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Up-Close with Andre Samuel vs GUA (03-Sept-05)
Sun Sep 4, 2005 18:05
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Up-Close with Andre Samuel.

I left home around 1pm, and after much fan fare and with respect to phone calls and updates of the crowd situation, ah reach outside the stadium. The time was 2:15 pm, the crowd was thick and any other normal person would have wanted to go into the stadium as quickly as possible, but I, being a Trini, decided to spend the next five minutes looking for Oconnorg and his trunk full of beers. I found him at about 2:25pm and Cowen and I ‘buss way’ two Carib one time! After that moment of freeness, it was time to go and look for ah seat inside.

Reach inside the stadium about 2:55pm and the crowd was thick like mud. The spectator uniform was red top blue jeans and black umbrella. I ended up bouncing up Touches who was trying his best to win ah All Fours game with three of his brethren. Me and Cowen jump in the All fours ting, and after letting Touches and dem win the first game, we start to share licks like if we was riot police taming ah rowdy crowd.

There was a nice buzz in the stadium. Beers was the preferred beverage and eye food was the preferred dish. The players looked good in their warm ups, but all eyes were on “de general”, who was trapping ball dead.

Now on to the line-ups! Beenhakker went with a change of plan for today’s game. Instead of the usual 4-4-2, Beenhakker went with a 4-5-1.

Avery John on the left, Silvio Spann on the right and the Marvin Andrews/Brent Sancho combination at the heart of the defense.

Whitley played on de left midfield, Carlos on the right side, Birchall in the centre, and Yorke and Latapy in the middle behind Stern John (but we heard that it was originally Sealy to start).

Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet, game start and the Guatemalans in possession. They start off nice, knocking the ball around with the Warriors chasing shadows. Sancho ended up breaking up the play but gave away a free kick in doing so. We set up a wall, Ramirez lined up, and boom!! The ball got a deflection and the ball nestled in the back of the net. All in a flash, we were behind.

To their credit, the Warriors didn’t let their heads drop and restarted by taking the fight to the Guats. In the tenth minute, it was time to sing the same old song! A bad clearance by the Guatemalan defense gifted the ball to Stern John, and with just the keeper to beat, he decided to kick a powder puff wide of the goal. Cuss like rain in the stadium. Man done start to ball for sub!

The Warriors began to dominate, with all the major attacking coming down the right flank! Carlos Edwards and Silvio Spann played together today like clockwork. We really missed Edwards for the last couple of games. Latapy played on the left and showed that he has lost nothing. Deft control and a low centre of gravity was the order of the day as the Guats was eating body fake like if it was some Maracas bake and shark. But as funny as it may sound, “de general” played in the only part of the field that was covered in shade and only came out of the spot during corner kicks at both ends of the pitch.

In the 30+ minute, ah Warrior unleash a bullet that the Guatemalan keeper could only parry, and an onrushing Stern John blasted it into the net only for the linesman to rule offside. More cuss in the stadium, who didn’t know how to cuss, learn by now!

HALF TIME: GUAT 1 - TRIN 0

We started off the second half by replacing Whitley with Scotland, as Beenhakker went back to the 4-4-2, much to the disapproval of the crowd who wanted Stern off the field. The Warriors then launched an attack on the goal. Yorke fake ah man and pass the ball to “de general” who ran into the box, fake two Guats with he right foot, ignored Stern John’s plea for a pass and drove the ball past the Guatemalan keeper.

One-all in the stadium, pandemonium in the stadium, horn start tuh blow, beers get pelt in the air, girls start tuh wine, man start tuh jump up and we were all happy again!

The Warriors were in total control in the game now, and camped in the Guatemalan half. But Lard have mussy, why the chances always go to Stern John!! On the first occasion, Carlos sent a teasing ball in the box and Stern John out jumped the keeper (who was really dottish to come out for that ball) and headed it wide of the open goal.

The second occasion was a chance resulting from some great work from Jason Scotland who came on and taught Stern John how to play a striker’s role. Jason mesmerized the Guats with his pace and strength and showed the local public that he is not a post up player. He unleashed a right footed rocket from on top of the 18 yard box that the keeper could only parry in front of ………..guess who? Did u say Stern John? Ding ding ding ding, correct!!! Mr. John decided to head it in one time and only succeeded in miss-hitting the ball and it went straight into the hands of the keeper.

“Sub that man please” “boo Stern boo” “Beenhakker please bring on Scott Sealy” These were the cries coming from the crowd.

Nevertheless, the Warriors were still in charge. Birchall had a beauty of a shot turned around the post by the keeper, Latapy had a penalty shout turned down, and the Guats were just clearing out the ball aimlessly.

Soon after that however, in the 60+ minute, against the run of play, the Guats launched a very quick counter that caught the Warriors defense napping and easy like that they regained their lead. Touches had on he cry face, and you could have heard a pin drop in the stadium!!

All momentum was lost and the Warriors looked a defeated and deflated bunch. Stern’s second disallowed goal didn’t help but Yorke kept talking to the team, encouraging the boys to lift their heads.

Scott Sealy started to warm up and the crowd get real excited cause we “knew” that he was going to come on for Stern. But in a moment of perceived madness from coach Beenhakker, we saw Spann’s number on the 4th official’s monitor. “Oh God no!!” was the cry from the crowd. Why he take of Spann? Spann playing a beauty of a game on de right! What happen to Stern?

The Warriors reverted to a 3-4-3 system and started to press like crazy and all I could think at this point in time was the 5-1 loss in Guatemala since this was exactly how it happened!

In the 84th minute, when all looked lost, Stern John was fed a ball on the left hand side and placed it beautifully past the keeper to tie up the scores at 2 apiece.

My celebrations were somewhat subdued, since Stern throw way too much goal!! Two minutes later, another shot was parried by the Guatemalan keeper and Stern was there again to blast into the net. This goal was a carbon copy of the other two that was disallowed but the only difference was that the flag stayed down!

It was now I felt tuh jump, it was now I felt to wave, meh heart beat increase tuh an uncomfortable rate, all stag went airborne, all woman started to wine, ah hug up Touches, ah hug up Cowen, ah hug up Oconnorg, ah hug up the gyul standing behind meh! meh shades fall, meh umbrella mash up, we were in the lead with 3 minutes to go and IT WAS MADNESS IN THE STADIUM!!

All hands (except Stern) were on deck to defend our lead and we had a little hiccup when Dwight wanted to get cheeky in the back with the ball but two cuss from Kelvin Jack sorted out that!

Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!! Tweeeeeeeeeeeeet!! Tweeeeeeeeeeeeet!!

Scotland for Whitley (Beenhakker is ah fool....take off Stern was de cry).
Sealy for Spann (Beenhakker is ah asshole...why yuh eh take of Stern? fire de coach was de cry).
Stern scoring dem two goals (Beenhakker is ah genius tuh leave on Stern)... lol.........trinis really like ting!

Game done, three pts in the bag!! Costa Rica is next! Sweet Tassa outside de stadium, and wine sharing like if it going out ah style!

PLAYER RATINGS;

KELVIN JACK – 7.5 – Didn’t have much to do today, and didn’t have a chance with both goals. He is still hesitant to come for the ball but other than that he had an ok game.

MARVIN ANDREWS – 5 – Seems to have lost a bit of form. He does not look a certainty in the match against Costa Rica.

BRENT SANCHO – 9 – Must continue to start, he is my player of the game, he had many last gap saving tackles and was very comfortable with ball at his feet.

CHRIS BIRCHALL – 7 – He did the most running today. His passing was awful but he was responsible for the breaking up of many Guatemalan plays. We need his tenacity on the pitch.

AURTIS WHITLEY – 6.5 – This was one of his better games but he was guilty of passing off the ball to Latapy to early. He was very composed on the ball.

SPANN & EDWARDS – 8.5 – This combination is a deadly one. They were poetry in motion on the right hand side of the field in attack; they seemed to have a telepathic connection and defended very well together!

AVERY JOHN – 7.5 – He would be a very complete player if he works on his crossing. He defended well, and tackled hard.

DWIGHT YORKE – 8 – Came second to Birchall in the running race. He is really leading from the front and his contribution on the pitch is priceless.

RUSSELL LATAPY – 8 – “de general” still has it. He is still a boss on de pitch. He started ah little shaky but he took his goal well and showed nice composure on the pitch.

STERN JOHN – 6.5 – Those 2 goals bring him to 6.5. He had seven sitters today, he scored two, he missed three and the other two were called offside. I still wouldn’t start him against the Ricans.

JASON SCOTLAND – 7.5 – Played like a hungry Warrior today, this was not the Gold Cup Scotland ? This was the Scotland who was scoring goals like rain in the PFL, using his strength to take on defenders.

SCOTT SEALEY – N/A

ATIBA CHARLES – N/A

PS: - A moment of worrying concern for all forumites. It was brought to my attention by two independent sources that Stern Johncursed the crowd on two occasions during the game. The first was during his celebration of his first goal when he told the crowd to “f**k off” and the second was while going off the field he ran into the tunnel and told the crowd to “f**k off” again!!

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