Wednesday, February 21, 2018

T&T fall to Iran

go under 2-0 to WC finalists


IN FULL FLIGHT: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams makes a save on a penalty by Iran’s Javad Nekounam during the second half of their friendly at the Corinthians training centre Sao Paulo, Brazil, yesterday. —Photo: AP

Mark Fraser

Trinidad and Tobago men’s senior national team suffered a second successive defeat on their South American tour when going down 2-0 to Iran, yesterday, on the training ground at Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The match was the final warm-up for Iran before the 2014 FIFA World Cup which begins Thursday.

Ejhan Hjasi opened the scoring fo Iran in the 45th minute and they added a second in the 54th through Reza Ghoochannejhad. Trinidad and Tobgo head-coach Stephen Hart fielded almost the same team that began the match against Argentina, except for defender Radanfar Abu Bakr, who took the spot of Joevin Jones.

In an immediate reaction, coach Hart was somewhat pleased with T&T’s showing but felt more could have been done against the Iranians who are grouped with Argentina, Nigeria and Bosnia at the World Cup.

“It was not a bad performance but I thought we allowed them to take charge at some points of the game we could have been stronger and not allowed them to get into certain positions,” Hart told TTFA Media. “Again we conceded just at a point before the half and that changes the mindset in the dressing room before the team comes back out. That is something we’ll work on.

“I was happy with the way we played the final 20 minutes, especially in attack. But again we were playing against well prepared and rested team that is going into a World Cup. We are trying to get to that level and our kind of preparation now is not where Iran or Argentina would be at this point in time.

‘’Overall we had a wonderful opportunity for some of our less experienced players to play at a high level and on a stage where we want to be at on a consistent basis. We’ll look back at these matches and pick out what will serve us well going forward. We still have some way to go but it’s all part of the process to getting where we want to be at,” Hart added.

T&T began the proceedings