|Canada||Trinidad & Tobago|
CONCACAF Gold Cup
|2000-02-24||Los Angeles Coliseum||Los Angeles, CA, United States||2841|
Canada Defeats Trinidad and Tobago 1-0
|Canada defeated Trinidad and Tobago tonight 1-0 on a 68th minute header from Mark Watson, earning a berth in the Gold Cup final. With the victory, Canada also became champions of CONCACAF with the victory, as they are the final team from the federation remaining in the competition.|
"Never in our wildest dreams did we think we could advance to the finals of the Gold Cup," said Canada coach Holger Osieck. "This is our first title and we are thrilled to win."
Both squads started the same lineups as in their previous matches. Despite the fact that Trinidad's Dwight Yorke had returned from England for the match, his thigh strain was enough to keep him out of the lineup.
Canada again placed a clear emphasis on defense, but the newly confident side looked eager to push forward if the opportunity presented itself. Trinidad's initial attacks focused on the flanks in an effort to avoid Canadian captain Jason De Vos, who had proven to be a substantial obstacle during the tournament.
Trinidad had the first chance at goal in the 10th minute, when Jerren Nixon took an angled through pass at the edge of the area and aimed a quick shot to the far post. Keeper Craig Forrest breathed a sigh of relief as the ball rolled wide.
Canada had more tense moments in the 16th minute, when a scramble in the area resulted in two dangerous shots. The first came from Arnold Dwarika, who turned the corner on the left side and forced Forrest to dive at his feet to punch away the ball. It rolled towards the penalty spot where Nixon got a foot on it. With Forrest out of position, it looked to be trouble for Canada, but David Xausa was in position to clear the ball well downfield.
Canada's first opportunity came off a free kick in the 23rd minute. Carlo Corazzin, the tournament's leading scorer with three goals, bent a low ball around the wall from 25 yards out that squirted under goalkeeper Clayton Ince. Ince made a quick recovery, however, and controlled the ball with his legs before it trickled over the line.
Trinidad's best opportunity of the half came in the 35th minute. Captain Anthony Rougier sent in a perfect cross from the right side, which dipped into the penalty area about ten yards out. Nixon, in perfect position to convert, fell when pressed from behind by Mark Watson and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
David Nakhid stepped forward to take the penalty for the Caribbean side. He ran up to the ball and suddenly paused, hoping that Forrest would show some indication of the direction in which he would move to make the save. The Canadian keeper stood fast on his line, however, and when Nakhid arrived at the ball, he had lost his forward momentum and could put little power on the shot. Forrest saved easily, diving to his right and allowing no rebound.
"It was clear to everyone in the stadium that Craig Forrest saved the victory for us today," said coach Osieck. "Penalty kicks are decisive moments in football. If you get one and score, it obviously helps, but if you fail to convert one like Trinidad & Tobago did, it is bad for the morale of the team."
"Craig Forrest was tremendous," added Trinidad and Tobago coach Bertille St. Clair. "He was the difference between them winning and losing."
The opening minutes of the second half saw the ball repeatedly pounded at the Canadian net as Dwarika single-handedly tried to put his team on top. In the 52nd minute, the Joe Public forward tested Forrest with a low drive from 22 yards, but the Canadian keeper got his right arm onto the ball while diving to his right, deflecting away from the net and over the end line. Two minutes later, Dwarika had a clear shot form 17 yards out, but this time his blast failed to reach goal when it was blocked by a diving Xausa. A minute later, it was Dwarika again, this time crushing a hard shot off a pass from Russell Latapy that Forrest once again parried.
Canada began to press back in the 61st minute as Paul Stalteri and Paul Peschisolido combined on a combination of passes that freed Stalteri on a run into the left side of the area. The Werder Bremen forward ripped a hard shot to the far post that Ince dove to parry, Rougier clearing the ball from danger.
Their work paid off in the 68th minute, when Canada's Jim Brennan sent in a cross to the far post that Corazzin nodded back towards the middle of the area. Watson, a defender with England's Oxford United, was left virtually unmarked and easily put the ball past a frustrated Ince.
Trinidad and Tobago attacked with vigor for the remaining 20 minutes. In the 76th minute, they missed a golden opportunity when Stokley Mason put in a bouncing cross from the left side and onto the boot of an onrushing Latapy. The ball appeared to take a bad hop just before reaching the Hibernian midfielder inside the six yard box, and his
touch only pushed the ball up and over the net.
Canada will take on Colombia in the Gold Cup final, to be played this Sunday, February 27 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Canada: 1-Craig Forest, 4-Tony Menezes, 5-Jason De Vos (capt.), 7-Paul Stalteri,
9-Carlo Corazzin, 10- David Xausa (21-Martin Nash, 75), 11-Jim Brennan, 12-Jeff
Clarke (2-Paul Fenwick, 46), 13-Mark Watson, 15-Richard Hastings, 17-Paul
Peschisolido (16-Garret Kusch, 90)
Trinidad & Tobago: 21-Clayton Ince, 4-Marvin Andrews, 6-Shurland David, 8-Angus
Eve, 9-Arnold Dwarika, 10- Russell Latapy, 11-Jerren Nixon (16-Brent Rahim, 46),
12-David Nakhid, 13-Ansil Elcock, 15-Stokley Mason
|13.||Ansil Elcock 80 '|
|88' Evans Wise|
|88' Mickey Trotman|
|17.||Anthony Rougier (capt.)|
|45' Brent Rahim|
|Bertille St. Clair|
|45'||Brent Rahim for Jerren Nixon|
|88'||Evans Wise for Stokely Mason|
|88'||Mickey Trotman for David Nakhid|