|Trinidad & Tobago||Grenada|
|Nigel Pierre (pen 22')|
Cyd Gray (50')
|2004-11-26||Manny Ramjohn Stadium||Marabella, Trinidad and Tobago||0|
Soca Warriors win Group D...Digicel Cup round-up
|The largely locally-based version of the Trinidad and Tobago Soca
Warriors gave another solid performance to come away 2-0 winners over
Grenada on Friday night at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.In so doing, T&T clinched the Digicel Caribbean Cup preliminary
Group D football competition with an unassailable six points from their
two victories, having beaten Pureto Rico 5-0 in last Wednesday's
They now end the competition on Sunday against Suriname at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar. The game is of academic importance to Trinidad and Tobago, but a victory will mean everything to Suriname, who are battling both Puerto Rico and Grenada for second place in the group.
The Surinamese played to their second straight draw of the tournament when they were held 1-1 by Puerto Rico in a very balanced first match on Friday night, which saw Suriname taking the lead through Walking Boys midfielder Clifton Sandvliet on the stroke of half-time, only for Puerto Rico to pull level in the 79th minute through Rahael Huertas Ortiz.
The main match saw Trinidad and Tobago having a much easier game against Grenada than expected and controlling the match throughout.
Kerwyn Jemmott had another solid performance in the middle since his return to national duty and several times breached the Grenadian rear guard with nicely weighted passes behind the opposing defenders.
So dominating were the Soca Warriors, that although Grenada got some touches around the midfield, they had few threatening looks at the hosts' goal and hardly threatened the T&T back line, where big Keyeno Thomas made his presence felt with a few "biting" tackles.
Defence Force defender Anton Pierre also stood out with some timely interceptions.
Still, it took some trickery from Atlanta Silverbacks midfielder Leslie "Tiger" Fitzpatrick in the 22nd minute to force Grenadian newcomer Mark Marshall into conceding a penalty, which striker Nigel Pierre banged past goalkeeper Desmond Noel to give the Soca Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Earlier, T&T striker Cornell Glen failed to get a touch to Cyd Gray's wicked cross from close up in just the third minute, and later his (Glen) long speculative shot just inched past the Grenadian post.
Prior to going behind, Grenada sparked some confusion around the home team's goal-mouth when T&T keeper Daurance Williams missed a cross, which almost ended up in the T&T net.
Before the half ended, Glen, the scorer of three goals in the win over Puerto Rico on Wednesday, never looked as sharp and missed giving his team a second goal when he ran clear through the Grenadian right flank, but shot into the side-netting.
But just three minutes into the second session, flanking midfielder Gray converted from an almost identical run as Glen, to give T&T a 2-0 lead, when stroking the ball inside the Grenadian keeper's near post in the 48th minute.
After that, Grenada never once looked like scoring themselves.
Instead, Glen again broke through the right and prodded the ball wide of both the committed keeper and the far post, while his replacement, young Defence Force striker Odelle Armstrong, came on as substitute and twice missed the opportunity to score his first senior goal for Trinidad and Tobago.
Penalty scorer Pierre also produced a tremendously powerful shot from atop the penalty box and brought the best out of Grenadian keeper Noel, who had to be at his acrobatic best to smother the ball before it crossed his goal-line.
The competition ends Sunday with a double-header at the Larry Gomes Stadium.
In the first, Puerto Rico meet Grenada in a key match at 4 p.m. which both teams must win, while Suriname must go for an outright victory or hope for at least a draw against T&T two hours later at six o'clock.
Regardless of the outcome of today's final matches, T&T will advance to the second round of the Digicel Caribbean Cup where they will play a home-and-away series on January 9 and 16, 2005, against the runners-up of Group E, which involves Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and St Vincent & the Grenadines.
Should T&T win that series, they join two other teams and hosts Barbados in the final round of the Digicel Caribbean Cup from February 20-24, 2005, when the winner will earn US$100,000 and the first three will qualify for the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
|16.||Cyd Gray 31 '|
|6.||Derek King (capt.)|
|3.||Derek Phillips 51 '|
|55' Avery John|
|72' Michael Celestine|
|75' Odelle Armstrong|
|Avery John 73 '|
|Bertille St. Clair|
|55'||Avery John for Derek Phillips|
|72'||Michael Celestine for Kerwin Jemmott|
|75'||Odelle Armstrong for Cornell Glen|