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T&T vs Bahrain (16-Nov-2005).
Sat Nov 19, 2005 18:02
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Trinidad beat Bahrain for place in 2006 World Cup.

MANAMA (AFP) - Trinidad and Tobago will appear in their first ever World Cup finals after staging a remarkable comeback to beat Bahrain 1-0. Dennis Lawrence's 49th minute goal sealed a 2-1 play-off aggregate win after last week's first leg ended 1-1 in Port-of-Spain.
Trinidad are the first Caribbean country to play in a World Cup since neighbouring Jamaica's appearance in the 1998 edition.
They won this final error-strewn and physical inter-continental playoff much to the disappointment of a packed home crowd, erasing bitter memories of losing out on a place in the 1990 World Cup held in Italy.
Coach Leo Beenhakker praised his team for a "battling performance".
"It was a very tough match and it was difficult logistically to get the players ready for such an important match after all that travelling," said the 63-year-old Dutchman.
"But the team played hard and I am very proud of them. They deserve to play in the World Cup."
Bahrain were also battling for their first-ever World Cup slot after having come through two Asian qualifying rounds and surviving a close and controversial play-off against Uzbekistan.
Bahrain coach Luka Peruzovic admitted disappointed but gave full credit to Trinidad saying they played very well in the first 30 minutes.
But the Croatia-born Belgian did not rule out appealing to world soccer govering body FIFA against a controversial injury time goal which was disallowed.
"I want to make myself 100 percent sure of what happened before advising the Bahrain Football Association," said Peruzovic. "We will watch the action replay before taking any decision."
This second leg playoff for Germany 2006 will be remembered more for the spills rather than thrills.
Trinidad dominated the first-half pressing hard and deep but time and again they failed to cap their moves with a goal as they found tall and lanky defender Sayed Mohammed Adnan and goalkeeper Ali Hassan almost impossible to beat.
Bahrain, on the other hand, seemed under immense pressure in front of a packed house and took time to settle down. The persevering Trinidad midfielders did not make their task easy either, hustling and harrassing constantly for that vital goal.
Kenywne Jones made the first attempt at goal midway through the first-half when his long ranger went over the Bahrain goal.
In the 31st minute, another Trinidad move came to grief as Stern John did well to control a Marvin Andrews pass from the right.
The Derby county striker also did well to beat Adnan but at the moment of reckoning he fumbled and his shot crashed into goalkeeper Hassan.
Trinidad also got three set-piece free kick opportunities from three different angles on the edge of the penalty area in the first-half, but all three were wasted due to lack of proper planning and precision.
Trinidad almost threw away the match in the 40th minute when goalkeeper Kelvin Jack made a complete hash of judging a long ball from Adnan with Bahrain striker Hussain Ali lurking dangerously close in the penalty area.
But Andrews saved Trinidads day by heading the ball out and the Caribbeans continued to press forward with renewed vigour.
Trinidads perseverance finally paid off four mintues after the restart when the Wrexham defender Lawrence headed home a Yorke corner much to the delight of coach Leo Beenhakker.
Goalkeeper Hassan kept a glimmer of hope alive for Luka Peruzovics team by making a couple of fines savs later in the second-half but the hosts still could not find the equaliser.
All Bahrain managed was a controversy when Hussain Ali kicked the ball out of goalkeeper Jack's hands and scored even though referee Oscar Ruiz had already blown the whistle.
A free-for-all ensued as the referee was pushed around by Bahrain players resulting in a red card for Hussain Baba.
Still, Bahrain made one final attempt through Talal Yousef. But Trinidad goalkeeper Jack rose to the occasion and fisted out a brave effort from the top of the box.
Trinidadians clad in their national colors -- red, white and black -- took to the streets of the capital, Port-of-Spain, jumping and screaming, while others cried over their first entry to the World Cup.
"I am overwhelmed. This is history: Trinidad and Tobago, we going to Germany, Oh God!" said David Frederick, a 37-year-old construction worker.
Thousands of people left work after the victory and were celebrating on nearly every street corner in the capital, waving their country's flag. Motorists punctuated the carnival-like atmosphere by blowing their horns.
Nutor Blair, 30, a Guyanese man celebrating the victory outside a pub and holding a Trinidad flag, said: "I am Guyanese, but a win for Trinidad is a win for the Caribbean."
Other Caribbean teams to make the tournament were Cuba in 1938, Haiti in 1974 and Jamaica in 1998. Bahrain went 1-5-4 in its final 10 qualifiers.

Line-Ups.

T&T:

Kelvin Jack, Carlos Edwards (Ian Cox 83rd) Ian Cox, Avery John, Marvin Andrews, Dennis Lawrence, Christopher Birchall (Silvio Spann 21st), Aurtis Whitley, Kenwyne Jones (Russell Latapy 77th), Stern John, Dwight Yorke (capt).

Bahrain:
Hussein Ali Hassan, Sayed Mahmood Jalal, 8. Abdulrahman Abdulkarim, Ahmed Hassan, Mohammed Juma, Talal Yusuf, Sayed Adnan, Husein Salman (Fawzi Ayesh 80th), Mohamed Hubail, Ala’a Hubail.
Beenhakker delighted by T&T heroics.
By: FIFAworldcup.com.


Trinidad and Tobago coach Leo Beenhakker hailed his side's qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ as one of the highlights of his lengthy career.
The Dutchman guided his side to a 2-1 aggregate win over Bahrain, their 1-0 victory in Manama on Wednesday evening securing their passage to Germany 2006 - and a place at the finals for the first time ever.
Trinidad finished fourth in the CONCACAF final qualifying group to enter into the play-off against Bahrain. They did so despite a dreadful start to qualifying that saw them amass just one point from the opening three games.
But, with Beenhakker's arrival in place of Bertille St Clair, the team's fortunes took a turn for the better, culminating in the their first berth on the world stage. "If you work 40 years in football you have several highlights and this was, of course, one of them," said Beenhakker.
"When we started in May after three matches the team only had one point and nobody gave us a chance. In the qualifying matches it went better and better and this, of course, is the result.
With Bahrain securing an away goal in the first leg in Port of Spain on Saturday, T&T went into the second leg knowing they needed to score to have any chance of progressing. Four minutes after half-time that vital goal came, towering defender Dennis Lawrence meeting Dwight Yorke's corner powerfully to score past Ali Hassan and force the home side to open up and chase a goal of their own.
Despite several near-misses, Bahrain could not find the answer to prevent the Caribbean islanders qualifying for Germany. "First of all we are very happy that we did it," said Beenhakker. "I have to say what I said before playing the two matches that Bahrain was a tough opponent for us.
"They did a very good job in the first match in Trinidad and Tobago. I think we had, here, a good first half-hour. After that we made the same mistake as in Trinidad that we forgot to play football. We scored a good goal, a wonderful goal and after that it was a very nervous situation for the players.
"Most of them are not used to playing under such pressure but at the end we saved the result and you can imagine that everybody is unbelievably happy. It's the first time in history that this country will be represented in the World Cup, so I suppose it will be a one-week carnival in Trinidad and Tobago."
Bahrain coach Luka Peruzovic was dejected in defeat, believing his team missed out on qualifying by the narrowest of margins. "They pushed us but this is not the reason we lost or we are out," said the naturalised Belgian, who took over as Bahrain coach in August.
"We knew before the match it would be tough and only one detail can make a difference. But I knew it and I said before that in this kind of match little things make a difference.”

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  • T&T vs Bahrain (12-Nov-2005).fleX, Sun Nov 13 09:46
    Now T&T must beat them in Bahrain. T&T Express Reports. It was not the result they wanted. But midfielder Chris Birchall's equaliser against Bahrain still kept Trinidad and Tobago's Germany World Cup ... more
    • T&T vs Bahrain (16-Nov-2005). — fleX, Sat Nov 19 18:02
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