T&T defeated by Canada
...lose 2-0 in Florida friendly
Trinidad and Tobago's senior men's team let a decent start go to waste, as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Canada in Wednesday night's friendly international at Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
The "Soca Warriors" conceded in the 58th minute, when Tosaint Ricketts fired home and fell further behind in the 86th after William Johnson converted a penalty.
T&T actually had the better start of the two teams and, had Slovakia-based striker Lester Peltier capitalised on at least one of his three first-half chances, things could have gone better for the former Caribbean champions.
The Canadians, coached by Trinidad-born Stephen Hart, came away with the necessary boost ahead of the upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifier against Panama, while Trinidad and Tobago will regroup and hope to come better for their Digicel Caribbean Cup qualifiers in September.
On seven minutes, after being sent through by Clyde Leon, Peltier slipped past Doneil Henry and then shot across the goal, only to see the ball go inches past the far post with Devorn Jorsling lurking near the six-yard box.
Seven minutes later, T&T looked good going forward and were rewarded with a free kick on the left of the box which was whipped inside by Kevin Molino, but Peltier could not get enough on his header from the six-yard line and goalkeeper Lars Hirschfield made easy work of it.
Moments later, Peltier was at it again, but his low shot was stopped by Hirschfield when better direction could have seen T&T in the lead. And just when you thought the ball couldn't stop following him around the box, the speedy winger upped the pace on a run in from the right side before his dangerous-looking cross was intercepted near the goal.
Canada, in the midst of their World Cup qualifying campaign, proved to be fitter and more cohesive as the match progressed. They had a good effort denied by the near upright when Ricketts cut in from the flank and powered his effort off the post in the 35th.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Hutson Charles introduced Darryl Roberts at the start of the second half in place of Peltier, who felt a strain in his hamstring. And defender Seon Power gave a lot of effort until he was forced to leave the field due to leg cramps in the 77th.
T&T were already two players short on the bench after midfielder Hughtun Hector did not suit up after failing to recover from an ankle blow picked up in a league game in Vietnam on the day he left for Miami, while a replacement was not found in time following Khaleem Hyland's late drop out.
Leston Paul had also been ruled out of the trip due to injury.
Canada started better after the interval and deservedly took the lead when Ricketts clinically shot home to goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams' left in the 58th minute after Marcel De Jong's ball came across from the left.
T&T's legs started tiring by the 70th minute and Canada began to take more control, maintaining the majority of possession and forcing their opponents into their half for much of the remaining minutes.
Mitchell's Vancouver Whitecaps teammate Russell Teibert also kept T&T busy with some darting runs on the left.
Williams did well to save a header, but there was nothing he could do to prevent William Johnson's penalty from going in after substitute defender Kareem Moses was adjudged by American referee Jair Marrufo to have used his hand to block Johnson's attempt to find Ricketts from the left.
Trinidad and Tobago had two further tries that failed to cause much panic for Canada—one being a low effort by Keon Daniel and the final effort coming from Cyrus, who tried to curl one home on the far post just before the end.
Coach Charles later admitted he was hoping for a better finish to the match.
"I thought we started well, but we withered as the game went on, and that was evident because of some of the players not being in full season and still preparing for the start of the Pro League back home," Charles told Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) media officer Shaun Fuentes.
"But in saying that, I was hoping that we would have capitalised on the chances that we got and put the pressure on Canada. But instead they got their goals and the game got easier for them. But we've only just come together a couple days before this game and, hopefully, with a couple more games under our belt, we will get that cohesiveness in time for the Digicel Cup," he added.
Trinidad and Tobago:
1. Jan-Michael Williams (captain), 5. Seon Power (6. Kareem Moses 77th), 15. Joevin Jones, 19. Carlyle Mitchell (3. Rodell Elcock 70'), 14. Curtis Gonzales, 7. Lester Peltier (11. Darryl Roberts 46'),16. Keon Daniel, 2. Clyde Leon, 9. Devorn Jorsling (4. Daneil Cyrus 53'),10. Kevin Molino, 12. Richard Roy
Sub not used: Cleon John
Lars Hirschfeld (Milan Borjan), Andre Hainault, Dejan Jakovic, Doneil Henry (Pedro Pacheco 46th), Ante Jazic (Captain) (Marcel De Jong 46'), Terry Dunfield (Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault 77'), Julien De Guzman, Nik Ledgerwood, Will Johnson, Patrice Bernier (Russell Teibert),Tosaint Ricketts (Lucas Cavallini 77').
Referee - Jair Marrufo (USA);
Assistant 1 - Corey Rockwell (USA);
Assistant 2 - Jonathan Weiner (USA).