In its first match since October 2009, Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Men's Team went down 2-0 to Chile in a friendly international played last night (Wednesday 5th) at the Estadio Tierra de Campeones in Iquique, Chile.
The Soca Warriors captained by Clyde Leon saw four players making their T&T debuts in Keron Cummings, W Connection's energetic striker Matthew Bartholomew, under 20 standout Caledonia's Daneil Cyrus and Devon Jamerson. Daneil Cyrus was the only one out of the four players mentioned that got the start for the makeshift T&T side.
Chile, who are using the encounter as a tune up for their upcoming 2010 World Cup clashes in South Africa against Spain, Switzerland and Honduras took the lead as early as the first minute through Colo Colo's Sebastián Toro.
The second half started off more or less in the same sequence as Chile scored again in the first two minutes of the second half when Kevin Harbottle ran unto a through ball and slipped one pass Jan Michael Williams.
T&T took a while to settle in and had a series of good runs after conceding the second goal, but could do nothing to trouble the Chilean goalkeeper Luis Marín as the host held on to win the match 2-0.
Chile: - Luis Marín, Carlos Labrin (Kevin Hartbotle 46th), Sebastián Toro, Hans Martínez, José Pedro Fuenzalida (Juan Carlos Espinoza 68th), Gary Medel, Roberto Cereceda, Pedro Morales (Rafael Caroca 82nd), Fernando Meneses, Daúd Gazale (Francisco Pizarro 76th), Emilio Hernández.
Coach: - Marcelo Bielsa.
Trinidad & Tobago: - 1.Jan-Michael Williams, 4.Keston Williams, 3.Aklie Edwards, 6.Daneil Cyrus, 5.Kern Cupid, 10.Hughtun Hector (12.Keron Cummings 79th), 2.Clyde Leon (capt), 18.Densill Theobald (17.Devon Jamerson 64th), 19.Keon Daniel, 13.Kevon Carter (15.Matthew Bartholomew 56th), 9.Devon Jorsling.
Coach: - Russell Latapy.
Goal Scorers: - Sebastián Toro 1' & Kevin Harbottle 48'
Venue: - Estadio Teirra de Campeones, Iquique, Chile.
Attendance: - 10,000
Referee: - Jorge Antequera.
View Soca Warriors Online member "theworm2345" vids of the game.
Part 1 - Part 2
Stadium shakes as T&T fall to Chile.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Chile got the win that was naturally expected of them from their fans, playing at home on the verge of a World Cup appearance but it was Trinidad and Tobago that left Iquique with more valuables in Wednesday’s friendly international.
The Russell Latapy-coached team, with four on field debutants on the night went down 2-0, conceding goals in the early part of each half but also holding their own for much of the encounter before 10,000 fanatic Chilean fans who had come out to wish their side well in its build up to a 2010 World Cup opener against Honduras.
Their Argentine-born head coach Marcelo Bielsa wasn’t too ecstatic over this team’s win even as his players attempted to impress him with late hopes of securing a pick in his final World Cup squad.
“It was a good win for us but nothing to celebrate too much,” he told the media after the encounter.
“It was a good match for me to see some of the players against a team from the Concacaf as we will play Honduras in the World Cup. I got what I wanted but we still have some work to do in our preparations for the tournament in South Africa.
Trinidad were not a side that we could dominate and I believe they provided us with the kind of game we wanted tonight,” added Bielsa who guided Chile to second place in the World Cup qualification, one point behind the mighty Brazil.
While admitting there is a lot of work to be done, Latapy said that he saw sufficient evidence of potential from his young troops.
“It’s never a good feeling to lose a football game but what I would say is that I was happy with the effort from the players in playing such a football game against a top quality team like Chile. Every one of their players possess the kind of quality to challenge the best in the world and I think that’s one if the main reasons they finished second behind Brazil in their qualification.
I thought that everyone gave a hundred percent and tactically we were able to limit their goalscoring opportunities plus create a few of our own. We had a young team out there tonight with eight players getting their first taste at that level and it gave me a good idea of where we are at at this time.
“If wasn’t for lapses in concentration with conceding the goal in the first minute of the match and then in second minute of the second half, we were able to limit their attacks to set plays which says to me that in terms of organization that the players are understanding and taking things on board,” Latapy told TTFF Media.
In a first half which also had a ten-second earthquake which shook the stands (measured at 6.4 in Peru) as part of the action, T&T failed to settle early and were punished inside the opening minute when Pedro Morales collected the final ball of a quick build up and rifled home a shot from the centre of the box to the left of goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams to send the home fans wild and in anticipation of more goals on a chilly night.
But the T&T back our, though green with two inexperienced central defenders in Under 23 team member Daneil Cyrus and Keston Williams of Defence Force, withheld all the pressure that came at them and were tidy at most times as the quick and fluent Chilean attackers kept the play busy in T&T’s half for much of the first half.
Gary Medel and Emilio Hernandez got further tries on goal for Chile following their first goal
T&T hardly had a glimpse at goal in the first half with lone striker Devon Jorsling doing more running without the ball than he would have hoped.
The T&T midfield of Densill Theobald, captain Clyde Leon, Hughtun Hector, Keon Daniel and Kevon Carter were keen to impress Latapy with their work rate but Chile was always going to be a difficult opposition to penetrate or to overcome.
“They showed us exactly why they finished second in the qualifying,” Daniel said. “They were all over the field, moving all the time and we were kept busy right through the match.
I don’t think there was a minute they slowed down. But we can learn from this, especially the younger players, that you have to keep moving right through, even when you don’t have the ball to play with.”
T&T did manage to string six and seven passes consecutively as the half progressed and for the better part of the second half and whenever they kept the homeside at bay for more than five minutes in spells, Biela’s side was jeered by their fans.
They were off their seats again in the 48th minute when defender Sebastien Toro shot home from a tight angle for a 2-0 lead.
Latapy introduced debutants Matthew Bartholomew, Devon Jamerson and Keron Cummings in the second half as T&T attempted to get more going in attack. And they did in fact go close to pulling a goal back on more than one occasion.
Theobald blasted a right footed effort over bar in the 58th minute from 20 metres out after being picked out in the centre by Daniel. Soon after Daud Gazale blasted high from point blank range.
And then in the 66th T&T responded when Hector’s low drive forced goalkeeper Luis Marin to save on his near left post.
Jorsling went closest to answering back for T&T when his left footed bullet brought the best out of Marin as he pushed around his right post in the 74th.
Five minutes later the Army forward had another crack, this time shooting low and wide from just inside the penalty box.