Thu, Sep
Match Report
Cuba Trinidad & Tobago
Cuba T&T flag
 Cornell Glen (13')

Digicel Cup
2005-02-22Waterford National StadiumBridgetown, Barbados2100

Only a convincing win will do it

A draw will do the job but only a convincing victory will be able to restore some pride for the current Senior national team in their closing Digicel Caribbean Cup fixture against Barbados on Thursday.

Following Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Cuba, the T&T footballers left themselves needing a draw to advance as the third placed team in the Caribbean to advance to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup as they hold a better goal average than the host nation which they meet from 8pm at the National Stadium.  Later on Tuesday Jamaica got an early goal from Andy Williams to beat Barbados 1-0.

Cuba and Jamaica will fight it out for the first place honours and US$100,000 from 6pm. A third place finish for T&T will see them take home US$20,000.

Yet another disappointing result followed on Tuesday as coach Bertille St Clair’s team, after taking the lead through Cornell Glen, gave up another soft goal and were made to pay early in the second half as Lester More scored what turned out to be the winner in a scrappy affair for T&T.

To add salt to the already wounded ‘Warriors”  defender Cyd Gray suffered a serious knee injury and had to be taken to hospital and will miss Thursday’s match while Derek King pulled up with a hamstring and is also out of the final game. Prior to that defender Marlon Rojas and Nigel Pierre also missed Tuesday’s loss and will both me missing in action on Thursday.

King had to be taken off after 35 minutes, replaced by Gray and St Clair stuck with the 3-5-2 formation as T&T struggled to gain any momentum  while the Cubans exploited the open spaces. All that followed a promising start by T&T after Glen struck a neat shot home from the right of the box in the 13th minute following a pass by David Nakhid, who played the entire match with a head bandage following a cut above the eye in the previous outing.

Then a lapse by Duarance Williams, failing to get back on his line following a clearance, allowed More to sink a long range effort  from close to 40 metres out as the stranded ‘keeper failed to get back in position on 23 minutes.

Moments before Nakhid’s left side inswinging corner forced Jaime Valencia to head off the goal line. Some desperate defending, particularly by Anton Pierre, kept Cuba at bay.

But it didn’t take long after the resumption for the eventual winner to come as Lester More ran onto a right side pass, free as a bird, to shoot past Williams. From there on, T&T, still with the same formation, could hardly catch themselves against the now hot running Cubans.

Glen’s one time volley went straight at Odelin Molina in the 60th and a late shot which dipped just as it went over bar from substitute striker Conrad Smith was as much as T&T would see of the opposing goal. Before that fellow forward Scott Sealy also found chances hard to come by.

Leslie Fitzpatrick and Densill Theobald, along with Lyndon Andrews ran hard but hardly gained controlled in the middle of the park. Not even the late introduction of experienced midfielder Angus Eve could whip up something for T&T in attack.

Added to that, some  calls from Guyanese Referee Stanley Lancaster left the T&T contingent furious at times and this led to a couple stoppages as the players ganged up against each other. T&T defender Keyeno Thomas and Lyndon Andrews came out with yellow cards to finish off a miserable evening for St Clair’s men.

T&T line up: Duarance Williams, Anton Pierre, Keyeno Thomas, Derek King (Cyd Gray, 35th)  Lyndon Andrews, Leslie Fitzpatrick (Angus Eve, 74th)  David Nakhid, Jose Seabra,  Densill Theobald, Cornell Glen, Scott Sealy (Conrad Smith, 75th)

1.Daurance Williams
6.Subbed outDerek King
 Subbed in 36' Cyd Gray
16.Anton Pierre
5.Keyeno Thomas Yellow Card 38 '
4.Lyndon Andrews Yellow Card 81 '
7.Subbed outLeslie Fitzpatrick
 Subbed in 74' Angus Eve
12.David Nakhid Yellow Card 45 '
10.Jose Seabra
11.Densill Theobald
13.Cornell Glen
9.Subbed outScott Sealy
 Subbed in 75' Conrad Smith
19.Cyd Gray
8.Angus Eve
14.Conrad Smith
 Bertille St. Clair
36'Subbed outSubbed inCyd Gray for Derek King
74'Subbed outSubbed inAngus Eve for Leslie Fitzpatrick
75'Subbed outSubbed inConrad Smith for Scott Sealy
38'Yellow CardKeyeno Thomas
45'Yellow CardDavid Nakhid
81'Yellow CardLyndon Andrews