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T&T vs Peru - (10-May-2006).
Thu May 11, 2006 08:18

Friendly ends 1-1.
By: Zaid Mohammed (Newsday).

Peru rattle Warriors.
Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup-bound footballers gave a muted farewell to their fans yesterday, coming from behind, to draw 1-1 with Peru in a friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
Substitute Kenwyne Jones fired in a free kick in the 75th minute to equalise the scores after Gustavo Enrique Vasallo, capitalised on a defensive blunder to put the visitors ahead in the 32nd.
Football fans, numbering slightly less than the sell-out crowd that was expected and in the vicinity of 18,000, were getting the last chance to see the national team play at home before they head out for Europe this weekend and the World Cup Finals from June 9 to July 9.
However, coach Leo Beenhakker would have been disappointed at the display of the World Cup debutants who squandered at least eight scoring chances against a Peruvian team whose defence thwarted the Trinidad and Tobago strikers at every turn.
Russell Latapy, playing his last international match at home, brought the crowd to their feet in the seconds after the kick-off threading his way through the Peruvian defence and firing off a right-footed shot which slid past the goalmouth.
Ten minutes later, the “Little Magician” was again denied by goalkeeper Leao Butron Gotuzzo who parried a shot at point blank range.
Latapy showed flashes of brilliance, weaving his way through the midfield and making penetrative passes along the right and left flanks and his every touch of the ball was greeted by loud cheers from the crowd.
They were undoubtedly mindful of the fact that they will never see him play again in national team colours at home and he was fittingly given a rousing send-off when he was substituted close to half-time.
The Peruvians, though not fielding their strongest team since they failed to bring their biggest stars who are playing in Europe, nevertheless showed they were a tough team to beat and provided an adequate challenge and lesson in the South American style of play, for their hosts.
However, the opening goal was purely opportunistic as Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kelvin Jack came out of his goal and got tangled in a terrible mix-up between his defenders Brent Sancho and Cyd Gray, which allowed Vasallo to stab home a cross into an open goal.
The crowd was momentarily silenced, but were whipped up into a frenzy minutes later when Latapy was substituted and made his farewell with a lap of honour and was acknowledged by both his teammates and players from the opposing team.
In the second half, Trinidad and Tobago played with more purpose and with some degree of urgency and were rewarded with the equaliser, when Jones expertly took a freekick just outside the six-yard-box to knot the scores.
The fans who came looking for a farewell victory appeared to be appeased by the now customary come-from-behind strike from their heroes and were content to forget the multitude of near misses which if they found their mark would have left the home team winning by a clear margin.
Beenhakker would take some consolation in the fact that he did not play his best team with defender Marvin “Dog” Andrews — the lynchpin of the defence — sitting out the match.
Also, the team was playing their first match together since the second leg World Cup qualifier when they beat Bahrain 1-0, to clinch the spot in the World Cup Finals.
Yesterday’s match was witnessed by Prime Minister Patrick Manning who met the players before the kick-off.
The Soca Warriors now participate in a Road Show in Tobago today and in Trinidad tomorrow before leaving in two batches over the weekend for Manchester, England, where they will be engaged in a camp before heading out to Europe for another camp in Austria and several warm-up matches before the World Cup Finals.
Trinidad and Tobago are in Group “B” in the preliminary stages of the World Cup with England, Sweden and Paraguay. They play Sweden on June 10; England on June 15 and Paraguay on June 20.
Jones goal rescue T&T from Peru defeat.

Trinidad (AP) -- Substitute Kenwayne Jones' free kick goal spared Trinidad and Tobago a disappointing loss, giving the World Cup-bound team a 1-1 tie with Peru in an exhibition game Wednesday night. Trinidad and Tobago will play in Group B with England, Sweden and Paraguay at the World Cup. The Trinidadians will face Wales, Slovenia and the Czech Republic in friendlies before the tournament begins.
Gustavo Vasallo gave the visitors the lead on a feed from Wilmer Aguirre in the 32nd minute. Aguirre capitalized on a defensive mix-up, faked goalkeeper Kelvin Jack and slipped the ball across the front of the net. Vasallo simply needed to tap the ball into an open goal.
Jones' equalizer was far more spectacular. The speedy Collin Samuel was clipped from behind just outside the penalty area by defender Santiago Salazar in the 75th minute. Jones unleashed a rocket of a free kick that flew past the wall and beyond goalkeeper Leao Gotuzzo.
Jack had to make two point-blank saves to deny Aguirre in the first half, then Douglas Ross saw his shot blocked by an advancing Jack late in the second period.
A crowd of about 20,000 was on hand for the first match on home soil since Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the World Cup in Germany. It also was the final home game for midfielder Russell Latapy; the 37-year-old Latapy announced his retirement from international football at the end of the World Cup campaign.
Fittingly, coach Leo Beenhakker replaced him three minutes before halftime to allow the crowd to show its appreciation for the man affectionately known as the "Little Magician." He returned the favor by making a lap of the field waving and clapping back to the crowd.

T&T Line-Up.

21-Kelvin Jack; 5-Brent Sancho (24-Ian Cox 77th), 3-Avery John, 6-Dennis Lawrence (vice-capt), 8-Cyd Gray, 9-Aurtis Whitley, 10-Russell Latapy (12-Collin Samuel 42nd), 7-Christopher Birchall (18-Densill Theobald 46th), 11-Carlos Edwards (16-Silvio Spann 46th), 19-Dwight Yorke (capt) (20-Jason Scotland 69th); 14-Stern John (15-Kenwyne Jones 69th).

Perú Line-Up.

Leao Butrón, Miguel Villalta, Amilton Prado, Wenceslao Fernández, Santiago Salazar, Aldo Olcese, Rainer Torres, Rinaldo Cruzado, Pedro García, Wilmer Aguirre, Gustavo Vasallo.

SW Online supporters up-close.

Touches Report.

Video, First Half

Video, Second Half
Beenhaakker praises Jones.
By: Kern De Freitas.

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Leo Beenhakker is happy with his team's progress, despite their poor first-half performance and a 1-1 result against Peru on Wednesday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
During the post-match media conference following the game, Beenhakker expressed disappointment with the first half, where he said the T&T squad played more as individuals than as a team.
"The first part (half) was not good, the second part was better," the Dutchman said with his usual sober expression. "The first part I recognised was a little bit of the old problem. We saw 11 players on the team, but there was no organisation, and no discipline."
He gave kudos to the players for pulling things together in the second half, saying that was closer to what was needed at the World Cup in Germany next month.
"Most of the time we had ball possession. The only dangerous moment Peru created in the second part was in minute 82. So that means that at the moment we had the match in our hands, and that's what we are looking for. That's what we have to do further on during preparation matches and World Cup matches."
Beenhakker also dismissed the suggestion that the goal scored by Peru in the 32nd minute was a defensive fault, blaming the midfield for a lack of cohesion early on.
"The problem was not defensive," he stressed. "In (the) first half the problem was that we had no discipline and organisation in the midfield. That was the big problem. I think with the same defence (in) the second half we played without any problems."
Beenhakker also praised T&T goal-scorer Kenwyne Jones.
"Kenwyne is a very important guy for the team. That's why he was always (for) all the qualification matches also selected," he said.
As to the progress of LA Galaxy striker Cornell Glen, the "Soca Warriors" coach said he had an MRI scan and been assessed by T&T's medical team and will need at least three weeks to recover.
"I will give him these three weeks to recover," Beenhakker added, "and at the same time, just in case, I will travel with 24 players to England. So probably I will call up one of the guys who are on the stand-by list, at least to have him prepared if Cornell is not ready in time."
Beenhakker is already looking forward to the pre-World Cup camps in Europe, with three weeks of intense training and friendly matches beginning next week.
"When we arrive in Austria we have three very good games against Wales, Slovenia and (the) Czech Republic, the actual number two of the world, so in that way, after the Czech Republic match, we'll know exactly where we are," the coach concluded.
And midfielder Russell Latapy, who played his final match in front of his home crowd before his impending retirement from international football following the World Cup, was lost for words, describing Wednesday as "emotional" for him.
Latapy said: "Thanks for everything you've done for me as a country, inspired me and prepared me for life, and for football, and for showing me a lot of love and giving me a lot of cherished and special memories. Thanks."

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