Thu, Aug
Match Report
South Africa Trinidad & Tobago
South Africa T&T flag
 Nigel Pierre (24')

2003-06-14Telekom ParkPort Elizabeth, South Africa25000

‘Soca Warriors’ heads stay high in Port Elizabeth

Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers closed their slate of matches on the historic African tour with a praiseworthy performance in Saturday’s friendly international against South Africa which finished 2-1 in favour of the homeside at the Telecom Stadium, Port Elizabeth. Playing before an estimated 25,000 crowd, the “Soca Warriors” showed positive signs sending a signal that the team is on it’s way back up.First to praise the performance of the T&T side was South African coach Shakes Mashaba, moments after his team completed the win on a dubious penalty call against goalkeeper Clayton Ince. Lesley Manyathela, who fell as Ince came for the initial cross, converted in the 71st minute after defender Brent Sancho, one of the standouts for T&T, was ejected for questioning the call by Botswnanian referee Boniface Mpofu. A right side cross from Sancho then saw Nigel Pierre’s header helped over the line by defender Tony Coyle for T&T’s equalizer which was later credited to the Joe Public striker.

Manyathela had earlier given Bafana Bafana a 20th minute lead with a blistering drive which entered the right corner of the net, however it was TnT who had the chance to take the lead when an early chance went to midfielder Travis Mulraine who hit the ball over the crossbar after teammate Hector Sam had beaten the home side defence with a clever cross in the seventh minute of the game.

Bafana skipper Mbulelo Mabizela was also lucky not to have conceded a penalty in the 36th minute when he appeared to have fouled Hector Sam inside the penalty area, the "Soca Warriors" had another good chance to score in the second half when Silvio Spann superb free kick was denied by South Africa's keeper Brain Baloyi.

“Trinidad and Tobago played very well and it’s unfortunate that they lost a good player at the back which then allowed us to maneuver. Technically they are a good side, there’s no doubt about that,” Mashaba told TTFF Media. A few minutes earlier he shed a tear following the win by his team, saying he had been under tremendous pressure to improve the team’s showing.

“It takes a very good team especially when it comes to mobility to get past the Trinidad team. I thought we played well in the second half after making our two changes. We were lacking in the middle. This victory has helped us a lot. We needed to win this game to boost our moral for the upcoming game. This is the kind of game we expect against Ivory Coast,” said Mashaba. “Maybe Trinidad is lacking a bit up front which is our problem as well. They (T&T) created some chances but the strikers were not reaching the ball,” he added.

Fevrier meanwhile said he would have preferred a draw but was quick to credit his players for a gritty performance.
“It was that stage in the game where things could have gone either way. I was a bit disappointed in the way the referee gave the penalty. It was a situation where several players were around the ball and all of a sudden we saw the penalty call. No one knew what happened. All our player did was indicate to him that it was not a good call and he decided to send him off. The player never insulted him or use any obscene language. It affected us psychologically at that point as well as our rhythm was affected. We did not have enough time to settle back down and South Africa, to their credit, seized the initiative with the extra player,” said Fevrier.

Reynold Carrington too was a pleased captain as the team, which played in a new kit sponsored by South African sport clothing company Fain, prepared for their homeward journey following the three-week long tour.

“It was a good overall performance by the team. We played expecting to be victorious but things didn’t go our way and I thought the penalty call was a harsh one but these things happen in football. We just have to use it as a stepping block and move on. We have gained tremendously from the experience of the last three weeks,” Carrington told TTFF Media as he and teammates spent some time reflecting on the game and enjoying some desert at the Courtyard Suite Hotel.
“I am very thankful for this tour. I think it has been a success because we lost only one game and it came against the toughest team. We are slowly improving as a team and we just need more games to judge ourselves. We saw today that we are capable of performing well at this level,” he said.

As well wishers dropped by the Hotel to meet the team, Sancho was not prepared to let the red card disappointment to dampen his spirits.

“We were just unlucky in this game and while we won’t make any excuses I think the refereeing was against us. The penalty call was a hometown decision and it was really disappointing. The referee was just spurred on by the crowd and he decided that he wasn’t happy with the call being questioned. It was extremely disappointing to be having a good game and then be forced to leave the field in that manner but overall I think we are still in high spirits,” he said.

FIFA Vice President Jack Warner was a proud a proud T&T man on the evening as he met up with the players, accompanying them at dinner. “Some games you lose, some you win but this is all part of the experience and things can only get better from here. I am proud of the team’s performance and I am confident that the performances will continue to improve,” Warner said.

The T&T contingent will travel to Johannesburg on Sunday evening where they will overnight before going to London the following day. Sounds of “Trini to the Bone” echoed from the voices of the “Soca Warriors” on the bus drive back from dinner. No doubt Carrington anticipate Tuesday evening’s arrival at Piarco and a look ahead to the July 3 friendly international against Venezuela’s senior team.

Final Score:
South Africa 2 vs 1 Trinidad & Tobago.

South Africa Goal Scorer:
Lesley Manyathela, 20th, 71st-pen.

Trinidad and Tobago Goal Scorer:
Nigel Pierre 24th.

Red Card:
Brent Sancho (Trinidad & Tobago) 70th.

South Africa:
16-Brain Baloyi (1-Andre Arendse 61st); 20-Tony Coyle, 14-Thabang Molefe, 2-Lucky Lekgwathi, 5-Mbulelo Mabizela, 8-Jabulani Mendu (12-Tebeho Mokoena 53rd), 6-Godfrey Sapula (7-Benson Mhlongo 84th), 10-Stanton Fredericks, 18-Clement Mazibuko, 19-Lesley Manyathela, 9-David Radebe.

Trinidad & Tobago:
1-Clayton Ince; 2-Brent Sancho, 3-Reynold Carrington, 4-Keyeno Thomas, 14-Nigel Daniels (12-Anton Pierre 80th), 5-Dale Saunders, 7-Carlos Edwards, 8-Silvio Spann, 10-Hector Sam (6-Avery John 73rd), 19-Travis Mulraine (18-Kerwyn Jemmott 66th), 16-Nigel Pierre (9-Jason Scotland 75th).

Boniface Mpofu (Botswana).

1.Clayton Ince
3.Reynold Carrington (capt.)
14.Subbed outNigel Daniel
 Subbed in 80' Anton Pierre
2.Brent Sancho Red Card 68 '
4.Keyeno Thomas
7.Carlos Edwards
19.Subbed outTravis Mulraine
 Subbed in 66' Kerwin Jemmott
5.Dale Saunders
8.Silvio Spann
16.Subbed outNigel Pierre
 Subbed in 75' Jason Scotland
10.Subbed outHector Sam
 Subbed in 73' Avery John
6.Avery John
12.Anton Pierre
18.Kerwin Jemmott
9.Jason Scotland
 Jan-Michael Williams
 Derek King
 Collin Samuel
 Conrad Smith
 Stuart Charles-Fevrier
66'Subbed outSubbed inKerwin Jemmott for Travis Mulraine
73'Subbed outSubbed inAvery John for Hector Sam
75'Subbed outSubbed inJason Scotland for Nigel Pierre
80'Subbed outSubbed inAnton Pierre for Nigel Daniel
68'Red CardBrent Sancho