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T&T vs South Korea (14-Jul-2004).
Wed Jul 14, 2004 13:47

Soca Warriors display true grit to hold Koreans in Seoul.
Issued By: Shaun Fuentes, TTFF Press Officer in Seoul.

A perfectly executed bullet into the top left corner of the net by Jason Scotland in the 77th minute topped of a performance of sheer determination as Trinidad and Tobago held 2002 World Cup semi-finalists to a 1-1 draw before 27,000 boisterous Korean fans at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Wednesday night.
The result, maybe one of the highest ranked in the history of the T&T senior team, considering that they were playing the third place finishers in their own backyard, left FIFA Vice President Jack Warner, coach Bertille St Clair, skipper Angus Eve and his teammates an overwhelmed bunch in Seoul. Added to that, the sounds of the Angostura Woodbrook Playboys Steel Orchestra playing David Rudder’s ‘Trini to de bone” echoing through the Stadium and the sight of some Koreans moving in their style to the beat was a remarkable one.
The result, according to St Clair, was simply a positive one as T&T prepares for the semi-final round of the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
“I think it was a great effort from the guys and it bridges the gap between some of the overseas pros and some of the local players. I never thought about this result but I thought about the exercise. We wanted this kind of game for the experience. In cases like these you aspire to achieve and this is what the guys did tonight,” St Clair told TTFF Media after the match.
“What I wanted was that kind of fighting performance from the guys because we have been speaking about it. We took it like a boxer going through a battle round by round. Nothing comes easily and practice makes permanent. When you do things over and over it automatically comes easy,” he added.
Going into the match on the back of a 3-2 loss to Thailand and missing several key starters, the end result seemed a far way off but Eve and his men demonstrated strong character and fight to hold off the usual quick playing Koreans who had six members of their World Cup team around.
Both teams started off evenly with the Koreans having the first look at goal when former Italian-based forward Jung Hwan Ahn picked up a loose ball and forced goalkeeper Kelvin Jack to push around his left post. It was the first of several timely interceptions by the big custodian.
Captian Angus Eve tested the agility of club Suwon Samsung and Korean captain ‘keeper Jae-Woon Lee with a teasing right side free kick in search of Scotland and from there on, it appeared that the fans were in for a keenly contested affair.
Jack was quick off line to stop Ahn from meeting a through ball and then he rushed out again to block Gook Lee’s close range effort.
Wake Forest University striker Scott Sealy, who was persistent up front, had the best effort of the first half when he collected a ball which Anthony Rougier did well to win, and moved across the box before unleashing a bullet which crashed off the top right woodwork, leaving the Koreans in awe for an instant.
The second half started slowly but the Koreans rode their luck in the 52nd minute when German-based striker Du-Ri Cha ran onto a ball played inside the box and poked the ball through Jack’s grasps to send the Koreans 1-0 ahead. The easy goal failed to deter the “Soca Warriors” who fought on in a most admirable manner, on occasions winning applauds from the home fans for their efforts.
Silvio Spann was introduced in place of a hardworking Rahim in the 55th minute and after a foul on him won T&T a free kick on the right of the box, T&T went near to grabbing an equalizer. Keyeno Thomas rose above all, only to head just over bar from the six-yard box. The latter along with debutant Derek Phillips, Marlon Rojas, Kenwyne Jones and sweeper Derek King were a force throughout, chasing and tackling anything in their sight before King was forced to leave the field with a hamstring pull in the 67th minute, replaced by Michael Celestine. Moments earlier, Rojas sent Sealy down the left flank and his cross went inches over Scotland’s head as T&T searched for the equalizer. But the Dundee United striker made amends for his miss when Spann found Sealy on the edge of the box, held off two defenders and laid back a ball for Scotland to let fly past a hapless Lee who got a touch only after the ball flew back at him after hitting the net.
The goal kept T&T in the fight and though Korea kept pressing, T&T went close again in the 85th minute when Eve swung a free kick in for Thomas to head inches over. The Korean fans lifted their voices and saw PSV based midfielder Park Ji-Sung hit the post in the dying stages.
South Korea fielded a strong team which included PSV midfielders Lee Young-Pyo and Park Ji-Sung, Belgium based striker Seol Ki-Hyeon of RSCA Anderlecht, former Perugia striker Ahn Jung-Hwan of Yokohama, Frankfurt FC striker and South Korea's goal-scorer Cha Du-Ri among others.
When Japanese referee Matsumara Kazuhiko blew the final whistle, it signaled the end of stimulating performance by the “Soca Warriors”.
Skipper Eve couldn’t have wanted better. “I think it’s a brilliant result for us especially when you take everything into consideration. We were playing a third place World Cup in their backyard which is at the height of preparations for the Asian Cup and World qualifiers. We were also not enjoying the best of results recently so this definitely is a major boost for us now,” Eve ended. The team is expected back home on Friday via Bangkok and London and will leave Seoul on Thursday.

T&T Line-Up:
Kelvin Jack, Keyeno Thomas, Marlon Rojas, Derek King (Michael Celestine 67th), Kenwyne Jones, Derek Phillips, Anthony Rougier, Brent Rahim (Silvio Spann 55th), Angus Eve (capt), Jason Scotland (Kerry Baptiste 85th), Scott Sealy.

South Korea Line-up:
Lee Woon-Jae (capt), Choi Jin-Cheul (Kim Jin-Kyu 74th), Lee Min-Sung, Kim Tae-Young (Park Jae-Hong 66th), Lee Young-Pyo (Park Jin-Sub 78th), Hyun Young-Min, Park Ji-Sung, Kim Nam-Il, Seol Ki-Hyeon (Chung Kyung-Ho 45th), Lee Dong-Gook, Ahn Jung-Hwan (Cha Du-Ri 45th).

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