Uruguay warmed up for the Copa America Centenario with a win over Trinidad and Tobago in Montevideo.
A first-half brace from Edinson Cavani lifted Uruguay to a 3-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago in their international friendly in Montevideo on Friday.
In the absence of injured Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, Cavani scored once from the penalty spot and another from close range to inspire Uruguay to victory in the Copa America Centenario warmup clash at Estadio Centenario.
The brace also meant the Paris Saint-Germain striker - fresh off winning another domestic treble in France - moved above Hector Scarone into third in the all-time scorers list for Uruguay with 32 goals from 81 appearances.
Fiorentina midfielder Matias Vecino rounded off the result early in the second half, after Uruguay was forced to come from behind following Jomal Williams' early opener for Trinidad and Tobago.
The contest was Uruguay's only warmup game for the upcoming Copa America Centenario in the United States, where the side will face Mexico, Venezuela and Jamaica in Group C.
Uruguay came out of the blocks firing and took the lead inside just two minutes courtesy of a superb Carlos Sanchez strike, but the Monterrey winger - who missed his side's Liga MX final to play in the friendly fixture - was incorrectly ruled offside.
However, Trinidad and Tobago managed to take a surprise lead just five minutes later.
Shahdon Winchester won a challenge against Mauricio Victorino, and the forward played in Williams whose first-time shot was clinical, beating goalkeeper Martin Silva.
The goal rattled the home side, and it was not until the 25th minute that Uruguay found a way back into the game when Nicolas Lodeiro intercepted Sanchez's curling shot, before winning a penalty following Weslie John's foul in the area.
Cavani stood up to dispatch the spot kick in emphatic fashion, smashing it straight down the middle of the goal.
Sanchez came close to scoring directly from a corner, but Trinidad and Tobago keeper Marvin Phillip produced a brilliant save to deny the embarrassment.
However, just six minutes later, his good work came undone as Cavani was on hand to slot home a rebound after Phillip mistimed his attempt to punch the ball clear.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez decided to make three changes at the break, taking off the attacking trio of Cavani, Lodeiro and Sanchez for Cristhian Stuani, Gaston Ramirez and Matias Corujo.
Bordeaux forward Diego Rolan remained on the pitch and the 23-year-old set up Matias Vecino for his first international goal and Uruguay's third in the 52nd minute with a close-range tap in.
Uruguay continued to threaten throughout the second half and launched several dangerous attacks, with Ramirez going closest with a brilliantly executed volley, but the Trinidad and Tobago defense held firm to keep the score line at a respectable margin.
South American giant Uruguay opens its Copa America campaign against Mexico on June 5, before facing Venezuela (June 9) and Jamaica (June 13) as the side searches for a record 16th title.
Warriors strike first but Uruguay complete 3-1 win.
Trinidad and Tobago stunned the number 9th ranked team in the world with a sixth minute opening goal from midfielder Jomal Williams but it turned out to be their only celebratory moment of the match as Uruguay forced themselves back into the contest to come away 3-1 winners in Friday night’s International Friendly at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo.
Playing before just about 10,000 fans, T&T surged ahead in the 7th when the DirecTV W Connection attacking duo of Shahdon Winchester and Williams combined for a nicely orchestrated goal. Winchester challenged for a high ball that was played forward for T&T and he got it at its feet before looking up and laying off on his right for an onrushing Williams to clinically sidefoot past Martin Silva for a 1-0 lead.
The early goal settled T&T as Uruguay were left trying to regroup from the unexpected setback.
But even in the absence of injured Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, the hosts began to find their rhythm and struck back through Paris St-Germain striker Edinson Cavani who tied the scores with a 26th minute penalty.
Stephen Hart started with Andre Boucaud, Levi Garcia, Khaleem Hyland and Williams in the middle along with Winchester and debutant Nathan Lewis. The defence comprises of Daneil Cyrus, Triston Hodge, Aubrey David and Weslie John with Marvin Phillip in goal. The players coming into the line up from the 4-0 loss to Peru, seemed to be signaling from early that they had every intention of showing their worth at the historic venue which was built for the staging of the first ever World Cup in 1930.
Three minutes from half-time however, with defender Tristan Hodge receiving treatment on the sideline, Cavani punished the T&T defense for failing to clear and he shot past a hapless Marvin Phillip from inside the penalty box. The brace for Cavani moved above Hector Scarone into third in the all-time scorers list for Uruguay with 32 goals from 81 appearances.
Fiorentina midfielder Matias Vecino pushed Uruguay 3-1 ahead in the 61st minute as the hometeam found themselves in the driver’s seat from that point. T&T had some good moments after that but couldn’t break the Uruguay backline. Hyland had a good low effort which was pushed around the post for a corner after a good lay off by Winchester.
Twelve minutes from time, defender Daneil Cyrus averted danger with a timely clearance when a fourth Uruguay goal looked certain. T&T stayed in the match and ensured that their opponents would not pull further away in the contest. Paul had a late effort which missed the target.
In his post-match comments, Hart summed up the performance, saying he was partially pleased with the way his team picked their game up from Monday’s 4-0 defeat to Peru in Lima.
“I thought we were much improved from the game against Peru. We at times possessed the ball well, we recovered it well, we defended as we know you would have to when being away from home against one of the best teams in the world. We could have gotten a little more out of the game if we could have played a bit faster and moved the ball forward a little bit faster,” Hart told TTFA Media.
“Those were the aspects of the performance which was for me the most important thing. There are a few of course we know we have to correct but overall there were some good individual and collective performances,” he added.
“At times we recovered well and we did some good things. But there was a bit of naivety at times with the goals we conceded. We coped well for the first 25 minutes but we made mental errors which we paid for.
“I was really impressed with the ball speed of Uruguay and their pressing was impressive. They can play one touch out of the air for two or three passes and they have very dynamic movement off the ball. The reason they can play that way is because of the environment they play in. they only had two players form the local league here. Everyone else is playing in foreign leagues and those leagues demand that you play at a particular speed,” Hart concluded.
Hodge, a defender with DirecTV W Connection had to be taken to hospital during the match. Team Doctor Terence Babwah stated that the player suffered a cerebral concussion and underwent a CT scan at hospital. He was later discharged and rejoined the rest of the squad at the team’s hotel. Babwah said the player was experiencing headaches and dizziness and would be monitored over the next twenty-four hours.
The T&T team will now head to Qin Huang Dao for their next International Friendly against China on June 3rd.
Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Marvin Phillip (Adrian Foncette, 46′) – 2.Aubrey David, 18.Daneil Cyrus, 3.Triston Hodge (4. André Ettienne, 40′),6. Weslie John, 8. Khaleem Hyland, 10.Shahdon Winchester (20.Makesi Lewis, 75), 14.Andre Boucaud (13.Leston Paul, 73′), 16.Levi Garcia (9.Marcus Joseph, 88′), 17.Nathan Lewis (19.Curtis González, 65′) and 23.Jomal Williams.
Subs not used – 7. Sean De Silva, 11. Willis Plaza, 15. Alvin Jones, Glenroy Samuel.
Coach: Stephen Hart.
Uruguay: Martín Silva (Martín Campaña, 80′) – Maximiliano Pereira (Jorge Fucile, 70′), Mauricio Victorino, Gastón Silva, Alvaro Pereira- Carlos Sánchez (Mathías Corujo, 46′), Egidio Arévalo Ríos (Álvaro González, 59′), Matías Vecino, Nicolás Lodeiro (Gastón Ramírez, 46′)- Diego Rolán and Edinson Cavani (Christian Stuani, 46′).
Coach: Oscar Tabárez.
Things to Know
-Jomal Williams was an unused substitute when T&T’s Under 23 team lost 4-0 to Uruguay in July , 2015 at the Toronto Pan American Games. Defender Alvin Jones, who was on the bench in Montevideo on Friday, captained the team in the Toronto loss.
-Triston Hodge started and played the full 90 minutes in the 4-0 loss in Toronto
– Forward Shahdon Winchester scored for T&T in a 1-1 draw with Uruguay in the 2011 Pan American Games at OmniLife Stadium in Guadalajara. In the starting team for T&T in that fixture, coached by Angus Eve, were Kevin Molino, Sheldon Bateau, Mekeil Williams, Trevin Caesar, Marcus Joseph and Joevin Jones
-Friday’s match was the first at the international level for forward Nathan Lewis and the second at senior level for Adrian Foncette, Makesi Lewis and Andre Etienne.