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T&T vs Azerbaijan (21-Jan-2005).
Sat Jan 22, 2005 13:23

Seabra makes cautious Soca Warriors debut.
T&T Guardian Newspapers.

Brazilian-born midfielder Jose Luis Seabra made his long anticipated debut for the T&T Soca Warriors in a 1-0 win over Azerbaijan at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Friday night.
Seabra, who plays for W Connection in the T&T Professional League, looked nervous in the opening minutes, before some 500 spectators, many of whom came to see him on debut in national colours.
Seabra, who will be 31 on Tuesday, had an input in the goal, scored by striker Scott Sealy in the 41st minute, who was first to react to a parried free-kick from Azerbaijan goalkeeper Rauf Mehdiyev.
A free-kick, 35 yards out, saw Seabra lay-off off a pass for Pierre, whose right-footed shot was muffed by keeper Mehdiyev.
With the Azerbaijan players left flat-footed, Sealy was quick to pounce on the ball and volleyed it into an open goal.
It was somewhat of a harsh goal for the visitors, whose quick passing and robust tackling at times kept the fit looking T&T players in check.
“I was not satisfied with my performance,” Seabra said afterwards. “I know that I could do better.
I knew it was my first game with the guys, but when I get more play time things will improve.”
The teams, who are preparing for World Cup qualifying matches took a while to settle.
In a first-half of very few chances, an out-of-sync Cornell Glen managed to get the ball in the goal from a Marlon Rojas centre in the 18th minute, but assistant referee Simon Baptiste waived it off-side.
Azerbaijan’s best chance in the half came from an intended centre by Kanan Karimov, which squeezed past T&T goalkeeper Daurance Williams on his near post, but luckily for him, the ball whisked across the goal-mouth and out of danger.
T&T, mainly through Leslie “Tiger” Fitzpatrick, Gary Glasgow, Marlon Rojas, Sealy, Seabra, Cornell Glen and Sealy looked threatening at times in attack but the finishing was poor.
Azerbaijan who made a few changes on the break and took the match to the host, coming close to levelling the scores through Nadir Nabiyev and substitute Daniel Akhtyamov, but both missed from inside the penalty area.
Glasgow should have extended T&T’s lead after being cleverly set up by Sealy, but he waited too long to shoot and the defence secured the danger.
Glasgow was guilty of holding on to the ball for long periods on many occasions, which denied T&T chances of adding to its lead.
Assistant coach David Nakhid certainly had it right in saying after the match that the encounter was not a particularly great game, but that a win would always be good for the team's confidence.
Coach Bertille St Clair's usual optimism conveyed a state of transition where his team would be working to find the right balance in the squad, especially in the troublesome midfield, yet the solution does not quite seem close enough. The teams meet again today at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, from 3.30 pm.
Up-Close with Patriot.

The Trinidad and Tobago national football team edged Azerbaijan 1-0 in a friendly international last night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Striker Scott Sealy, who was recently signed by the Kansas City Wizards in US Major League Soccer (MLS), scored the winner in the 41st minute.

T&T Starting 11:



An evenly contested first 1/2 with few scoring opportunities was eventually brought to life in the 19th min or so when a seemingly inocuous flicked on ball from an Azerbaijan player, just inside the box eluded keeper Daurance Williams but rebounded favourably (for HIM and T&T) off him and the post. Less than 10 mins after this opportunity, T&T executed one of the best free kicks I have seen in the last FOUR (4) years... Leslie "Tiger" Fitzpatrick jumped over the ball, Rougier lined it up for Anton Pierre who hit a ROCKET that the Azerbaijan keeper could only parry, and Scott Sealy was the first to react, slamming in the reboud from close range! Glasgow had a chance to make it 2-0 for T&T when on a quick counter attack, Sealy, held up the ball and slipped it to him, alone and unmarked, but Glasgow proceeded to dither on the ball too long, allowing a Azerbaijan defender to clear... a scenario that would repeat itself no less than THREE times in the 2nd half!!!

In the second 1/2, Azerbaijan came on strong, and camped in the T&T 1/2 of the field for MOST of the opening 10-15 mins. But we soaked up the pressure well and AGAIN almost struck on the counter. This time it was Rougier with a storming run up the left flank, crossed to "Tiger" who played it to Glasgow who AGAIN proceeded to needlessly dribble and lost the shooting chance prseneted to him. Then, in a mystifying move, Bertille St Clair opted to take off Sealy (???) and replace him with Angus Eve, along with "Tiger" whose place was taken by Cyd Gray...thus re-switched to a 4-4-2. However it soon became apparent that the WRONG man upfront was taken off, as Glasgow once more collected a ball, turned 2 defenders and in an open space, faked with his left foot and played the ball inadverdently into an Azerbaijan defender. The fans were NOT amused!!! St Clair responded by taking off Glen (??) and bringing on Nigel Pierre. Eve was now asserting himself more and even had a few attempts on goal (Side note here - I am NO Angus Eve fan !!!) But the man looked VERY impressive coming off the bench, and so I hope he retains his place there (on the bench that is). The final change of the night saw Seabra taken off and replaced by Denzil Theobald. THIS change also drew dividends as Theobald linked up well with Rougier in bridging the gap between Defence and mid-field.

After all the hype, Seabra did not do much to impress ME that he will make a SIGNIFICANT impact on the T&T squad. He definitely a useful, versatile player, but he was NOT impressive in the central midfield role assigned to him tonight. I would like to see him play at left-back in place of Rojas, who had a poor game tonight.


Daurance Williams - 5.5:
A disaster waiting to happen! He does NOT inspire confidence - had little to do, as our defence blocked for him time and time again!!

Derek King - 6:
Another disaster in waiting!! This guy CANNOT be considered for ANY of the upcoming qualifiers! His timing of tackles is poor and unlike against the Caribbean opposition he seemed so calm and collected against, tonight he was forced into rash challenges and was lucky to ONLY recieved 1 yellow card.

Atiba Charles - 6.5:
Not particularly good or bad performance, needs to mature some more... clearly only in squad because of injury to Keyeno Thomas. Too one-dimensional, ie: thumping the ball forward out of the defence.

Anton Pierre - 7.5:
Impressed me with his heading ability, winning virtually EVERY ball in the air and covering nicely the zone/area he was assigned. Still can't get over the quality of his free kick too! IF ONLY he could work on his speed!!!

Marlon Rojas - 6.5:
Tenacious tackler, made SEVERAL penetrating runs, but sadly also lost the ball equally as many times by trying to over-elaborate. Still needs to work on his crosses. Love the agression, but needs to learn when to use it properly.

Anthony Rougier - 7:
Another robust performance in the middle...but clearly age is catching up with him, as he started several runs, launched some excellent counter-attacks, and then inexplicably... HELD UP HIS RUN.. that led to balls being played out of play (by virtue of them going to where he was SUPPOSED to be) in advantageous positions. Saw this happen at least twice. Still his work-ethic is PHENOMENAL!!!

Leslie Fitzpatrick - 6:
Played out of position (in my humble opinion) he looked poor on the right-wing and was deservedly replaced by Cyd Gray who as a natural winger, looked better there.

Jose Luis Seabra - 6:
Was a non-factor really. Didn't do much wrong, but was certainly NOT the "engine room "! An average player, but one who could add some depth to the bench...although I'd prefer to see Andre Boucaud recalled instead!

Gary Glasgow - 6.5:
Came back and tackled, was dazzling in his dribbles when successful and has that unpredictable nature that coaches love... BUT.. wastes WAAAAAAAAY too many scoring opportunties to be seriously considered a starter up-front!

Cornell Glen - 7:
Worked hard, ran at defenders well, drew fouls and earned free kicks many times, but he too was wasteful of chances. Would love to see him on the wing, cutting in!!!

Scott Sealy - 7:
Intelligent striker, scored, set up Glasgow with a sitter, linked well with Glen and showed great fight! Still a little naive re off-sides and must work on settling down faster, but DEFINITELY a class act. Will improve with MLS experience.


Angus Eve - 7:
Made an immediate impact in central midfield, seems to work wonders coming on!!! Actually looked like the Angus of old tonight!

Cyd Gray - 6.5:
Delightful speed, but still too wild for Int'l football! Was unlucky not to score when chasing after a ball, the Azerbaijan keeper PANICKED on seeing Cyd bearing down and kicked the ball stright into him, with the rebound JUST missing the goal! Adds aggression and pace, BUT lacks CONTROL.

Denzil Theobald - 6.7:
Also made a difference with excellent link-up play and made intelligent plays out wide too... should have started or come on earlier.

Nigel Pierre:
Wasn't on long enough to get a fair rating, and didn't produce any magic in that short time that I can recall.

T&T 1 v Azerbaijan 0.

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