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T&T vs Dominica - U-21 - (31-Mar-2006).
Sat Apr 1, 2006 04:45
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T&T U-21s salvage 1-1 draw with Dominica.
By Kern De Freitas (Express).


Trinidad and Tobago's Under-21 team have striker Judah Hernandez to thank for helping them to save face after a disappointing performance last night saw them draw 1-1 with Dominica in their first CAC qualifying match. Hernandez spared his team's blushes literally at the last minute, with a 90th minute equaliser against their lowly-rated opponents at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar to rousing cheers prompted by relief from the 2,000 modest crowd there to support the "Young Soca Warriors".
Hernandez's teammates had failed to hit the mark the entire evening, due to either wayward shooting, or excellent goalkeeping from Glenson Prince in the Dominica goal. But with the seconds ticking away and a humiliating defeat at home looming, a desperate blast off a Kevon Neaves pass put a single blemish on Prince's sheet, and salvaged some T&T pride.
But the overall performance from this talented T&T bunch was quite disappointing, moreso as they promised so much in the build-up to the match. Predictably, it was T&T who started the brighter, former St Anthony's College striker Abiola Sandy, missing a chance from close range in the opening minutes. The Dominicans, coming forward seemed less than potent, and T&T were comfortable at the back, but they lacked a clinical final touch at the other end.
Sandy tapped over from 12 metres out, while skipper Makan Hislop's powerful freekick in the 14th was parried wide Prince, and drove another just wide of the right upright four minutes.
In the 26th, defender Yohance Marshall met a Neaves corner on the left, but his header went just over. And in the 29th, Sandy's 20m effort soared over the crossbar. Speedy ex-Malick workhorse Hayden Tinto, playing on the right wing, blasted wide in the 32nd minute, and two minutes later Marshall forced Prince to parry wide.
However, despite their dominance in midfield, and myriad chances, T&T's lack of assertion saw them go behind against the run of play in the 35th minute. Surinamese referee John Wyngaarde blew his whistle for an infringment at the left of the T&T 18-metre box, and the ensuing kick floated towards T&T custodian Hasely Holder. Holder's attempted parry, which was more like a pat, directed the ball into the path of the onrushing Roy Emmanuel and he side-footed home to the delight of the tiny, but vocal Dominican contingent.
In the second period, Dominica began shakily despite their lead. But T&T, continued to miss their chances. Attack after attack either broke down inside the Dominican penalty area, or Prince was able to maintain his team's advantage with some impressive reflex goalkeeping.
The silent T&T crowd became extremely nervous, and vociferous in the closing minutes with their side heading for defeat. But after a pressure-filled final 10 minutes in which Dominica barely had a glimpse of the ball, T&T finally found an opening. Neaves received a pass at the edge of the area and looped the ball forward for Hernandez, who, in spite of attention from two defenders, had enough composure to rifle in the equaliser to give T&T a point. T&T are next scheduled to play Haiti on Tuesday at the same venue from 4 p.m. The Haitians are due to open their qualifying campaign with a match against Dominica at the same venue from 4 p.m. Sunday.
Lincoln Phillips analysis of the T&T/Dominica U-21 game.
By: Flex Mohammed.


Hard working Technical Director of T&T football Mr. Lincoln Phillips spoke to the Soca Warriors Online and gave us his break down on the T&T U-21 game aganist Dominica. Below is a read out of his analysis.

General Analysis
The team performed far below its potential against a vastly inferior opponent. Our passing was erratic and our decisions whether to make a first time pass or not was flawed. Far too many times the players chose to make first time passes when there was no pressure at all.
Our ball control and first touch in particular was disappointing, especially in the first half. The players' body position when receiving the ball provided very few options whenever they were in possession. For example, they would usually either be facing the sideline or their own goal when they received the ball. The movement off the ball was also deficient as players were too static and remained mostly in their original positions during the game. More mobility is needed to create passing options for the player with the ball. It should be noted that these points were also raised in the Tampa Camp analysis.
The team lacked appropriate team shape especially when advancing the ball from the defensive third. Yohance Marshall, a natural central defender was asked to play a defensive mid-field role. The thought here was to have a ball winner in the midfield. This did not work and he was wisely substituted in the second half.
Kevon Neaves, a natural left-sided player was asked to play in a central attacking mid-field position. With Neaves being the most skillful player on the team coupled with having a lethal long-range shot, the coach felt that he would have provided extra goal scoring from the mid-field. But, this strategy did not work.
In the second half, new players were inserted into the game (Josimar Belgrave, Akilie Edwards and Shane Calderon) and the formation was changed from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3, a system that enables a more positive approach to penetration and goal scoring. In hindsight, coach La Forest felt that he should have changed the system earlier since this was clearly the most effective formation (3-4-3) the team played in the warm up matches.

Finishing

Even with all these deficiencies, T&T penetrated the Dominican defense at will and should have had at least 4 goals for their efforts. However, poor finishing from close range kept the warriors off the boards until minutes before the final whistle. Judah Hernandez unleashed a powerful drive scoring from 15 meters to earn the Warriors a hard fought 1-1 tie.

Defense
The team lacked the intensity it showed in the Tampa games and in some of the games against our local pro teams. We never pressured the ball enough in the attacking third of the field and gave the opponents time and space to play in the midfield. In addition, our players were too far apart from the 1st defender (the defender closest to the ball) providing little or no cover at all during the game. We must pressure as a team and double-team as often as possible if we are to qualify for the CAC games.

Goalkeeping
Goalkeeper, Thorne Holder let in a soft goal from a lofted center. He was in two minds whether to catch or punch the ball over the bar. The mishandled ball dropped in front of the goal and Dominica got their first and only tally in the ensuing scrimmage. This occurrence obviously affected the game plan and the players played in an even more impatient manner.

Positives
In spite of the team's sub-par performance, they showed tremendous character and never gave up. Hayden Tinto was one of the live wires in the team constantly threatening the Dominican defenders both offensively and defensively. Judah Hernandez, although missing a few chances fought doggedly for a goal and was rewarded with the eventual equalizer.

Line Ups.

T&T:
Thorne Holder; Makan Hislop (capt), Karlon Murray, Ancil Farrier, Marcelle Francois (Shane Calderon 54th), Yohance Marshall (Josimar Belgrave 46th); Kevon Neaves, Hayden Tinto, Clevon George (Akile Edwards 74th); Judah Hernandez, Abiola Sandy.

Dominica:
Glenson Prince; Dafar Shillingford, Macaza White, Elmond Derrick, Augustus Pinard (Mahon Philogene 73rd); Roy Emmanuel (Lendl Johnson 71st), Lester Vital (Donan Fervier 59th), Shern Dailey, Leon Irish; Mitchel Joseph (capt), Daniel Francis.

Post Game:

Audio Interviews, click here.

Return To SOCAwarriors Online.
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