Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Men’s team broke their five-game winless streak with a 1-0 victory over Haiti in a closed-door training match at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale on Friday evening.
T&T head coach Stephen Hart switched around his players entering the match, giving US-based forward Rundell Winchester a start on the left as well as Columbus Crew midfielder Kevan George in the midfield. Midfield duo Andre Boucaud and Khaleem Hyland along with skipper Kenwyne Jones were not used from the start.
Also in the T&T start team were Cordell Cato, Mekeil Williams, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Sheldon Bateau, Joevin Jones, Ataullah Guerra and Daneil Cyrus.
Winchester was gunning out the blocks from very early and set T&T up for the started they would have wanted. The Tobago-born player collected the ball near the half line on the left and left his man for dead before playing one over for a lurking Plaza to direct the ball into the right corner of the net for a T&T 1-0 lead on five minutes.
T&T didn’t see much more goalmouth action for the opening half against a decent Haitian side which included several of their overseas-based players. In their starting eleven was France-based goalkeeper and captain Johnny Placide, midfielder Jean Sony Alcenat of Romanian club Steaua Bucuresti, James Marcelin of Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Polish-based midfielder Donald Guerrier and defender Reginal Goreux of Russian Premier League club Rostov.
The Haitians did manage a couple scoring chances of their own, forcing goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams into action but nothing that would trouble the T&T custodian.
Hart allowed Marvin Phillip some time in goal for the second half while Jones and Jonathan Glenn entered in the 56th minute with Keron Cummings, Hyland, Boucaud, Kadeem Corbin and Yohance Marshall also getting play time.
Jones shot straight at Placide on his first look at goal and then dragged another effort wide as he made his presence felt in the Haitian box. Jones also played one in for an onrushing Glenn but he placed his attempt wide of the near left post. Cummings forced Placide to push away his left footed shot and Hyland’s free kick from atop the box flashed wide of the upright as T&T forced the Haitians on the backfoot for a large period midway through the second half.
Overall it was a solid display by T&T that left Hart with a positive vibe at the end.
“It was a game of two halves really. The first half we were very compact. We were organized and we didn’t give up many chances but when we did win the ball, our ball speed and possession was at times too erratic. We didn’t really build well,” Hart told TTFA Media.
“But in the second half it was almost completely different. We defended well and we pushed the ball forward quickly and we got players up in numbers to support it. We had a quite a few chances which was good,” Hart added.
“I’m pleased with the fact that we created chances out of good, solid defending, knowing how to recover the ball and hopefully come game time those chances will be tucked away,” he added.
T&T will have two more days of training in Fort Lauderdale before heading to Chicago on Tuesday for its opening Gold Cup clash against Guatemala on July 9th.
Trinidad and Tobago: - 21.Jan-Michael Williams (1.Marvin Phillip 46th); 5.Daneil Cyrus (18.Yohance Marshall 56th), 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 17.Mekeil Williams; 11.Ataullah Guerra (8.Khaleem Hyland 46th), 19.Kevan George (14.Andre Boucaud 56th), 3.Joevin Jones (9.Kenwyne Jones 56th), 13.Cordell Cato (20.Keron Cummings 56th), 10.Willis Plaza (7.Jonathan Glenn 56th), 16.Rundell Winchester (12.Kadeem Corbin).
Unused subs: 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 2.Aubrey David, 15.Dwane James.
Coach: Stephen Hart.
Haiti: - 1.Johny Placide; 5.Jean Pierre, 2.Jean Sony Alcenat, 6.Frantz Bertin, 4.Kim Jaggy, 8.Reginal Goreux, 7.Wilde-Donald Guerrier, 11.Pascal Millien, 14.James Marcelin, 16.Jean-Marc Alexandre, 9.Kervens Belfort.
Coach: - Marc Collat.
VIDEO: - TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO VS HAITI