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T&T vs St Vincent - 07-Oct-2006.
Sun Oct 8, 2006 09:50

St Vincent collects a handful.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).

For one evening, with money off their minds, Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers demonstrated their superiority over World Cup rivals St Vincent and the Grenadines with a 5-0 victory in Saturday’s friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Playing before a crowd of 4,116 fans, the Dwight Yorke led team of which the World Cup players signaled their intentions to consider retiring from the international stage due to contract disputes with the TTFF, left all their worries off the field as they outplayed the visiting Vincentians.
A double by a much fitter looking Stern John, a fabulous strike by Chris Birchall and one each by Yorke and Kerry Baptiste had the fans cheering on.
T&T showed early intentions to take control of proceedings. Inside the opening five minutes, defender Atiba Charles found Carlos Edwards out on the right and he played inside for John whose effort narrowly missed the target.
The Vincentians took long to settle and paid the price for it. On 13 minutes after Edwards was brought down by Markneil Lewis, Yorke’s header was cleared and Birchall did the rest, smoothly unleashing a low right footer which went in off the right post.
A sharp looking John then hit one wide and then after leaving his man for dead, he saw his right footer crash off the crossbar on 35 minutes.
A bit earlier the Coventry City man made no mistake though when goalie Melvin Andrews failed to handle Birchall’s cross and he was on spot to tuck it home after 24 minutes. Strike partner Jason Scotland also had a good try at goal before the interval.
With a 2-0 lead at the break, T&T picked the pace up again after the resumption. This time, John had a time as he left two defenders and eased the ball over the advancing Andrews for a 3-0 lead on 48 minutes.
As the game went on, St Vincent did manage some tries on goal but goalie Jan Michael Williams kept them at bay with some flawless work between the sticks. And frustration kept in as the visitors lost Benford Joseph (two yellow cards) and Dexter Walker in quick succession to play the final 25 minutes with nine men.
Following the foul on Kenwyne Jones which led to the second sending off, Yorke picked his spot with ease, sending the ball into the left of the net from the free kick. And substitute Baptiste met a left side cross from John and hammered home on his first touch of the match to complete the rout. Next up, T&T are scheduled to face Panama at the same venue on Wednesday from 6:30pm.



1.Jan Michael Williams; 8.Cyd Gray, 2.Atiba Charles (Andre Toussaint 70th), 6.Dennis Lawrence, 13.Nigel Daniel; 11.Carlos Edwards (18.Kerry Baptiste 75th), 7.Christopher Birchall, 19.Dwight Yorke (capt), 12.Collin Samuel; 20.Jason Scotland (15.Kenwyne Jones 60th), 14.Stern John.


Melvin Andrews (capt) (Windslow Mc Donald 69th), Wesley John, Daryl Gordon, Benford Joseph (Richard Hayde 62nd) (Kevin Joseph 88th), Howie Williams, Shandell Samuel (Deren Francis 65th), Kendall Velox, Andrew Douglas (Collingham Delves 74th), Greg Mayers, Dexter Walker, Markneil Lewis (Marlon James 46th).
Rijsbergen pleased with on pitch performance.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).

Head coach Wim Rijsbergen was pleased to see that members of the National team were able to concentrate solely on their game on Saturday evening and put on the kind of display they did in the 5-0 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Rijsbergen was in charge of the team for the first time on local soil as skipper Dwight Yorke and his men gave a commanding performance against the Vincentians who were coming off a 8-0 and 2-1 victories over St Lucia and Jamaica respectively.
“It’s a good win and of course you know we didn’t have a very good preparation because most of the talking was about other things. But I am happy that with all the talking they still knew what they had to do and they had a good performance on the field,” Rijsbergen said.
“Of course for us it was a good win because the last couple of days were not the best days for preparations. I saw a lot of guys having a lot of conversations and meetings but most of it was not about football but other things. I was happy for a moment they could separate that.
“It is very hard still to beat any team in the world today. Hopefully something positive comes out of all the meetings. I’m not part of any conversation in this manner between the Federation and the players, I’m here to coach and I’m not here to be in politics,” Rijsbergen added.
He went on to speak highly of the performance of young Kerry Baptiste, who got his first goal for T&T on the evening as well as Nigel Daniel and substitute Andre Toussaint showed, adding that it was important to have them playing and training with the more experienced players.
“That’s the reason why I always say if you want to get this improvement with the local players you have to use them with the better experienced players and this is why we had to cancel some games before and hopefully that will happen in the future too where we can get the experienced guys with the age to help us to the Gold Cup and help us in the qualification to the next World Cup with a mix from both sides.”
Rijsbergen will now look ahead to Wednesday’s friendly against Panama as well as the November fixture away to Austria and a proposed training camp in the US.
“The spirit was good after the last couple days of conversation and they proved that they are professionals and that is what I like - that they can separate the things and I hope to get the same thing against Panama.
“We still have to play Austria in November and then we have a mini camp in the US to lookat players there and in Canada. Hopefully by that time we will have a good player pool for the next Digicel Cup and Gold Cup,” He hinted that the squad for the Digicel Cup in late January will comprise mostly of home-based pros.
St Vincent coach Zoran Vranes meantime said he wasn’t totally dissatisfied by his team’s display.
“I am not totally disappointed because I know it would be tough. I didn’t expect 5-0 at all but I also got what I was looking for out of the game and we will have a different team in January for the finals,” said the Yugoslav-born coach.

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