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T&T vs St Kitts/Nevis (10-Oct-2004).
Mon Oct 11, 2004 07:34

T&T give St Kitts a handful in latest qualifier.
Issued By: Shaun Fuentes, TTFF Press Officer.

Trinidad and Tobago did just what they planned in Sunday’s 2006 World Cup qualifying semi final round encounter against St Kitts/Nevis coming away handsome 5-1 winners before some 8,000 boisterous fans at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
Goals by Stern John in the 24th and 83rd minutes, Cornell Glen (70th) and Jerren Nixon in the 89th plus an opening own goal by defender Alexander Riley did the trick for the “Soca Warriors” who moved to nine points from four matches in the round so far.
The result virtually put them into the final round alongside Mexico who they face in Puebla on Wednesday.
Following their last 3-1 loss at home to the Mexicans, the T&T side, coached by Bertille St Clair were eager to get their act together and also show their superiority over St Kitts which they had to depend on a last minute goal by John to get by 2-1 when the two teams met in Basseterre. Sunday’s performance left St Clair in good spirits.
“I said all along that it would take some time and you see that were are growing slowly but steadily,” St Clair said after the win. “We are really catering for the next round. The younger ones will be the future so we have to make good use of them now. I know that once these guys put their minds to it, we are going to be successful. I told them before the game that we needed to start in a rush and get on with the match and this is what happened today. We pressured from early and we were able to maintain it for much of the game. We still have some areas to touch up on, particularly in the middle, but it was a pleasing result for now,” he added.
T&T, with experienced Portsmouth custodian Shaka Hislop in goal, started very business-like and had the first try at goal in the seventh minute when Anthony Rougier fired wide of the right post from the edge of the box.
A minute later the first goal came when Southampton defender Kenwyne Jones found Glen wide on the right and his low cross was deflected over the line by Riley, leaving goalkeeper Akil Byron helpless.
Chances continued to come for T&T with John and Eve going close and another busy period followed leading to the second goal. A header by John was superbly pushed over by Byron and then Glen’s sliding effort from close range was again saved after Jones had crossed from the right. Then too was Rougier cutting in on the left of the six yard box before seeing his effort blocked.
But John was clinical when the ball fell to him unmarked from a corner which was knocked down for him to rifle home from inside the box.
St Kitts were trying hard to stay in the game and Austin Huggins forced Hislop to save on the half hour. Four minutes from the half time interval, the visitors were rewarded a penalty when Glasgow Rangers defender Marvin Andrews fouled Keith Gumbs in the box and the same player converted the penalty to leave the scores 2-1 at the half.
Glen, who plays for New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the American MLS league found himself with numerous chances but managed to hit off target. On two occasions he hit into the side netting after being sent clear. T&T introduced Brent Rahim for Marlon Rojas and Silvio Spann for Denzil Theobald as they went in search of further goals.
John was unlucky when Byron pulled off another spectacular save to a bullet header from point blank range by John from Eve’s right side free kick.
St Kitts found themselves a third goal behind when Jones made a penetrative run down the right and crossed for Glen to slot home from just inside the box to the delight of the home fans who were now sensing the win.
Spann also went close with a low effort which was saved and even though T&T were enjoying much the better of proceedings at that stage of the match, Gumbs had another decent crack for St Kitts on 81 minutes when his free kick from the right edge of the box crashed off the near post.
John and Nixon had the last couple says though. Workhorse Rougier pressured and won possession from a defender near the left corner flag and provided the cross for John to nail home his second of the game. Nixon, who came on moments earlier for Glen added some extra bite in attack and fittingly got his name on the scoresheet as the clock ran down. The T&T team leaves for Mexico on Monday morning.
Patriot Up-Close.

T&T 5 v St Kitts/Nevis 1.

We won ! THAT is the GOOD news ! I however maintain that we have to step up SEVERAL notches before we can give a serious challenge in the hex!

From the start, T&T enjoyed some decent exchanges and looked solid and organized. What I like was that we took FAR more shots on goal than in previous games ! THIS time though, the problem was FINISHING !!! Cornell Glen's pace was a MAJOR factor. It was in fact his hard, low cross that led to the opening goal, an own-goal in fact. Glen's finishing though was atrocious !!! I believe he would make a better winger for T&T than an out and out attacker! He spurned two one on one chances with the keeper, shooting into the side netting on BOTH occasions. This 1-0 lead seemed to spur the Warriors on and they upped the tempo. T&T's 2nd item was off a corner, which was brought down by Theobald, to Jones who with his back to goal, laid it on a platter for Stern John to fire a rocket into the roof of the net 2-1 T&T !!! THEN THE PROBLEMS BEGAN ! One NOTICEABLE disappointment was Marlon Rojas who was having one of the worst games EVER! His passes went astray, he struggled to collect passes and was generally OUT of the game. He would be replaced by Brent Rahim about 25/30 mins into the 1st half (maybe he was carrying an injury?). However even the introduction of Brent could not halt the slide in our performance as St Kitts actually started to DOMINATE ??? the game ! One of their shots was parried by Shaka Hislop, and soon after, Andrews clumsily charged into Gumbs, drawing a penalty ! WHAM ! 2-1...this coming about 10 mins from the break !

In the second half we picked up right where we left off, although Glen would have YET another clear cut chance but throw it away once more (I kept saying to myself... IF ONLY Scott Sealy were to get THESE opportunities!) Anyway, Bertille got wise and realised that we would be squandering 3 points if he didn't do something QUICK ! He made an inspired sub, bringing on Spann for Theobald. Silvio made a serious impact, BOTH attacking AND defending ! one of his winning tackles would get the ball out to Rahim who in turn would sent it in for Glen to FINALLY get on the score sheet with a blistering drive from about 20 yards out ! 3-1 Bertille IMMEDIATELY sent Nixon to warm-up, and a Mexican wave started in the stands :} With about 15/20 mins left, Nixon replaced Glen... and BOY did he make his presence felt ! He was harassing defenders, tackling sensibly and producing a work-rate that immediately help turn the tide! However it would be 'Kenwyne Jones' steal on T&T's right-wing, and a Darrel Brown like sprint down the flank to center for Stern John inside the box, who then shot clinically that would bring the score line up to 4-1. But back to Nixon, he robbed a St Kitts' defender on the wing, raced up the line and centered for Stern, whose shot was parried, but ONLY for Nixon to step in-front of Stern and remind us of how classy an act he can be! He unleashed a rocket to seal a 5-1 victory for T&T !!!

General Comments:

Ok a great result for us...but a sub-par performance AT TIMES. Yet I believe the positives outweigh the negatives THIS time :

1. We won, and won handsomely... 3 points and 5 goals, from the STRIKERS.

2.Over-all team cohesion has improved... but STILL only in spurts ! We simply must learn to play with intensity for a FULL 90 mins!!

3. Left-wing remains a MAJOR problem...but given Nixon's display this evening...maybe not for long

4. Marvin Andrews has now caused 2 penalties and 2 goals in the WC campaign so far(Ince saved the penalty in the home game against the Dominican Republic, otherwise it would have been 3 goals). THIS situation MUST be addressed!!! Marvin "Dawg" Andrews is one of our most dedicated defenders, but his mistakes are costing us!!!

My thoughts read 1-4 above.

1. Based on form and Today's display, Stern's partner up front MUST be a speedy player... I would go with Nixon OR Scott Sealy... shift Glen to the wing.

2.The midfield remains our core problem... with the captain not really supporting a case for him starting, FAR LESS getting 90 mins !!! I think we should be grooming Boucaud or bring Brent Rahim back into mid-field. Once Rougier brings the ball out of defence, we lack ideas to get it to the strikers. Perhaps the wing changes I mentioned will help in this regard, (also when Carlos comes back)as our first AND last 2 goals today came from crosses.

3. Nixon as a left-sided attacker/ or left-wing!

4. THIS one is tricky! Talk to Marvin, now that he is with Rangers, he should be improving, but his last 2 games have caused 2 goals... sad BUT true! maybe time to see what Derek King has to offer? (Sorry BAD joke!!!)

Player Ratings:-

Shaka Hislop - 8.
Didn't REALLY get tested other than a a few crosses, 2/3 shots and the penalty

Marvin Andrews - 7.
Improved performance from Mexico game, BUT still has problems with completing passes. Excellent in the air as always and aggressive at all times

Ian Cox - 8.5.
Calm, cool and collected, GREAT at close marking... A MUST when available!

Brent Sancho - 8.5.
Another stellar performance, NOT as commanding as in Mexico game, but was aggressive and dominant at the back, another MUST!

Anthony Rougier - 8.5.
Typical performance, was our ball-winner, brought the ball out of defence and linked defence and attack.. will miss Mexico game and WILL be SORELY missed!!!

Angus Eve - 6.
Had a better game than against Mexico, but given the difference in opposition, failed to stand out the way i expect a captain and central midfielder to! I am CERTAIN if he was NOT the captain of this team, HE would have been subbed.

Kenwyne Jones - 7.5.
Our most penetrative player, AGAIN! I like this guy's willingness to run at defenders, his pace and his aggressive tackling, BUT he has to do it for the full 90, today he drifted in and out of the game once more.

Marlon Rojas - 4.5.
If he wasn't injured, then something was BADLY wrong!!! He looked terrible, poor crosses, failed to control the ball, gave away the ball needlessly (TIME AND TIME AGAIN!).

Denzil Theobald - 7.
Was decent offensively and tackled as well, got booked for his trouble, but should NOT have started ahead of Spann. Good man to have on the bench and in the squad though.

Cornell Glen - 7.
Linked up well with Stern and his pace was a deadly weapon in our arsenal...BUT as a finisher, he simply must put away his chances better. He got 1, but could easily have got 3/4!

Stern John - 8.
T&T's go-to man for goals did it again. Still think his work-rate needs to increase, but he DID drop back and try to assist mid-field, and converted his chances!!!


Brent Rahim - 5.5.
Brent seemed out of sorts on the left-wing, rarely provided width and tended to over-dribble, leading to him being caught in possession quite a few times. This was one of his poorer games. He DID fight down to the end though!

Silvio Spann - 8.
Excellent addition to the team, assisted Rougier with timely tackles in midfield, and showed glimpses of what is to come creatively. Very refined player! Needs more playing time...hope HE starts vs Mexico!

Jerren Nixon - 9.
VERY positive move. His pace and guile is back! he seemed hungry and determined to impress! Was justly rewarded with a goal! Once he continues playing like THIS, deserves a place in the squad !!!

Anthony Rougier will miss the Second Round CONCACAF semifinal round World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Mexico on Wednesday after picking up his second straight yellow card.
The hard-tackling player who was also cautioned in T&T’s second round match against St Kitts/Nevis picked up a second yellow card of yesterday’s 5-1 win over St Kitts/Nevis at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.

T&T Team For Mexico:
Shaka Hislop, Marlon Rojas, Brent Rahim, Ian Cox, Marvin Andrews, Brent Sancho, Angus Eve (capt), Stern John, Cornell Glen, Jerren Nixon, Kenwyne Jones, Denzil Theobald, Silvio Spann, Derek King, Andre Boucaud, Errol Mc Farlane, Daurance Williams, Dennis Lawrence, Keyeno Thomas.

Trinidad & Tobago:

Shaka Hislop, Marvin Andrews, Ian Cox, Brent Sancho, Marlon Rojas (Brent Rahim 35th), Kenwyne Jones, Anthony Rougier, Denzil Theobald (Silvio Spann 58th), Angus Eve (capt), Cornell Glen (Jerren Nixon 78th), Stern John.

St Kitts/Nevis:

Akil Byron, Keithroy Richards, Alexander Riley, Thrizen Leader (Jevon Francis 81st), Toussaint Riley, Austin Huggins, Adam Newton, Darryl Gomez (Atiba Harris 85th), George Isaac (capt), Keith Gumbs, Ian Lake (Vernon Sargeant 50th).

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