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T&T vs Costa Rica (30-Mar-2005).
Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:18
205.174.22.28

Now Warriors make a point.
By: Nigel Simon.


The T&T football Warriors earned their first point in the final round CONCACAF qualifiers towards the 2006 World Cup in Germany with a goalless draw against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo yesterday.
Having been beaten 2-1 by the USA and 5-1 by Guatemala in their first two matches, the pressure was on the Bertille St Clair-coached Warriors to get at least a point from yesterday’s home match, which they eventually did to the satisfaction of the 12,000 fans.
Both teams took a cautious approach with the new-look T&T back-line of Dennis Lawrence, Atiba Charles and Anton Pierre looking a little nervous.
Gradually, though, the Warriors began to seize control with midfielders Angus Eve, Dwight Yorke and Silvio Spann spearheading the attack against the visitors.
But the Costa Ricans were the ones who almost grabbed a lead in the 21st minute, only to be denied by T&T goalkeeper Clayton Ince, who replaced Shaka Hislop in the starting line-up.
From a rare move forward, Costa Rica midfielder Walter Centeno centred to Whayne Wilson. But with Charles closing in on the play, Wilson dummied for an unmarked Alonso Solis on the left edge of the 18-yard box. However, goalie Ince was quickly off his line and kept out the effort with his feet.
Two minutes later, Ince came to his team’s rescue again as he raced off his line to intercept a long ball intended for the speedy Wilson.
Time and time again, T&T players Yorke, Carlos Edwards and Stern John found space around Costa Rica’s 18-yard box, but on every occasion the Warriors chose to give up the chance of shooting at goal to a teammate who was in a much more difficult position to score.
This proved to be the only hindrance in an otherwise better showing by the T&T players — compared with their performance against Guatemala — as they had to wait until six minutes before half-time for their first real chance at goal, mainly through the determination of defender Charles.
Charles made full use of room given to him down the Costa Rica left side but his squared pass to a waiting Cornell Glen was intercepted by a desperate tackle from Costa Rica captain Luis Marin.
Within the blink of an eye, Charles was sent free down the right flank again, this time after working a clever one-two with Angus Eve, but his lay-off in the Costa Ricans’ penalty area was dragged over the by-line by an out-of-sort John, and the teams went into the interval without either getting the elusive goal.
On the resumption, the T&T footballers struggled to regain their rhythm and it was not until the inclusion of substitutes Hector Sam and Nigel Pierre for Carlos Edwards and Glenn that T&T seemed capable of breaching the Ticos’ defence with telling effect.
Pierre almost became an instant hero when he managed to get his head onto a pin-point cross from Eve on the right side, but his header was kept out, just barely, by goalkeeper Alvaro Mesen, diving low down to his right.
Yorke then had a chance to get a winner for T&T, but his one-time effort on the turn from Sam’s feed was deflected for a corner to the relief of Mesen.
With the minutes ticking away, Stern John, who struggled all day, tried to snatch a late winner but after being picked out for a pass by a workmanlike Yorke, his left-footed blast was saved by Mesen. T&T next plays Panama at home on June 4. Speaking to the Guardian following the match, coach St Clair said he was happy with the point gained by his team and said it is indicative of progress.

Teams:

TRI:
21.Clayton Ince, 12.Dennis Lawrence, 4.Atiba Charles, 16.Anton Pierre, 2.Marlon Rojas, 9.Silvio Spann (7.Leslie Fitzpatrick 63rd), 8.Angus Eve, 11.Carlos Edwards (10.Hector Sam 71st), 19.Dwight Yorke (capt), 13.Cornell Glen (18.Nigel Pierre 72nd), 14.Stern John.

Subs Not Used:
1.Shaka Hislop, 15.Kenwyne Jones, 5.Brent Sancho, 3.Nigel Henry.

CRC:
1.Alvaro Mesen, 14.Christian Badilla, 10.Walter Centeno, 12.Leonardo Gonzalez, 3.Luis Marin, 5.Gilberto Martiniez, 17.Oscar Rojas (9.Paulo Wanchope 67th), 20.Douglas Sequeira, 11.Alonso Solis (16.Carlos Hernandez 50th), 7.Whayne Wilson (21.Andy Herron 65th), 15.Harold Wallace.

Subs Not Used:
19.Pablo Chinchilla, 6.Roy Myrie, 18.Jose Fco Porras, 13.Geiner Segura.

Other CONCACAF Results:
USA 2 (Eddie Johnson, Steve Ralston) v GUA 0.
PAN 1 (Luis Tejeda) v MEX 1 (Ramon Morales).

Up-Close with Anil Roberts.
Up-Close With Andre Samuel.

St Clair played a 3-5-2 system with Lawrence, Pierre and Charles at the back, Yorke and Eve in the middle, Spann behind in the defensive midfield role, Rojas and Edwards as the wing men and Glen and Stern up front ! Ince got the nod over Shaka.
As they did against Guatemala (I had the privilege of seeing that game last night), The Warriors started brightly, Spann was playing Fitzpatrick’s role well but with a bit more creativity, and Eve and Yorke was linking well. Lawrence looked very shaky in the back but got the job done. The first half was even stevens with no team with a clear advantage. Costa Rica looked sharp going forward but unlike the Guatemala game, we covered them better. Carlos Edwards was the player of the first half, while Rojas was the opposite. Edwards ran his heart out. He sent in about eight crosses in the first half and did a lot of tracking back and covering. He always seemed to be running in the space. Unfortunately most of his crosses were directed to Stern who was probably trying to put himself in the record books for the most offsides in one half. Fellas, Stern John is woefully out of form. It reach to the point where he struggling real bad to time his runs and he straying offside at every possible opportunity.
Going back to Rojas, I think he just unpicked himself for for rest of the qualifiers series. He was poor, he made one foray late in the second half but he is not up to standard and should be dropped for Avery John. He wasn’t effective going forward, he wasn’t tracking back and he wasn’t running in the spaces which made it very hard for the defenders/midfielders to get the ball to him. The fact that Edwards was the complete opposite made him look even worse. Anton Pierre showed why he forced his way into the team tonight. He put up a brave and determined performance against the Central Americans and communicated well with “shakeyman” and Atiba Charles.
In my opinion, the second half was all about Dwight Yorke and his value to this team. “ah we boy” was tackling hard, running in the spaces, holding the ball in the middle, making the incisive pass and talking to the fellas (although I think that both him and Glen had a fall out on the pitch, because Yorke was bawling at him to pressure the ball and Glen must be didn’t like that and start to throw up his hands). Costa Rica had two shots on target which were brilliantly handled by Ince who put on a very competent display! Every time Dennis Lawrence was on the ball, the crowd got frighten. He didn’t make any major mistakes but redeemed himself for all of them with a very competent man marking display against Paolo Wanchope (who came on after 70 minutes). Everywhere Wanchope was, shakeyman Lawrence was there also! St Clair's first change was Fitzpartrick for Spann and then followed that up with Hector Sam for Edwards (lord alone knows why). Then came the big one! Glen pulled up lame and St Clair decided to bring on Nigel Pierre. St Clair put Stern John on the wing! Lard! Sam looked nippy and seems to be a good asset to this team coming off the bench. It would have been nice to see Kenwyne Jones on the wing for Carlos Edwards……….but I am just a fan and St Clair is the “big coach”. The closest the Warriors came to scoring was around the 70 something minute when Stern John (??) had a “chest-shot” on goal that the keeper scrambled to clear off the line. Also, in the 90th minute Stern John, coming in from the right wing, cut inside and unleashed a left foot shot that unfortunately was straight at the keeper!
Overall, it was a good performance by the warriors who looked a very competent bunch. I know we only have one point from three games but, we seem to be heading in the right direction!
Have seen both games (Guatemala and Costa Rica), It is clear to me that St Clair eh going no where because the team playing competently!

Ratings:

Clayton INCE:
9 – A great game, made a great save with his legs to deny de ticos in the first half. He also made a few interceptions, but was largely untroubled.

David Atiba CHARLES:
7.5 – Seems a very skillful player, very comfortable in de ball and could be very useful on the wing!

Anton PIERRE:
7 – Very solid at de back, never gave up on those 50-50 balls and even when he was beaten, ran back hard to cover other players.

Dennis LAWRENCE:
7 – His rating is largely influenced by his handling of wanchope. He still looked the shakey but made a few timely interventions.

Marlon ROJAS:
3 – Not up to standard, poor passing, poor man marking, a game he will want to forget.

Carlos EDWARDS:
8 – Was a gem on de right flank, he made space for himself all de time! Got subbed as he started to tired!

Silvio SPANN:
6.5 – Great addition to the squad, made too many bad passes and was a bit too rough in his tackling, but showed david nakid-like ability and was composed on de ball!

Angus EVE:
7 – Eve didn’t look too bad but drifted out of de game for long periods. He is starting to show his worth. He linked up well with Yorke!

Dwight YORKE:
9 – Our best player on de night, he put on a world class performance for his country and I hope all the Yorke haters appreciate what he is doing with this team. He is using his experience and looks extremely calm on de ball!

Cornell GLEN:
5.5 – Was found to be liming with stern too much! Didn’t make much of an impact.

Stern JOHN:
5 – Needs to be benched! C’mon bertile, grow some balls and do it!

Leslie FITZPATRICK:
6 – His lack of speed was exposed today! I am sure that he only came on to prevent Spann from picking up a second yellow!

Hector SAM:
7 – Did what Glen did against the USA, was not afraid to attack, and had the Costa Ricans back pedaling on a couple of occasions!

Nb: Costa Rica got all the 50-50 calls today, and the stadium had about 8,000 people. I met-up with Patriot and Touches.

Ah hope alyuh enjoy de read

Ah love it!

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