a right ankle injury during a setplay, having to be replaced by Michael Umana.
Seven minutes into the second half, Joevin Jones, in one of his many runs down the right, sent in a ball across the face of goal, beyond the reach of Kenwyne Jones and Jomal Williams.
In the 65th, Costa Rica broke the deadlock – Cato and left-back Aubrey David were in a virtual tangle on the flank and Gamboa received a return ball from Bryan Ruiz. Gamboa got himself in the penalty box and squared the ball past Jan-Michael Williams, with Bolanos collecting it and slotting home from three metres out.
Hart rang in the changes, bringing in Andre Boucaud, Levi Garcia and Willis Plaza – for Jomal Williams, Cato and a subdued Kenwyne Jones respectively – the Plaza change for the TT skipper brought a near standing ovation from the estimated 13,000 TT fans at the venue.
TT showed more impetus in attack with stopper Carlyle Mitchell, who remained up front after a set piece, forcing a magnificent save from Keylor Navas in the 69th while, from the defensive clearance, Costa Rica substitute forward Joel Campbell narrowly missed his left-footed shot, with Jan-Michael Williams beaten.
With seconds ticking, Costa Rica got the killer goal.
Campbell teed up Bolanos in a counter-attack and Bolanos evaded a challenge from Boucaud and found Matarrita, who duly finished from inside the penalty box, to the delight of the hundreds of vocal Costa Rica fans in attendance.
Also in the Final Round, Panama earned a 1-0 victory away to Honduras, with a 22nd minute freekick from Fidel Mendieta.
The United States were due to host Mexico on the other match last night.
Trinidad and Tobago – 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 4.Sheldon Bateau, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 12.Carlyle Mitchell,7.Cordell Cato (16.Levi Garcia, 74′), 2.Aubrey David; 19.Kevan George; 8.Khaleem Hyland, 3.Joevin Jones; 23.Jomal Williams (14.Andre Boucaud, 66′), 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain) (13.Willis Plaza, 78′).
Subs not used : 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 10.Marcus Joseph, 11.Ataulla Guerra, 15.Neveal Hackshaw, 17.Jelani Peters, 18.Yohance Marshall, 20.Trevin Caesar.
Head Coach: Stephen Hart
Costa Rica – 1.Keylor Navas (GK); 19.Kendall Waston, 2.Johnny Acosta, 15.Francisco Calvo (4.Michael Umaña, 42′); 16.Christian Gamboa, 5.Celso Borges, 14.Randall Azofeifa, 22.Ronald Matarrita; 10.Bryan Ruiz (captain) (11.Johan Venegas, 77′), 21.Marcos Ureña (12.Joel Campbell, 57′), 7.Christian Bolanos.
Subs not used : 18.Patrick Pemberton (GK), 23.Leonel Moreira (GK), 3.Jose Salvatierra, 6.Pablo Salazar, 8.Bryan Oviedo, 9.Ariel Rodriguez, 13.Rodney Wallace, 17.Yeltsin Tejeda, 20.Davis Guzman.
Head Coach: Oscar Ramirez
Referee: Oscar Moncada (Honduras)
|4.||Sheldon Bateau 59 '|
|75' Levi Garcia|
|67' Andre Boucaud|
|9.||Kenwyne Jones (capt.)|
|79' Willis Plaza|
|6.||Radanfah Abu Bakr|
|67'||Andre Boucaud for Jomal Williams|
|75'||Levi Garcia for Cordell Cato|
|79'||Willis Plaza for Kenwyne Jones|