|China||Trinidad & Tobago|
China Four Nations Tournament
|2001-08-05||Shanghai Stadium||Shanghai, China||4000|
T&T settle for 4th place
|Trinidad and Tobago's senior footballers suffered a 3-0 defeat to hosts China in the third-place playoff of the four-nation Shanghai tournament on Sunday morning.|
The "Soca Warriors" were made to settle for the US$15,000 fourth place prize but will leave China today (Monday) with some degree of satisfaction having been able to give a reasonably good account of themselves against their more experienced opponents.
Coming up against a Chinese team that was under heavy pressure to attain a victory following Friday's shock loss to North Korea, TnT had two first half goals by captain Angus Eve ruled offside and Caledonia AIA midfielder Conrad Smith was sent off in the 44th minute for an off the ball incident.
At the end of proceedings which was billed as "One billion versus One million" because of the immense difference in population of the two nations, coach Professor Rene Simoes sounded disappointed with the final scoreline but described the tour "as the perfect opportunity to recognize which players from Trinidad and Tobago have the capabilities of playing for the national team."
TnT controlled the opening 30 minutes of the match played under rainy conditions in front of around 4000 fans at the Shanghai Stadium.
Eve and his teammates were unfortunate to have their goals disallowed in the 30th and 35th minutes as on both occasions, the referee's final decision were deemed questionable. "Today China could not lose otherwise there would be many problems for the China Football Association," Simoes said after the match.
Then things got worse for TnT when Smith was on the receiving end of a rash tackle and retaliated by kicking the opposing player off the ball. He was giving marching orders and that caused problems for TnT as the Chinese took advantage in the second half.
China were awarded a penalty in the 61st minute for a foul which could have gone either way and goalkeeper Michael McComie was left picking up the pieces. The Joe Public custodian pulled off a few well made saves particularly one in the 89th minute. He was however beaten in the 81st and 87th minutes for the final 3-0 scoreline.
Simoes pointed out that Eve, Nigel Pierre, Dale Saunders and Addison Belfon had excellent performances on the day. Second half changes in the match saw Travis Mulraine replacing Adrian Narine, Nigel Daniel for Stokely Mason, Josh Johnson for Cyd Gray, Marlon Cayonne for Keyeno Thomas and Sherman Phillip for Eve.
"Our team played an excellent first half," said Simoes. "There is only one way to build a winning team and that is to play games and discover who is a national player and who is only a club player.This tour was an excellent one to make those evaluations," Simoes told TTFF Media.
Speaking generally about the tour, the Brazilian-born said "Our team played reasonably well. Despite the fact that the group had never played an official game together and was selected only 10 days ago, the players created various opportunities for goals. The problem still lies in finalizing a play. We must work on precision and concentration in order to push the ball inside the goal."
TnT leave China at 6am on Monday TT time and will overnight in Los Angeles before arriving home at 8:45pm on Tuesday. Preparations will continue before the September 01 World Cup Qualifying game against Costa Rica.
|46' Josh Johnson|
|46' Marlon Cayonne|
|Angus Eve (capt.)|
|46' Nigel Daniel|
|46' Travis Mulraine|
|Conrad Smith 44 '|
|46'||Marlon Cayonne for Keyeno Thomas|
|46'||Josh Johnson for Cyd Gray|
|46'||Travis Mulraine for Adrian Narine|
|46'||Nigel Daniel for Stokely Mason|