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T&T vs Costa Rica (U-23), 8-Oct-2003.
Thu Oct 9, 2003 11:17

T&T go down fighting to "Ticos".
By: Shaun Fuentes.

Trinidad and Tobago unveiled a new scoring talent but his exploits on Wednesday evening were not enough to prevent the hosts from going down 4-3 to Costa Rica's Olympic team in a friendly at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
Defence Force striker Kevon Carter scored a hattrick on his debut for T&T in front of an appreciative crowd of around 2000 fans in what was a warm up for both nations ahead of their upcoming second round Olympic qualifying matches.
T&T got one of it's better starts in recent international outings as the Carter and Kendall Davis combination yielded two goals in the 10th and 35th minutes to give T&T a 2-0 cushion. But the "Ticos" struck just before the break and then jumped to a 4-2 lead with further items in the 48th, 63rd and 65th minutes to shock the home fans who were earlier treated to some attractive play from their "Soca Warriors."
The Costa Ricans made the early threats with some dangerous balls around the T&T penalty box and a poor pass at the back by Silvio Spann allowed Warren Granados to test goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams in the 9th minute.
Inside the next minute though, the homeside struck the first blow. A neat combination saw Davis slipping one through to a swift moving Carter who rounded advancing goalie Daniel Rodriguez before slotting home to the delight of the fans.
Pablo Brennes and Carlos Hernandez forced Williams into good saves in the 12th and 20th minutes but it was T&T who went narrowly close to finding the net This time Davis was sent through on the right of the box but could only look on as his low right footer went agonizingly wide of the left post.
Midfielder Michael Celestine delighted with the crowd when he skilfully rounded two players in succession on the left flank only to have his chip taken by the 'keeper before any of his onrushing teammates could make contact.
A minute later though, there was cause for more celebrations in the T&T camp. Davis collected on the left halfway inside the opposition half and sent a pin point ball for a lurking Carter who met it atop the box and raced goalwards, beating the advancing 'keeper before nailing home for a 2-0 advantage. The cheers in the stands was maybe the loudest heard by the T&T faithful in some time.
Costa Rica had their best attack of the half four minutes before half time and it brought the best out of 'keeper Williams.
First up Ulises Morera forced Williams to push out his effort which saw the loose ball fall for Jairo Arrieta whose effort was kept out by a diving custodian and before the T&T defenders could catch themselves, Oscar Seravallo rifled another drive from atop the box which left Williams sprawling to deny the "Ticos".
But the pressure broke T&T at the back as the defence was caught napping and Morera collected free on the right edge of the box and had enough time to cut in and place his shot away from Williams to leave the scores at 2-1 after 45 minutes.
It was just the break the visitors were hoping for as they came back out with renewed vigour and took control of proceedings.
Good movement on the left saw a cross come over to Arrieta who hit home from close range for the equalizer.Then captain Pablo Salazar silenced the Centre when he unleashed a bullet from about 25 yards out which kept going away from Williams and into the left corner of the net. T&T's misery was far from over as two minutes later, Hernandez drilled a low one which took a miserable deflection on its way past a stranded Williams.
The game lost momentum as T&T struggled to gain in attack and the visitors realized the game was theirs for the taking as they sat back and seemed contented with the two goal lead.
T&T came to life again in the closing quarter with Davis failing to capitalize on a good build up as he turned a header wide from close range. Carter then showed him just how it should be done when he coolly slotted another one home from inside the box with five minutes left on the clock.
Disappointing to fall following the two-goal advantage but all in all it was an improved showing from T&T particularly after the 3-0 loss in Heredia a month ago.
“We lost concentration at important times in the game,” pointed out coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier. “We had a much more even share of the game than we usually do at that level,” he added. “It was much more balanced in terms of ball possession. However, I was disappointed with the result. “In the end, it is about the result. But I am trying my best along with the technical staff to develop a winning team playing good football.
“I believe that we lost because we were not as consistent in the second-half as we were in the first. After leading 2-0, we conceded a goal on the stroke of half-time due to lack of concentration.
“In the second-half, we took abut 20 minutes to settle and we lost the game in that period. We need to improve in terms of our maturity at that level.” T&T was off to a swift start when Carter rifled a one-timer from just outside the area past goalkeeper Harry Morera, after nine minutes play. The goal came as a result of a good build-up from the defence. The goal injected confidence in the local youngsters, as they created more scoring opportunities after stringing together several passes.
“There was definitely some signs of improvement in our play at that level,” stated coach Charles-Fevrier. “Although we lost the game, the supporters did not make negative remarks. I think they saw something that we could work with. “Our major problem at the moment is the length of time we have to work with the players. We only have one session a week. It is clear that the team would be much more productive if the staff has more training time with the players. “We feel that with more training time the progress of the team would be much faster.”

Final Score:
T&T 3 vs 4 Costa Rica.

T&T Goal Scorer:
Kevin Carter 10th, 35th, 85th.

Costa Rica Goal Scorers:
Ulises Morera, Jairo Arrieta, Pablo Salazar, Carlos Hernandez.

Marvin Lee Stadium - Trinidad.

T&T Line-Up:
Jan-Michael Williams, Lyndon Diaz, Ronald Primus, Julius James (Nigel Daniel 46th), Devon Caseman (Anton Joseph 84th), Silvio Spann (capt), Michael Celestine (Errol Charles 46th), Josh Johnson, Kerry Baptiste (Andre Toussaint 70th), Kendall Davis (Shelton Williams 84th), Kevon Carter.

Costa Rica Line-Up:
Harry Morera, Pablo Salazar (capt), Gabriel Badilla (Michael Umana 42nd), Greivin Portugues, Jose Villalobos (Michael Rodriguez 89th), Pablo Brenes, Warren Granados (Randall Azofeifa 77th), Oscar Seravalli (Leonardo Araya 42nd), Carlos Hernandez, Ulises Morera (Daniel Jiminez 74th), Jairo Arrieta (Fibiany Garcia 89th).
Costa Rican coach compliments T&T's efforts.
By: Shaun Fuentes.

Costa Rican coach Rodrigo Kenton feels that with a consistent level of preparation, Trinidad and Tobago's Under 23 footballers could pose a threat in the latter stages of the 2004 Athens Olympic qualifying campaign.
Kenton said there was an obvious improvement in T&T following the clash in August as he spoke following his team's come from behind 4-3 win over T&T at the Marvin Lee Stadium on Wednesday evening.
T&T suffered a 3-0 loss in Heredia in August but this time a Kevin Carter hattrick led T&T and left the "Ticos" needing to fight to regain the advantage. T&T must now get past Grenada in November before advancing to next year's semi-final stage.
"Definitely I knew we were not going to have an easy time in this match. This is not the first time I've come to Trinidad and I know that whenever you come in the Caribbean, the players are always more aggressive and faster and they obviously showed in this game that they have good ability," Kenton told TTFF Media.
"I know that even though the professional league here may not be highly successful, the players are of a good standard and maybe with a little more consistency in the preparations and development, I think your team can really be a force."
He added that hopefully more matches can be played between both nations as he also complimented the facilities here.
"I think now we have a direct flight between both countries which means we could play a lot more games This was a very good match for both teams I respect the jobs that the people here have been doing in football. You have tremendous facilities which we would do anything to have in Costa Rica. We certainly will not mind having something like the Centre of Excellence in Costa Rica. We know it is a plan for the future at home but you already have this here and it is a major plus. You have very good physical players so maybe they just need better preparations," said Kenton who was assistant coach of the Costa Rican Senior team for the 1990 World Cup in Italy. He also accompanied coach Bora Mulitonovic during his reign in Nigeria and was also an assistant coach with the "Ticos" at the 2002 World Cup.
T&T resumed training at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday and both the Senior and Olympic teams will have upcoming sessions.
Stuart Charles Fevrier was also pleased with an improved showing but was disappointed with T&T not being able to play consistently for the 90 minutes.
"The performance was much better than the last game. Our possession was good but I feel we will have room for improvement. What let us down was our lack of consistency. We played a very good first half but we slipped up in the second half and they took advantage of us. Kevin Carter was brilliant for us and this can only auger well for us because we definitely have a striker in the making," said Fevrier.
"Generally speaking I still find that our passing can be better which will help with our possession. We put ourselves in difficult situations because our start positions needs to be better. The opponent always seem to get the better of us in these situations.
"I try to impress upon the players that we cannot just be satisfied with playing good football. We need to be able to win matches. We have to maximize our advantage when we are in good positions. This means that the tactical awareness needs to be worked on. We need to know how to play at certain times depending on the state of the match," said Fevrier.
Patriot Up Close, Read His Game Report:

Hi guys, I think Shaun Fuentes summed up the game quite nicely. Which is good in a way, because while I attended the match, I arrived about 5 minutes late and must confess to not knowing all the players' names, having missed the announcement of the starting eleven (The distorted PA system at the Marvin Lee stadium did NOT help either).

From what I observed, I'd rate our team play at about 7. To be honest I think the Costa Rica's (DESPITE what they politically correctly said in the pre-game interview) did NOT expect much of a test from us. In fact I'd go so far as to suggest that they started with a far weaker team than the last game we played them (If anyone has team listings, I'd be grateful for confirmation about this. Evidence of this was their DOUBLE substitution IMMEDIATELY after going 2-0 down. Which, co-incited with them turning up the heat on T&T.

Now for T&T, they seemed to grow in confidence in the opening minutes and played attractive, flowing football. One of the MAIN weapons in this team's arsenal, is the speed on the flanks, something abysmally absent on the senior team. BOTH of our opening goals were scored on a counter-attack! From what I read in the papers, The national coach was only able to have one session with the team, so I can only express SHOCK at the TTFF's bungling off the opportunity to have this team play against Peru U-23's on the week-end! Once again we are being un-done by an incompetent administration! If reports are true, Stern John was actually IN T&T SINCE SUNDAY in anticipation of playing the game against Peru national football team on Sunday the 12th (then people question the guy's commitment???).

Of the players I DID recognize, I'd rate the strikers Kendall Davis and the goal-scorer Kevon Carter at 6 and 8 respectively. For all the hype, Kendall Davis throws away waay too many chances. While Kevin Carter has the attributes I like to see in a striker, speed, strength, tenacity and a nice finishing touch. Definitely a striker to look closer at. The #10 Kerry Batiste playing as an attacking midfielder would also be a 7. While competent, he lacks consistency over 90 minutes (he played for about 75/80). Josh Johnson on the right-flank is also a 7. While a great crosser, he needs too much time to settle, and contributes little defensively. I was surprised that #9 Michael Celestine, playing on the left-wing was replaced by Nigel Daniel at 1/2 time, as I felt he was having an excellent game and would rate his performance at 8. In fact Nigel Daniel upon entering was quickly moved over to the right-side after being caught in possession several times (he gets a 6). Our captain (Silvio Spann) had an outstanding game! running the length of the field for 90 mins, tackling to win back the ball and then re-launching the attack! he played too deep I think, but was clearly playing to instructions, so our defensive Mid-field is in EXCELLENT hands. he gets a 9! the introduction of W Connection defender Anton Joseph, a recent find was also note-worthy as he took an excellent left-footed free-kick that just skimmed the Costa Rican cross-bar! he gets a 7 only because he was on the field for only a few minutes. At the back, I must commend our #4 player, not 100% sure, but I think his name is Errol Charles who plays for Starworld Strikers, he was OUTSTANDING! After the goal scorer (Cater) and Spann, one of the best players on the field!!! A big player with speed, strength AND good reading of the game and personable passing ability. Sadly the same CANNOT be said of Joe Public defender Julius James, playing at right-back, who seemed over-whelmed and either "huffed" long balls out from the back, or gave away possession under little or NO pressure, rating, a 4. HIS being replaced at 1/2 time was NO surprise, although his replacement #12, was just a little better, rating a 5. Goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams will eventually leave these shores with a pro-contract. This man, COMMANDS the box, is extremely flexible, has GREAT reflexes, handles cross balls decent and SPEAKS to his defence. He gets an 8! I cannot fault him for any of the goals scored, as his defence left him exposed time and time again! Finally, when Andre Toussaint came on, I think he was the spark off the bench that T&T needed to get that 3rd goal. I'd like to see him play more and perhaps be played in that attacking-Mid role instead of up-front. he gets a 71/2.
The T&T team has potential, and clearly needs more TOP level games like Costa Rica to gel, NOT games against local club teams and Caribbean opposition. We should easily handle Grenada next month, but without more exposure, we will be slaughtered by Mexico, USA, Costa Rica etc when playing away from home!

Let's hope the TTFF are listening, AND start getting SERIOUS with friendlies and warm-ups for both the Senior and U-23 teams. IMAGINE Jamaica are playing a FULL-STRENGTH Brazil team, while T&T play NO-ONE, on an international week-end where we could have fielded some of our pros players !!! ARE WE BEING SET UP AGAIN???? God deliver us from Jack and Camps!!!

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