Trinidad and Tobago open it's 2012 Caribbean Cup qualifying tournament tonight with a 1-1 draw against St. Vincent & the Grenadines at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago.
The Warriors, who won their first round group with a perfect 3-0-0 record, resume their quest on Wednesday against St. Vincent and the Grenadines as they go in search for Caribbean glory.
T&T had a perfect start to the game with Defence Force striker Devorn Jorsling opening T&T's account in the 4th minute before 19 year-old striker Myron Samuel equalised in the 36th minute to send his team into the break 1-1.
On the resumption, T&T occasionally raided the Vincentian attack but their goalkeeper Kenyan Desmond Lynch was equally up to the task and held firm between the uprights to deny the host a victory as both teams settled with a point each.
It was also reported that Defence Force winger Kevon Carter was also having a terrible time on the field and did not show. His Army teammate Devorn Jorsling also muffed a few sitters' for the Warriors.
Meanwhile, T&T saw 2 debutants in W Connection striker Hashim Arcia and Caledonia's midfielder Keyon Edwards as they were both introduced in the second half but made little impact. Inform striker Jamal Gay is nursing a knee injury while Asian based Kendall Jagdeosingh pulled up with an armstring injury and will more than likely miss the remainder of the tournament.
The top two finishers from the four-team round-robin competition will advance to next month's finals in Antigua and Barbuda. And despite owning the record for the most Caribbean titles, Trinidad and Tobago has not lifted the trophy since 2001.
The Caribbean Cup also acts as a qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, a tournament which T&T has failed to qualify for in their last two tries, their last appearance was in 2007. Now T&T's road to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup has just gotten narrower.
T&T 1 (Devorn Jorsling 4) vs St Vincent 1 (Myron Samuel 36)
Trinidad & Tobago: - 1.Jan-Michael Williams (capt); 12.Curtis Gonzales, 19.Carlyle Mitchell (Yellow), 20.Seon Power (Yellow), socawarriors.net, 3.Joevin Jones; 11.Kevon Carter, 2.Clyde Leon (17.Kendall Jagdeosingh 53rd), 10.Ataullah Guerra (16.Keyon Edwards 54th), 18.Densill Theobald (Yellow), 7.Hughtun Hector; 9.Devorn Jorsling (14.Hashim Arcia 66th).
Unused Subs: - 21.Marvin Phillip (GK); 6.Kareem Moses, 8.Aubrey David; 13.Richard Roy.
Coach: - Hutson Charles (T&T).
St Vincent and the Grenadines: - 1.Kenyan Lynch; 22.Keith James, 2.Wesley Charles (capt) (18.Reginald Richardson 44th), 6.Shemol Trimmingham, 3.Roy Richards; 11.Wendell Cuffy (13.Romano Snagg 67th), 8.Darren Hamlet, 21.Theo Gordon, 17.Emerald George, 7.Cornelius Stewart; 9.Myron Samuel (5.Nical Stephens 78th).
Unused Subs: - 20.Dwaine Sandy, 10.Nazir McBernette, 15.Azinho Solomon, 16.Jolanshoy McDowald.
Coach: - Cornelius Huggins (SVG).
Referee: - Courtney Campbell (Jamaica).
P W D L F A P
Cuba 1 1 0 0 5 0 3
T&T 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
St Vincent 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Suriname 1 0 0 1 0 5 0
Cuba 5 (Marcel Hernandez 6, 36, 62, 89 Ariel Martinez 46) vs Suriname 0
Haiti 1 (Olrish Saurel 58) vs Guyana 0
Grenada 1 (Craig Rocastle 33) vs French Guiana 1
Standings (Other Group)
P W D L F A P
Haiti 1 1 0 0 1 0 3
French Guiana 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Grenada 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Guyana 1 0 0 1 0 1 0
Soca Warriors bullied in Vincentian tie at Bacolet.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com).
Tobago is used to being fought over. The tiny island changed hands 33 times since the Courlanders first settled there in 1654 while, at present, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is at the centre of a fierce political battle between the ruling People’s Partnership and the opposition People’s National Movement (PNM).
But, last night, Tobagonians might have wondered if they had lost their allure as the Trinidad and Tobago national senior football team gave a largely timid performance against St Vincent and the Grenadines in its opening group match of the 2012 Caribbean Cup semifinal round.
The final result read 1-1 and, although Trinidad and Tobago created better and more numerous scoring opportunities, the “Soca Warriors” had to accept that they did not do enough to secure the three points.
“I’m very disappointed with the performance tonight,” said national coach Hutson “Barber” Charles, after the match. “I think my guys could have given a little more effort.”
Trinidad and Tobago enters its next fixture against Suriname on Friday already in a must-win situation. Cuba tops the group after a 5-0 rout of Suriname and, if four-goal scorer Marcel Hernandez maintains his form, the Spaniards would be a handful on Sunday.
Two teams advance from Tobago to next month’s Caribbean Cup finals in Antigua and Barbuda and the Cuban team has already signalled its intentions.
The Warriors had started as though they were in a hurry to join them.
The Vincentians were lucky to still have 11 players on the field when, barely a minute into the contest, goalkeeper Kenyan Lynch took out Trinidad and Tobago striker Devorn Jorsling just outside the penalty box. Jamaican referee Courtney Campbell flashed yellow rather red.
The reprieve did not last long. Two minutes later, Jorsling, who started in place of the injured Jamal Gay, opened the scoring with a close range finish through Lynch’s legs after his Defence Force teammate Kevon Carter knocked the ball into his path. It was Jorsling’s 17th international goal from 31 outings.
Winger Hughton Hector smacked a speculative effort off the bar in the 6th minute while Jorsling prodded another attempt off the top of the crossbar following another Carter delivery in the 16th minute.
But, having backed St Vincent into the corner, the Trinidad and Tobago midfield let its opponent off the ropes.
Perhaps the flurry of missed chances prompted a note of caution from senior ball handlers Densill Theobald and Clyde Leon. Or maybe the increasing rate of turnovers suggested that it was time to vary the pace.
“The first couple of minutes, we did well,” said Charles, “but after that we switched off. I don’t know why.”
It takes more than error to cause a crash. It is not just that the pilot’s eyes drooped. You also need an inattentive or shy co-pilot, difficult terrain and a mountain or light pole that appears at the worse possible time.
Last night, Leon and Theobald lost command of their work station for maybe 25 minutes. But they were not outplayed; they were outfought.
The St Vincent team offered no more than its standard fare. The tourists pushed, scrapped, chased and bullied the Trinidad and Tobago midfield while Campbell generally looked the other way.
And, in the post-game press conference, Carter still could not suggest a tactical remedy.
“It was surprising to me (that we lost the ball that often),” said Charles, a Defence Force Warrant Officer One and former “Strike Squad” stand-out. “We work on ball possession all the time. We needed to protect the ball a little more.”
It was a fair point; apart from being blindingly obvious and probably not reassuring to the midfielders who were being repeatedly harassed and hacked off the ball.
In the 20th minute, St Vincent forced a turnover and relayed the ball quickly to Wendell Cuffy who shimmied past Joevin Jones and surprised Trinidad and Tobago captain and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams with a blast at his near post that he fended away.
A minute later, Cornelius Stewart, who menaced the Trinidad and Tobago defence all night, just dragged a left foot effort wide after being sent clear. And then, in the 23rd minute, St Vincent equalised as Stewart, who plays professionally for local Digicel Pro League club Caledonia AIA, flicked the ball over Seon Power and Myron Samuel pounced with a firm shot that Williams got a glove on but couldn’t keep out of the corner.
It was a goal that had been obviously coming. Like watching a crash in slow-motion.
The Warriors did regroup and should have been back ahead in the 33rd minute but for a terrific Lynch double save from Guerra and Carter. But Charles had run out of patience. Eight minutes into the second half, he replaced Leon and Guerra with Kendall Jagdeosingh and rookie Keyon Edwards.
“I felt we needed more energy in the middle of the park,” said Charles, as he explained his changes.
Leon and Theobald have never gelled at international level despite both being players who value possession. Yet, it was arguably still a gamble to replace the DirecTV W Connection man so early, considering the inexperience of his replacements.
Hector, who is reportedly weighing up options in Vietnam but is a free agent at present, seemed to have self-preservation on his mind as “Vincey” raise the heat while Jagdeosingh and Carter are better at sprinting than scheming.
It left Theobald short of players to exchange his trademark wall passes with and St Vincent began to look increasingly dangerous.
In the 62nd minute, Vincentian defender Shemol Trimmingham left his feet and went straight through Edwards with a tackle that might have started a brawl in a savannah sweat. But Campbell allowed play to continue and Williams again had to rescue T&T with a fine save from Samuel.
It could have gotten worse for the hosts in the 82nd minute as Stewart broke clear of the Trinidad and Tobago defence only to be cynically tripped by Carlyle Mitchell. Mitchell only received a yellow card for his indiscretion.
Roused by a small but appreciative crowd, Power drove forward in search of a solution and twice went close with crisp strikes while Carter was again denied at close quarters by Lynch. But it was too little too late for Trinidad and Tobago.
St Vincent’s Cornelius Huggins, a former Caledonia central defender, was the happier coach at the final whistle.
“It was an excellent team effort by my players,” he said. “I told them that once we play as a team, anything is possible.”
Charles had to resort to singling out individual players when asked about the positives from the game.
“Seon Power had a tremendous game,” said Charles, who also praised Theobald and Williams. “I feel if the group could feed off him, it would be very good for us in the future.”
The Trinidad and Tobago technical staff would work on tactics today in preparation for Friday’s clash against Suriname.
The Surinamese might have been outclassed by Cuba. But they are a physically powerful bunch and, should they get the indulgent Campbell as the match referee on Friday, the Trinidad and Tobago team might have another fight on its hands.
There were just under 1,000 supporters at the Dwight Yorke Stadium yesterday although a larger crowd is expected for the weekend. And patrons would hope the Warriors show that Bacolet is worth a good battle.
T&T starts with a draw.
By Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago could only muster a point in their opening CFU Caribbean Cup qualifier in a dismal 1-1 draw with St Vincent/Grenadines at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on Wednesday night.
The hosts, after starting brightly with a Devorn Jorsling go ahead goal in the fourth minute, found themselves in a hole and will have to improve their game by miles in their closing two matches against Suriname on Friday and Cuba two days later.
The Cubans kicked off the group in style with a 5-0 trouncing of Suriname in Wednesday’s earlier encounter. Anything other than a victory for T&T on Friday could see Hutson Charles’ team being knocked out before next month’s finals in Antigua.
Everything went according to plan for T&T in the opening fifteen minutes. Their high pressing game paid dividends as the Vincentians were forced in their own half for much of the opening moments of the game but T&T failed to convert their goalscoring chances.
Hughtun Hector was unfortunate not to find himself on the scoresheet when his right footer crashed off the underside of the crossbar in the 7th minute and Atullah Guerra twice failed to convert from a left close range position, hitting into the side netting in the 11th minute and being foiled by advancing goalkeeper Kenyan Lynch after dragging past his man on the left.
Jorsling also had an opportunity which hit the tip off the bar after Kevon Carter crossed from the right.
T&T dropped gears from midway through the half and the Vincentians began settling, inching themselves back into game. They were faster to the ball and were more purposeful both on the offensive and in the defensive third.
Wendell Cuffy forced Jan Michael Williams into action and a minute later Cornelius Stewart hit over bar. Their equalizer came in the 24th minute when Myron Samuel finished well with a low shot past Williams from inside the area after combining with Stewart.
Guerra had two further chances before the break and defender Seon Power also had a header go wide.
The second half saw T&T struggle to mount any serious attacks on the Vincentian goal. They were lethargic for large parts as their midfield offered little resistance against a robust Vincentian outfit that bullied them in the centre of the field.. There was simply no spark in T&T’s play until the closing ten minutes.
Charles introduced debutants Keyon Edwards, Hashim Arcia and Kendall Jagdeosingh in hope of adding some life into T&T’s game. In-form striker Jamal Gay was not an option as a knee injury ruled him out of the three matches.
Arcia had a good look at goal in the 85th minute but his effort from the top left of the box flashed wide of the far right post.
Midfielder Clyde Leon struggled to make an impact and Carter appeared jaded for much of the second half. Jagdeosingh also suffered a hamstring strain and offered very little to the cause. Densill Theobald and Power kept their games intact with the latter offering more fight than some of his teammates.
As the clock ran down he tried to take things into his own, causing panic for the Vincentians in the closing stages. He forced himself close on goal before firing wide of the left post with Jagdeosingh lurking in the box. Moments before that Power’s crack was saved the ‘keeper and Carter’s attempt on the rebound was blocked by a Vincentian defender.
All’s not lost but anything other than an outright win on Friday could mean the end of another campaign for the eight-time Caribbean champions.
....T&T held 1-1 by SVG
By Ian Prescott (Express).
The diehard fans at the Dwight Yorke Stadium Wednesday night saw best of the Soca Warriors and the worst; all in 90 minutes of football.
But Trinidad and Tobago senior football team head coach Hutson Charles at least has something to build upon: a point gained from a disappointing 1-1 draw against St Vincent & the Grenadines in the opening Caribbean Cup Group Six qualifier in Tobago.
Tonight T&T play a second qualifier against Suriname from 8 p.m. at the same venue and need full points against the Dutch team to stay in qualifying contention. It will not be a straightforward assignment since the Surinamese looked more dangerous than was suggested by a 5-0 loss to Cuba in the opening match Wednesday. Cuban striker Marcel Hernandez sizzled, scoring four goals.
"I was really disappointed in the performance because of lack of effort," Charles declared of the T&T performance, while saying he expect better against Suriname tonight.
"Suriname is a good team. We can't take them lightly. We can't be complacent because if we give them room to play they will play."
The Soca Warriors were terrors in the first quarter hour on Wednesday night. They led early, Devon Jorsling beating goalkeeper Kenyan Lynch in just the third minute, after taking a Kevon Carter pass.
Jorsling and midfielder Hughtun Hector also hit the crossbar, the latter's effort almost producing a gem of a goal, after he had swung a speculative shot across goal onto the edge of the cross bar.
Lynch also blocked Carter's free shot at goal, Seon Power missed a free header and easy dribbler Atullah Guerra broke through a couple times but the SVG custodian easily read his exaggerated, well-telegraphed shots to the back post.
Had these clear chances gone in, SVG would have been finished. But, T&T relaxed, their opponents recovered and later grew confident. After two attacks on the T&T goal, SVG were level at 1-1 in the 24th minute, Myron Samuel scoring after taking a chip from strike partner Cornelius Stewart.
The Soca Warriors had more and better chances, even down to the final minute when overlapping central defender Seon Power and out-of-sorts winger Carter forced spectacular blocks from SVG goalie Lynch. And abandoning defence, Power almost had the winner in added-on time, his powerful shot just curling outside of the back post at the very last second.
In between, St Vincent and the Grenadine defended in numbers and counter-attacked explosively, forcing a few saves from T&T keeper Jan Michael Williams and many edgy moments for the spectators, among them former T&T coach Bertille St Clair, technical director Anton Corneal, new TTFF president Raymond Tim Kee, as well as T&T Pro League personalities David John Williams (W Connection), Jerry Moe (Caledonia AIA) and Brent Sancho.
The great teams like Spain, Brazil, Germany and Holland defend with as many as eight players these days, but the Soca did so with maybe three sometimes.
They must be super footballers.
Charles is not the first local coach to believe midfield work consists solely of possessing the ball. Pressing the opponents as a team and winning back the ball seemed a foreign concept.
He needed more robust work from his midfield, but most looked for defensive midfielder Clyde Leon alone to do the work. None took ownership of the job of stopping SVG breezing through them and exposing the back four to the raw pace of Vincey attackers Myron Samuel and Caledonia AIA winger Stewart.
Most times, Guerra, Carter, Hector and Densil Theobald remained upfield, while Clyde Leon was left to defend the middle.
"I though our guys lacked effort,"Charles said. "I think one of our strengths is midfield, and I think we didn't see that. I thought my guys in the midfield did not perform to their full potential."
Charles agreed that T&T's saving grace were goalkeeper Williams, his overworked defenders and Theobald, who did excellent work going forward.
He would not have been proud of the seemingly uninterested Carter or lone striker Jorsling who appeared to fall down with every slight breeze, begging Jamaican ref Courtney Campbell for help.
"I commend my goalkeeper (Jan Michael Williams), the back four (Carlyle Mitchell (centre-back), Sean Power, Curtis Gonzales (right-back), Joevin Jones (left-back) and Densil Theobald. I think they performed. I must give plenty cudos to Power. I think he had a tremendous game, and if the rest of the guys gave more of that, it will be very good for us in the future."
Meanwhile SVG coach Cornelius Huggins was a happy man.
"I want to congratulate my players on a well-deserved performance," Huggins said. "Our game plan was once they (T&T) had the ball, we keep a shape and play more defensively and once we win the ball, we will counter attack."