|Trinidad & Tobago||Costa Rica|
FIFA World Cup™ Qualifier
|2005-03-30||Hasely Crawford Stadium||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||8000|
Now Warriors make a point
|The T&T soccer Warriors earned their first point in the final round
CONCACAF qualifiers towards the 2006 World Cup in Germany with a
goalless draw against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in
Having been beaten 2-1 by the USA and 5-1 by Guatemala in their first two matches, the pressure was on the Bertille St Clair-coached Warriors to get at least a point from yesterday’s home match, which they eventually did to the satisfaction of the 12,000 fans.
Both teams took a cautious approach with the new-look T&T back-line of Dennis Lawrence, Atiba Charles and Anton Pierre looking a little nervous.
Gradually, though, the Warriors began to seize control with midfielders Angus Eve, Dwight Yorke and Silvio Spann spearheading the attack against the visitors.
But the Costa Ricans were the ones who almost grabbed a lead in the 21st minute, only to be denied by T&T goalkeeper Clayton Ince, who replaced Shaka Hislop in the starting line-up.
From a rare move forward, Costa Rica midfielder Walter Centeno centred to Whayne Wilson. But with Charles closing in on the play, Wilson dummied for an unmarked Alonso Solis on the left edge of the 18-yard box. However, goalie Ince was quickly off his line and kept out the effort with his feet.
Two minutes later, Ince came to his team’s rescue again as he raced off his line to intercept a long ball intended for the speedy Wilson.
Time and time again, T&T players Yorke, Carlos Edwards and Stern John found space around Costa Rica’s 18-yard box, but on every occasion the Warriors chose to give up the chance of shooting at goal to a teammate who was in a much more difficult position to score.
This proved to be the only hindrance in an otherwise better showing by the T&T players — compared with their performance against Guatemala — as they had to wait until six minutes before half-time for their first real chance at goal, mainly through the determination of defender Charles.
Charles made full use of room given to him down the Costa Rica left side but his squared pass to a waiting Cornell Glenn was intercepted by a desperate tackle from Costa Rica captain Luis Marin.
Within the blink of an eye, Charles was sent free down the right flank again, this time after working a clever one-two with Angus Eve, but his lay-off in the Costa Ricans’ penalty area was dragged over the by-line by an out-of-sort John, and the teams went into the interval without either getting the elusive goal.
On the resumption, the T&T footballers struggled to regain their rhythm and it was not until the inclusion of substitutes Hector Sam and Nigel Pierre for Carlos Edwards and Glenn that T&T seemed capable of breaching the Ticos’ defence with telling effect.
Pierre almost became an instant hero when he managed to get his head onto a pin-point cross from Eve on the right side, but his header was kept out, just barely, by goalkeeper Alvaro Mesen, diving low down to his right.
Yorke then had a chance to get a winner for T&T, but his one-time effort on the turn from Sam’s feed was deflected for a corner to the relief of Mesen.
With the minutes ticking away, Stern John, who struggled all day, tried to snatch a late winner but after being picked out for a pass by a workmanlike Yorke, his left-footed blast was saved by Mesen. T&T next plays Panama at home on June 4.
Speaking to the Guardian following the match, coach St Clair said he was happy with the point gained by his team and said it is indicative of progress.
Costa Rica: Christian Badilla, Walter Centeno, Leonardo Gonzalez, Luis Marin, Gilberto Martiniez, Alvaro Mesen, Oscar Rojas (Paulo Wanchope 67th), Douglas Sequeira, Alonso Solis (Carlos Hernandez 50th), Whayne Wilson (Andy Herron 65th), Harold Wallace
Subs not used: Pablo Chinchilla, Roy Myrie, Jose Fco Porras Geiner Douglas
T&T: Clayton Ince, Dennis Lawrence, Atiba Charles, Anton Pierre, Marlon Rojas, Silvio Spann (Leslie Fitzpatrick 63rd), Angus Eve, Carlos Edwards (Hector Sam 71st), Dwight Yorke, Cornell Glenn (Nigel Pierre 72nd), Stern John
Subs not used: Shaka Hislop, Kenwyne Jones, Brent Sancho, Nigel Henry.
|71' Hector Sam|
|8.||Angus Eve 6 '|
|9.||Silvio Spann 49 '|
|63' Leslie Fitzpatrick|
|19.||Dwight Yorke (capt.)|
|74' Nigel Pierre|
|Bertille St. Clair|
|63'||Leslie Fitzpatrick for Silvio Spann|
|71'||Hector Sam for Carlos Edwards|
|74'||Nigel Pierre for Cornell Glen|