Wed, Jun

A last minute goal by Puerto Rico Islanders attacking midfielder Kendall Jagdeosingh pushed Trinidad and Tobago to their second win in as many matches as they came from a goal down to beat leading Argentine Primera club Tigre 3-2 in a training fixture at the club’s stadium in San Isidro on Wednesday morning.
Further goals by player/coach Russell Latapy (33rd minute) and Cornell Glen (70th minute) kept T&T in a good position throughout the match before Jagdeosingh finished off a good build up with a well taken left footed shot from inside the box to give the “Soca Warriors” the win.

A minute before that, Tigre levelled the scores at 2-2 when  Matias Giminez converted an 87th minute penalty after Makan Hislop handled inside the box.

The game was the visitors’ toughest thus far as the second placed team in the Argentine League played all but three of their regular first team starters including Paraguayan international midfielder Nestor Ayala who had the T&T defense on its alert everytime he picked up the ball in and around the penalty box.

Midfielder Sebastian Rusculleda tested goalie Jan Michael Williams with a free kick from the edge of the box which he tipped over in the first minute. Eight minutes later Ayala sent a glancing header inches wide of the far post from a left side cross.

W Connection midfielder Clyde Leon, a force on the tour so far, sent one just over as well following a good build up in the middle of the park initiated by Latapy. The ex-Falkirk standout then turned his man clverly on the inside left before sending one through for an onrushing Errol McFarlane but goalkeeper Daniel Islas was quickly off his line to close it down.

It was the home team though which went ahead in the 26th minute when a ball came over from the left and Jiminez collected and placed  a low effort  just inside the far post past Williams who didn’t go full stretch to try to prevent entry as he and the T&T defense appeared to be caught off guard. The rains came soon after but so did Latapy’s magic.

The former FC Porto man was in good form, so much that when he came off in the 55th minute, replaced by Jagdeosingh, the 100 odd fans and the Tigre Reserves acknowledged his showing with an applause. A play started in defense by Keyeno Thomas led to Latapy trying to push one through for Leon at the top of the box but it bounced off a defender back into Latapy’s path and he wasted no time before hitting a left footer low into the left corner to level the scores.

As the half approached, Williams had to rush off his line to push away an attempt by Ayala after he had been played through clear on goal. The second half saw Densill Theobald, Kevaughn Connell, Glen, Jagdeosingh, Robert Primus, Seon Power, Andrei Pacheco and Marvin Phillip enter the line up with Latapy being kept on a bit further.

Jagdeosingh continued his fine second half runs, first his left footer flashed wide of the upright in the 60th while another substitute Lester Peltier also had a low effort which went straight to Islas. Then Connell turned provider when he and Jagdeosingh combined before playing one over to Glen who got his third goal in as many matches with a well taken effort on the near post after leaving out his man on the right of the box.

Moments later, Glen had a chance to double up but he could only send his right footer just off the far right post from 10 metres out. Phillip had to pull off two brilliant stops in quick succession to deny Ayala midway through the second half. Then after Tigre leveled the scores from the penalty spot.

T&T maintained the pressure on the hosts, and deservedly snatched the late winner when Glen did all the hard work on the left of the box and played one over for Jagdeosingh who took his chance well, hammering home from inside the box past a stranded Islas. Head coach Francisco Maturana, despite the win, said it was difficult still at this stage to get excited over the result and the promising showing with the focus still being February 11 against El Salvador. “For me it’s difficult to be happy after the win but I think the boys deserved to be applauded for how they have progressed here so far and in particular with the today’s performance.

What will be sad for me is that ten players from here will have to go home before we go to El Salvador and I think it is very hard to send them home. It will not be easy to make those decisions,” Maturana told TTFF Media. “We are here in Argentina because it’s good to be playing these teams. They have given us some good tests and we have passed them but the big test is in El Salvador and that is our main focus at the moment. ”Assistant coach Latapy said Wednesday’s game was definitely the toughest of the tour. “We had to work harder today but we knew that would be the case because it’s the strongest team we’ve had to play.

They came second in the League last year and today we saw for ourselves that they are a quality team. But credit to the boys for holding up well and coming away with the victory. This can only do our confidence good and it’s good to see the boys stepping up. This is good preparation and good options for us going into the El Salvador match,” Latapy told TTFF Media.