For someone who was in the Stadium on that fateful day in November 1989, it was good to finally see the guys win a game, but to be honest, Iraq was the better team. They passed better, tackled better and ran at our defence better.
We had two attempts at goal, both fell to Stern and he scored them both. Both were sitters, the first from 6 yards out, after a pass from Nixon. The second was a one-on-one with the keeper, after an Iraqi defender gave the ball away to Stern just outside the box. Had the Iraqis had better finishers, they would have scored, because they created enough chances. Ince was by far the busier of the two keepers. He made 5 to 6 saves, although they were straight at him.
In my opinion, our defence is our strength. Andrews, Sancho and Cox all marshaled and controlled the defence well.
Andrews was man-of-the-match for me. Not much passes him! Our midfield is the weak link. Eve, Edwards, and Dwarika lacked creatively, and loosed all the 50-50 challenges.
The result is a confidence booster, but it is a flattering score-line. Scotland won't waste as many chances that the Iraqis did. More improvement is needed from T&T, particularly in that midfield.
The Iraqis looked like they have been playing with each other for a longer period. Our guys lacked chemistry and understanding. This was evident by the many times that, Stern, Nixon, Eve and Dwarika kept gesticulating with each other, as to where to pass the ball.
Stern's Red card was thoroughly deserved. The Iraqi brought him down from behind and T&T won the free kick. But Stern retaliated and flawed the man with a right jab. So much for a 'friendly'. Iron Mike would have been proud of that jab.
Competent and did what was asked of him.
Tackled well and bossed the defence. A bound-to must-in the line up.
A much improved player to when I saw him 3 years ago. Complements Andrews well.
Played well with Sancho and Andrews. Reads the game very well.
The weakest player in the defence. Neededlessly gave the ball away a few times.
Lost the ball too often and seemed afraid to go for those 50-50 challenges.
Got himself into some good positions on the right flank, but failed each time to deliver telling crosses.
Did not pass or link well with the front two. Gave the ball away too often.
Was anonymous for most of the game, until he was substituted in the second half.
Played the first half. Looked sluggish and also gave the ball away when it seemed easier to pass to Stern.
Came on for Nixon. This guy looks good. Tackled and passed better than the others. He came on as a forward, but was also back defending.
Two attempts at goal and scored both of them. A pity we could not get the ball to him more often. I think he would scored more if we did. Definitely looks quality. His sending off spoilt his performance.
Came on the left side of the defence for Mason, but looked clumsy and out of position. For a defender, he still has to learn to tackle. He was later switched to central defence and he looked a bit better.
There were also two other subs. One was Rojas ? and the other was number 19, but I dont know his name. Might have been Boucaud. They did not really make an impact.
The T&T supporters numbered about 50, out of the 1500. Included in that 50, was the steelband players, 'Jack' and Glenda Morean-Phillips. We will be even more out-numbered against Scotland, but I'll be there again to cheer the boys on!