|Haiti||Trinidad & Tobago|
|2008-08-10||Stade Sylvio Cator||Port-au-Prince, Haiti||0|
Tough exercise as 'Warriors' edged in Haiti
|Trinidad and Tobago had their captain sent off and had a confident penalty appeal go uncalled in a hotly contested friendly international won 1-0 by Haiti at the National Stadium, Port-Au-Prince on Sunday evening.
Using the game as a warm-up for the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifier against Cuba the “Soca Warriors” would have considered themselves coming away with a handy exercise as the Haitians were intense and tested skipper Cyd Gray and his teammates for long periods. T&T though, never buckled and enjoyed a strong second half display which forced several heated moments between the two sides as the Haitians fought to maintain their slim advantage as the match progressed.|
Unlike the first friendly in Trinidad which T&T won 2-0 where the Haitians made the better start, it was T&T who turned on the heat and should have scored as early as the second minute. A perfect ball from the right by Cornel Glen sent Khaleem Hyland on clear path to goal but he could only hit it straight at the advancing goalie Fenelon Gabard.
T&T once again used the 4-5-1 system with Glen alone up top and as T&T absorbed the Haitian assault on its side of the park, the odd break going forward lacked the right service for Glen to cause any problems for the hosts back line. This also saw Haiti enjoying larger portions of possession in the opening forty-five. On ten minutes Germain Peter had a good try for the home team, sending his effort over bar from the edge of the penalty area and eight minutes later his shot barely missed the upright.
T&T goalie Marvin Phillip was called into action on 33 minutes, having to dive full stretch to his left to push out Fucien Brunnel’s header. The W Connection custodian would later be called on to make a few more interventions to keep the scores level at the break. But he could do little to stop Brunel’s glancing header from entering the net from close range.
Gray’s patience had earlier ran out in the 35th and he was cautioned for arguing a call with Haitian referee Resnyck Grant. The defender would later be given marching orders for a late foul leaving T&T to play the closing ten minutes with ten men. The game was overseen by five Haitian officials including Resnyck as well as the fourth official and match commissioner and was the subject of debate for much of the encounter as several calls against T&T appeared questionable while some never came. There was one particular moment of chaos in the 71st minute when after Phillip provided some acrobatics to deny a Haiti attempt on goal, Resnyck saw his assistant’s flag on the far side go up and waved for a goal which caused an uproar among the T&T players and bench staff. Fortunately the referee consulted with his assistant to find out he had signaled for offside.
T&T at that period had picked up their pace was mounting much of the attack on the Haitian penalty box and a second goal would have spoilt their fight. The hosts would hold on to the lead though. The visitors had begun putting a few more consecutive passes together and the introduction of Keon Daniel at the start of the second half saw a couple dangerous balls coming into the Haitian box.
Aklie Edwards had a low drive well saved and then substitute Andre Toussaint did all the hard work to hold off two defenders and gain control of a Densill Theobald serve, only to drag his effort wide of the upright from well inside the area. Not a polished performance but certainly a stiff test for Maturana’s men as they continue their fine tuning for Cuba.
The team arrives in Washington on Tuesday evening for another friendly against El Salvador on Thursday at the RFK Stadium. No hard feelings. In the post game conference both captain Gray and Team manager David Muhammad congratulated Haiti on winning but felt the officiating was not fair.
“We will take nothing away from Haiti’s victory. They played a good game and they fought well. But this has to be the most biased and slanderous refereeing I have ever experienced in an international game,” Gray told the Haitian media as even in the post game session there was a lot of jostling eventually leading to one of the Haitian reporters being physically thrown out the conference room by the Haitian Federation press officer Ronald Vaval.
“We had a better second half even though the game started to get very heated. I thought we stayed in the game and that forced Haiti to become very aggressive and a bit impatient. We tried to get the equalizer right down to the end but unfortunately it didn’t come,” the skipper added.
Muhammad added: “Even before the game our special advisor Jack Warner whose idea it was to stage the game here as a form of it being a beneficial warm up for both teams, had asked for a neutral referee. We had neutral officials for the game in Trinidad. I understand now that a complaint will be put forward to CONCACAF about it a generally we were not satisfied. Even though it was a friendly, it was still an international match and should have all the arrangements that goes with such. But we accepted the loss in good spirits and we want to openly wish Haiti the best in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.”
T&T: - Marvin Phillip, Aklie Edwards, Makan Hislop, Cyd Gray (capt), Keyeno Thomas, Kerry Baptiste (Keon Daniel 46th), Khaleem Hyland (Andre Toussaint 59th), Densill Theobald (Gyasi Joyce 83rd), Clyde Leon, Anthony Wolfe, Cornell Glen.
Subs who did not play – Cleon John, Radanfah Abu Bakr and Aurtis Whitley did not suit up due to injury.
|8.||Cyd Gray (capt.) 35 ' 80 '|
|59' Andre Toussaint|
|83' Gyasi Joyce|
|46' Keon Daniel|
|16.||Radanfah Abu Bakr|
|46'||Keon Daniel for Kerry Baptiste|
|59'||Andre Toussaint for Khaleem Hyland|
|83'||Gyasi Joyce for Densill Theobald|