“That’s what I like guys….. that’s what I like to see from my team.”
Those were the words of Leo Beenhakker in the Trinidad and Tobago dressing room following its last gasp 2-2 draw with Panama in the CONCACAF 2005 Gold Cup match at the Orange Bowl Stadium, Miami.
Beenhakker was of course not summing up his feelings on T&T’s overall performance on the evening, but rather commenting on the team’s late show of fight to earn a point after falling behind to a late Panama strike at a time when it appeared that it would be the match winner.
T&T after once again going ahead in the first time with a well taken goal, this time from Glasgow Rangers defender Marvin Andrews in the 17th minute, allowed their opponents back into the game because of some lethargic play, particularly in the second half.
T&T surged ahead when a left side cross fell deep to Dennis Lawrence on the far post and he calmly laid it back in for Andrews to volley home from close range. Before that, skipper Stern John, under more pressure, missed a chance from a similar play.
But Luis Tejada leveled the scores 24th minute after a cross was terribly dealt with by Cyd Gray who tried to clear a low ball with his head rather than foot, allowing the ball to reach Tejeda who got it past a stranded Kelvin Jack. Then with the clock running down, a downtown clearance beat Andrews and Tejeda ran around to hit home off the inside of the right post past an advancing and once again hapless Jack. Moments before Andrews' header crashed off the inside of the right post, bubbling on the line before being cleared to safety.
But substitute Cornell Glen, specifically used as a substitute in the dregs, delivered in that role by executing a wicked header from an Angus Eve cross to tie the game in the second minute of added on time.
T&T made two changes to the start team from the 1-1 draw with Honduras, with Angus Eve coming in for Aurtis Whitley who was forced off the 18-man sqad with an ankle injury sustained in training on Saturday, while Collin Samuel got the nod over Brent Rahim.
“It was a great way for us to end the match but it was not much of an impressive performance,” Beenhakker told TTFF Media. “In the end we came up big but we started off well and once again we did not keep it up and that’s a concern. But we will take what we can out of this match and now move on to the other game on Tuesday.
Quizzed by reporters in the post-match press conference on the strength of his current team, Beenhakker did talk about the absence of Dwight Yorke and injured Carlos Edwards.
“No obviously we are not up to full strength. We don’t have Dwight Yorke and Carlos Edwards. But we have a roster and we will work with it and used what we have for the game on Tuesday.”
PANAMA – TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 2:2 (1:1)
Marvin ANDREWS 17’; Cornell GLEN 90’+ – Luis TEJADA 24’, 90’
Paama: 1-Jaime Penedo – 2-Carlos Rivera, 3-Luis Moreno, 4-Jose Anthony Torres, 5-Felipe Baloy, 6-Gabriel Gomez (46: 8-Alberto Blanco), 9-Julio Cesar Dely Valdes (74: 11-Roberto Brown), 10-Julio Medina III, 15-Ricardo Phillips (88: 19-Gustavo Avila), 18-Luis Tejada, 20-Engin Mitre. Booked: Baloy 27’, Mitre 35’
TD: Jose HERNANDEZ
T&T: 21-Kelvin Jack – 3-Emery John, 4-Marvin Andrews, 6-Dennis Lawrence, 7-Christopher Birchall, 10-Jason Scotland (69: 15-Kenwyne Jones 69’), 14-Stern John, 18-Densill Theobald (69: 8-Angus Eve), 19-Silvio Spann, 20-Colin Samuel (83: 13-Cornell Glen), 24-Cyd Gray. Booked: Lawrence 21’, Birchall 48’, Andrews 61’
TD: Leo BEENHAKKER
R: John WYNGAARDE (SUR)