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T&T vs Canada (19-Feb-2003) - U-23.
Mon Aug 2, 2004 11:31
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T&T edged in second outing versus Canada.
By: Shaun Fuentes.


Trinidad and Tobago's National Under 23 footballers gave an improved performance from Monday's 3-0 defeat to Canada's National Under 20s but could not avoid a 1-0 loss to the same opponents in the second friendly at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella on Wednesday.
T&T, preparing for their Olympic qualifying campaign clearly had the better openings but failed to put any away as the Canadians grabbed a winner in the 67th minute through captain Gordon Chin after a defensive lapse.
Unlike Monday's encounter when T&T struggled to mount any decent attacks against the better prepared and fitter Canadians, this time around it was coach Hannibal Najjar's team that looked the better from the opening whistle.
Mayaro Spurs midfielder Ryan Sterwart had the fist look at goal in the 17th minute when he controlled well inside the penalty box but he hurried a weak left footer wide of the left post with time and space in his favour. Two minutes later, Anton Joseph blasted a free kick over bar from top of the box after the lively Andre Toussaint was fouled.
Toussaint, captaining the team for the second straight outing, troubled the opposition throughout with his deft touches and accurate passing. He saw his 22nd minute low drive well saved by Srdjan Djekanovic. Seven minutes later the Joe Public striker combined with Devon Mitchell but the latter quick effort was saved on the jump by the 'keeper.
T&T kept up the pressure and it was Toussaint again who forced Djekanovic to save low in the 33rd minute. A volley which just missed the cross bar by Sita-Taty Matondo on 45 minutes was the closest the Canadians came to goal.
Despite the obvious signs that work still needs to be done on set plays and attacking moves, T&T by no means looked out of sorts up to that point.
Canada enjoyed good possession as the second half progressed but T&T goalkeeper Daurance Williams was under little pressure as T&T once again went in search of their first goal. Mitchell headed over bar in the 64th minute and nippy midfielder Kerry Baptiste took one too many touches deep inside the penalty box after being sent through by Toussaint.
Canada seized the opportunity to go ahead when a right side cross clearly heading towards Julius James was missed by the St Anthony's College defender and allowed Chin to collect behind him (James) and shoot past a stranded Williams.
The setback did little to increase T&T's momentum as 69th minute substitute Steve Sealey and company struggled to trouble the goal after that. Three minutes from the end, Toussaint picked out Anthony Wolffe unmarked on the right of the box but his low effort hit the side netting as the Canadians were allowed to breathe safe and complete their second win of the tour.
Coach Najjar said it was obvious to see the improvements from Monday's match.
"It was obvious that for anyone who had seen both games, they would have noticed improvements in the performance and that it can be made in, sometimes, short spaces of times. The boys responded well to the session we had yesterday and in some of the areas we addressed defensively and attitude wise. Defensively in dead ball situations and in the ball to ball movement. I thought we dominated and I know it's easy to say we dominated and we still lost but the fact is that we did dominate but as I have said to the guys, it takes one slip and Canada are a seasoned team going to the World Cup and they had to find all the resources to survive. They were playing to prove themselves and also for selection as some guys are still to come into their team from professional leagues across the world," said Najjar.
"I think it's not a fair result. If they got away with a tie they would have been happy with it. Given the time we had to prepare I am pleased with these young men who are talented. I imagine that we have other players around the country who needs to be looked at and we will be looking at the, These guys are basically Under 20s and we call them Under 23s for the sake of the Olympic qualification," he added.

T&T Line-up:
22. Daurance Williams, 17. Serginho Sandy, 3. Julius James, 16. Devon Bristol (14. Anthony Wolfe 71st), 15. Anton Joseph, 7. Julius Balondemu (18. Seon Power 71st), 6. Kerry Baptiste (12. Steve Sealey 69th), 5. Kevon Clement, 11. Devon Mitchell, 10. Andre Toussaint (capt), 8. Ryan Stewart.

TnT subs not used:
21. Marlon Sylvester, 2. lee Haynes, 4. Ronald Primus, 9. Kareem Joseph.

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