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T&T vs USA (17-Aug-2005).
Thu Aug 18, 2005 09:26

“Warriors” makes a late fight of it.
By: Shaun Fuentes.

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Leo Beenhakker conceded defeat in his team's latest 2006 World Cup qualifier to the United States but feels that the 1-0 result does not need to be dramatized as the “Warriors” stayed within distance of the third and fourth teams Costa Rica and Guatemala at the end of matches on Wednesday in CONCACAF.
T&T remained on four points, ahead of Panama (two points) while Guatemala moved to seven, same as the Costa Ricans who were beaten 2-0 away to Mexico. The Mexicans are out front with 16, one more than the US.
The Dutch-born coach was particularly harsh on his team for their slow start to proceedings which saw the Americans grab on 91 seconds.
“I was not happy but I think I could not ask more of them in the second half when we played with ten men” Beenhakker told TTFF Media.
“We know a long time now that the United States always start strong and we made the same mistake. We knew also that our team always seems to need about twenty or twenty five minutes to get in the game and I don’t know why. We worked on it and we talked about it. But I don’t know if they need to work more on their minds or with more pressure,” he added, voicing his concern about the inability to get off the mark on a quicker note.
“The US start was killing and we also had some bad luck because when we also got into the game a bit more we lost a guy. It was a good decision from the referee and I don’t blame him.”
Looking back at the performance, he said briefly: “At least we were in the game in the second half with ten guys and we had a lot of ball possession.
And looking ahead to what is now a must win match at home to Guatemala on September 3, the man in charge ended: “We learnt a lot and once again we saw that it is killing to start a match in such a way. I hope that the guys will pick it up. We also know that we don’t have to dramatize this result because USA is very strong like Mexico which did it’s duty and beat Costa Rica. It means they still have seven points and we are three behind. We still have it in our hands.”
US coach Bruce Arena added : "I think we deserved the three points. I thought we played very well and I think we felt guilty perhaps we made it a little bit difficult on ourselves. Give them credit: they never quit. They defended well and we failed to convert our chances. However, the three points is huge. Fifteen points after six games is as good as it gets and I think we're getting real close to qualifying for Germany. We’re pleased where we are.”
The match was played in front of typical die hard American fan base but the visitors were well represented too by a number of fans who turned out in their “Red” from shirts to flags with drums and all to give Dwight Yorke and his men some form of support away from home.
But with no time to settle, the T&T faithful were scratching their heads and goalie Kelvin Jack admitted that he was left shell shocked when a mishap on the right back position allowed Bobby Convey to push behind Atiba Charles and play one across for Brian McBride to knick home for a 1-0 USA lead. It was the beginning of a miserable first half for T&T as goalie Jack had to bring off some masterful work between the sticks to keep T&T in the match.
T&T took way too long to settle and just when the started to make a match of it, a bad back pass by Marvin Andrews forced Dennis Lawrence to use illegal force to prevent Landon Donovan from going clear to goal and the Wrexham defender was given marching orders. At the time, Beenhakker was looking to put Scott Sealy on the right wing and force Silvio Spann into a right back position. But just as Lawrence got sent off, he was forced to throw Brent Sancho into the fire and push Sealy up top. The switch led to probably the best performances by Sancho and Spann in that right back position. Yorke also dropped into the midfield and after weathering the first half storm, T&T put in a revamped second half performance.
T&T’s first shy at the goal came in the 7th minute when Chris Birchall’s left side corner went just past the far post as Lawrence just couldn’t get in on time.
For the US, Oguchi Onyewu had an attempt cleared at the last second and then Jack escaped when his clear out, after admitting he was in two minds to take a touch or clear first time, ended up falling straight to Donovan who saw his effort blocked by a racing Jack off his line.
Yorke almost created a good chance when he fought off a defender on the right of the box but just managed to get his cross blocked out.
The second half began with T&T looking desperate to get back into the contest but still vulnerable with the ten men. Onyewu forced another good save from Jack in the 56th minute and then Convey’s low drive brought the best out the Dundee man. Jack ended up with ten saves.
All the while, a fighting Sancho held his ground with desperate but timely tackles and kept his composure in holding position and getting the ball out of the danger area. And though called upon to perform extra duty at the back, Spann was still able to make the some runs forward on the right.
Kenwyne Jones who came on for Stern John, almost had a penalty call in his favour when he pushed into the left of the box and went down following a tackle but the referee didn’t see it in T&T’s favour.
And Andrews narrowly missed out on a touch to a right side ball which went inches past the left post.
Convey was sent off for a second booking in the 87th minute and with an extra three minutes on the clock, T&T tried in vain to steal a late point. A better second half showing definitely meant that the hard journey continues as the “Warriors” demonstrated that they can still pull it off and it continues at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on September 3 against the Guatemalans.
The local-based contingent is scheduled back home at 1:30pm Thursday while all the overseas-based players were scheduled to depart to their respective destinations on the same day. Yorke was due out of Connecticut on Thursday and schedule to arrive in Sydney on Saturday.

21-Kelvin Jack; 3-Avery John, 4-Marvin Andrews, 2-Atiba Charles (8-Scott Sealy 46th), 6-Dennis Lawrence; 9-Aurtis Whitley, 16-Silvio Spann, 7-Christopher Birchall, 20-Collin Samuel (5-Brent Sancho 46th); 19-Dwight Yorke (capt), 14-Stern John (15-Kenwyne Jones 55th).

Subs not used:
1-Shaka Hislop, 18-Densill Theobold, 23-Anthony Wolfe, 24-Cyd Gray.

Head Coach:
Leo Beenhakker.

18-Kasey Keller; 4-Chris Albright, 22-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Gregg Berhalter, 7-Eddie Lewis; 19-Steve Ralston (9-Santino Quaranta 72nd), 10-Claudio Reyna (capt), 5-John O'Brien (14-Chris Armas 46th), 15-Bobby Convey; 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride (13-Taylor Twellman 83rd).

Subs not used:
1-Tim Howard, 2-Greg Vanney, 11-Jeff Cunningham, 12-Jimmy Conrad.

Head Coach:
Bruce Arena.

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