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T&T vs St Vincent (16-Jan-2005).
Mon Jan 17, 2005 07:33
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St Vincent edges ‘Soca Warriors’ on smaller field.
Issued By: Shaun Fuentes, TTFF Press Officer in St Vincent.


Trinidad and Tobago moved on to the finals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup despite a 1-0 defeat to St Vincent and the Grenadines in Sunday’s return leg on a smaller Arnos Vale field. T&T advanced 3-2 on aggregate to the Finals in Barbados next February.
A 65th penalty conversion by Matthew Forde following a dubious call against defender Atiba Charles. Following a number of missed chances, T&T fell behind when Jamaican referee Raymond Pine adjudged that Charles brought down Renson Haynes from behind when it seemed clear that the Vibe CT 105 W Connection player made contact with the ball. Charles was the last defender in sight but was cautioned rather than being sent off for the offense.
Up to Saturday night, the T&T team was given no word on the venue for the match after match commissioner Peter Jenkins of St Kitts/Nevis was yet to make a decision on playing at the Richmond Hill School Ground after officials of the St Vincent FA said it would be impossible to play at Arnos Vale because the turf wicket was under preparations which meant that the dimensions of the playing field would be less than FIFA regulations.
But at around 11am on Sunday, T&T manager Richard Braithwaite was informed that the game would go ahead at Arnos Vale as the St Vincent FA indicated that the field would be ready for action.
On arrival at the venue, Jenkins was unable to tell the T&T officials what was the dimensions of the field, saying only that it was “a normal field”. Jenkins then told TTFF Media that it was not necessary for such information to be given adding “All I can say is that it is a normal field.”
Later on, one of the groundsmen at the venue, an old friend of T&T coach Bertille St Clair, informed him that the dimensions were in fact 98 metres long and 61 metres wide which is outside Law 1 of the game. The law states that the minimum length is 100 metres with the width allowed to be no less than 64 metres.
Aside from that, the “Soca Warriors” had themselves to blame for not being at least three goals up by half time.
Glen had an effort deflected back to him close to the six yard box but lost his balance and hit the rebound inches wide in the 12th minute. Six minutes later, the speedy front man outpaced his marker on the left of the box after being picked out by Leslie Fitzpatrick, he then cut back in only to see his right footed effort come back into play off the crossbar.
St Vincent were intent on playing on the counter at that stage, opting for trying to maintain possession in their half of field before trying the long balls which worked to their advantage on the smaller field.
On 32 minutes, Denzil Theobald collected in the centre of the opposition’s half and sent a perfect pass, bisecting two players on its way to Glen on the left but his effort narrowly went over the bar.
St Vincent skipper Ezra Hendrickson went close twice before the break before Glen again missed a sitter when Pierre set up a one on one with the goalkeeper but the MetroStars man got a weak shot saved from near the six yard.
Matthew Charles’ free kick went wide of the right post soon after the second half kicked off. The teams struggled to create much chances for the opening quarter of the second half. Pierre swung one over from the right, forcing Melvin Andrews to push over and then substitute Angus Eve played down for Glen who shot inches wide on the turn. Eve also had a header just miss the near left post.
Then came the dubious penalty decision which allowed “Vincey Heat” to go 1-0 up to the delight of the 1,000 odd fans at the venue. Gary Glasgow replaced Glen in the 34th minute but the China-based striker struggled to settle as the Vincentians played out the remaining minutes to hold on to their slender lead.

T&T Line-Up:
Daurance Williams, Marlon Rojas, Atiba Charles, Derek King (capt), Anton Pierre, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Kerwyn Jemmott (Angus Eve 52nd), Anthony Rougier (Cyd Gray 88th), Denzil Theobald, Cornell Glen (Gary Glasgow 80th), Nigel Pierre.

St Vincent Line-Up:
Melvin Andrews, Ezra Hendrickson (capt), Matthew Forde, Cornelius Huggins, Benford Joseph, Jamal Ballantyne (Kenlyn Gonsalves 75th), Alwyn Guy, Darren Francis (Andrew Douglas 57th), Renson Haynes, Kendall Velox.
Bertille St Clair questions decisions.
Issued By: Shaun Fuentes, TTFF Press Officer in St Vincent.


Trinidad and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair refused to make any excuses for his team’s 1-0 defeat to St Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday but questioned the penalty call against T&T and the decision to play on a playing field which did not meet the requirements of the game.
“I am not a crier but I know that football has 17 laws and the first one is the size of the pitch and you cannot have a small field that is less than the minimum size and this is what happened. I would like to know why it is we have match commissioners and referees from different Caribbean countries who do things like this, This is international football we are playing and this is unfair to see that we have to play to these sort of conditions,” St Clair told TTFF Media after the loss.
Commenting on the performance, he said “We saw that both teams had a lot of pressure because the action was intense throughout on the field we played on today. We didn’t have the space we needed but then again, if we had converted our chances, we would have gone on to win it quite easily. I also felt that if it was a penalty and our player was the last defender then he should have been sent off. But we have qualified for the next round and we can only grow from this sort of experience. This game gave me another indication as to what we have to do because we cannot afford to be up one day and then down the day after.”
St Vincent coach Zoran Vranes was undoubtedly pleased with the end result.
“I think we played to our plan very good. We were stronger in this game,” Vranes said. “We had a problem with the pitch but we can’t think about this today and I just want to wish Trinidad all the best in the World Cup.” Regarding the penalty call in favour of his team “Maybe it was or was not a penalty but when you have Trinidad playing and a referee from Jamaica like we had today then you expect the right decision. I cannot comment any further on this,” the Yugoslav-born coach said. The T&T team returns home on Monday evening.

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