Trinidad and Tobago will still be searching for it first 2022-2023 Concacaf Nations League points on Monday against Bahamas, after leaving Managua empty handed on Friday night.
Nicaragua emerged from a blackout and on a night of heavy rain won 2-1 over Trinidad and Tobago in Group C of League B of the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League at the National Football Stadium in Managua, Nicaragua.
It was about the 70th minute, and with matters all square at 1-1, when it got dark . The venue plunged into darkness due to an electrical blackout, sending both combatants to the dressing room, and it got even darker for the visitors on the resumption. Nicaragua emerged the brighter of the two teams and playmaker Byron Bonilla provided the decisive moment with a shot from outside the penalty area in the 78th minute.
Having taken the helm at the beginning of the year, Chilean-born coach Marco Antonio Figueroa have moulded Nicaragua into a very capable team and the home team led throughout. Another shot from distance, a speculative left-footer by the right-back Josue gave the host an opening goal a minute into added-on time, sending Nicaragua in with a 1-0 lead at halftime. Quijano put a low shot which deflected off T&T defender Tristan Hodge, and sent the ball between the sprawling dive of T&T Marvin Phillip and the left upright.
Assistant Reynold Carrington took control in the absence of T&T head coach Angus Eve, who remained at home to tend to a personal emergency. Carrington brought on veteran Joevin Jones and talented teenager Molik Khan at the beginning of the second half and was immediately rewarded when a cross by T&T right-midfielder Shannon Gomez deflected off Christian Reyes and beat goalkeeper Douglas Forvis at his near post for an own goal in the 46th minute.
Trinidad & Tobago's formation was one of protection rather than adventure. Orthodox, but attacking wing backs Keston Julien and Gomez both played further up field as wide midfielders. Meanwhile, the lone true striker Marcus Joseph was benched until the second half, leaving the attacking to two other true midfielder, young John Paul Rochford and traditional winger Levi Garcia, who has been playing a more attacking role this season with AEK Athens, his Greek club.
The early action was back and forth, with Nicaragua holding the ball in Central American style, and ending with an overall 57 percent possession. Trinidad & Tobago counter-attacked and had the better chances, despite AEK Athens striker Levi Garcia often looking isolated. Garcia put an early left-footer and a header onto Jon Paul Rochford's cross both wide, while only a vital touch kept another Rochford cross from reaching advanced defender Aubrey David deep in Nicaragua's penalty area.
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO:
1. (C) Marvin Phillip (Gk), 2. Aubrey David, 4. Sheldon Bateau (16. Michael Kedman 80'), 5. Daniel Phillips (10. Molik Khan 46'); , 6. Kareem Moses, 11. Levi García, 14. Shannon Gomez, 15. John Paul Rochford (3..Joevin Jones 46'), 18. Triston Hodge (17. Mekeil Williams 60') , 19. Keston Julien, 23. Leston Paul (9. Marcus Joseph 60').
Unused substitutes: 21. Denzil Smith (GK), 12. Judah Garcia, 20. Justin Sadoo.
Coach: Reynold Carrington.
23. Douglas Forvis (GK); 2. Josue Quijano, 6. Christiam Gutierrez, 20. Christian Reyes, 3. Oscar Acevedo (21. Francisco Flores 71'); 4. Henry Niño; 11. (C) Juan Barrera (8. Richard Rodriguez 85'), 17. Matias Moldskred; 22. Brayan Lopez (9. Jaime Moreno 82'), 7. Ariagner Smith, 10. Byron Bonilla.
Unused substitutes: 1. Alyer Lopez (GK), 12. Denvorn Fox (GK), 5. Marvin Fletes, 13. Henry Garcia, 14. Jason Coronel, 15. Melvin Hernandez, 16. Bancy Hernandez, 18. Jonathan Moncada, 19 Junior Arteaga.
Coach: Marco Figueroa.
Referee: Keylor Herrera (Costa Rica).
SOURCE: T&T Express