|Trinidad & Tobago||St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Gary Glasgow (51')|
Leslie Fitzpatrick (54')
Nigel Pierre (61')
|2005-01-09||Manny Ramjohn Stadium||Marabella, Trinidad and Tobago||1688|
T&T bounces back to beat St Vincent
|Three second-half goals within 11 minutes earned T&T senior footballers a come-from-behind 3-1 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines yesterday, in the first leg of the third round of the Caribbean Digicel Cup at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.|
After Renson Haynes gave the Vincentians the lead in the 24th minute, the Soca Warriors turned the game around with an early second-half attack that galvanised the scoring,with Gary Glasgow (51st), Leslie Tiger Fitzpatrick (54th) and Nigel Pierre (62nd)the marksmen.
The visitors, coached by Yugoslavian Zoran Vranes,got their goal from a curling free kick by Kendall Velox,which was met by the unmarked Haynes, who headed past goalkeeper Daurance Williams, with right-back Anton Pierre and stopper Derek King in no mans land.
Two minutes before the goal, the Bertille-St Clair-coached T&T lost the services of defenceman Keyeno Thomas, who hobbled off the field with a thigh injury.
Thomas was replaced by Densil Theobald, who went to midfield , with Anthony Rougier going to the stopper position.
T&T had only two good scoring opportunities before the Vincy goal a shot by Kerwyn Jemmott saved by keeper Melvin Andrews and another by Nigel Pierre which hit the post.
St Vincent missed a good chance to go two goals up in injury-time to close off the half, when Haynes took his eyes off the ball and missed a sitter.
Shandel Samuel engineered the play, drawing the T&T defence and passing to Haynes in the penalty spot.
With a chance to put the ball either to the left or the right of goalie Williams, the fumbling Haynes only managed to play it from one foot to the other without getting off a shot.
T&T was saved from further embarrassment when referee Valentino Chance ,of Curacao, blew the whistle to signal half-time with St Vincent threatening in attack the back-line square with Samuel and Haynes waiting for Velox to release the ball.
St Vincent was unable to withstand the early second-half pressure from the home side and within the first 10 minutes found itself conceding two goals inside three minutes.
Out of nothing, Gary Glasgow, who did not get into the game in the first session, equalised for the Soca Warriors in the 51st minute when he slotted home a ball that bounced into his path off the side of Anthony Rougier.
Three minutes later, United States-based Leslie Tiger Fitzpatrick scored his first goal for his country with a low, hard shot away from Andrews, following a squared ball by Glasgow.
In the 62nd minute, a defence blunder by Conrad Huggins, who tried to stop the ball and turn, put St Vincent into further trouble, when he lost out to Glasgow.
After picking up the loose ball, Glasgow laid it on for the supporting Nigel Pierre, who was left with the easy task of hitting into an open net, as keeper Andrews was caught helplessly out of position.
Velox, who mesmerised the local defence whenever the visitors attacked, opened up the T&T defence in the 68th minute, but after finding Samuel, the ball was played to Haynes, whose shot was deflected overbar off King.
Not long after, Nigel Pierre played a ball across the face of the goal to Glasgow, but from 10 metres out, and with no defender in close contention, the China-based striker failed to control the ball.
The performance by the Soca Warriors was an improvement to the last time the teams met( November 17) at Hasely Crawford Stadium last year in a World Cup qualifier, when a late goal by Eve helped T&T to a 2-1 win.
The return leg will be played on Sunday, with the winner joining Barbados and two other third round winners (Jamaica vs French Guyana and Haiti vs Cuba) in the finals in Barbados from February 20-24.
The winner will be crowned Caribbean champion.
Three of the four teams in the final round will qualify for the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA from July 6-24.
T&T: Daurance Williams, Anton Pierre, Derek King, Keyeno Thomas (Densil Theobald 24th), Marlon Rojas, Anthony Rougier (Cyd Gray 87th), Leslie Fitzpatrick, Kerwyn Jemmott, Atiba Charles, Nigel Pierre (Angus Eve 80th), Gary Glasgow.
|Derek King (capt.)|
|23' Densill Theobald|
|88' Cyd Gray|
|81' Angus Eve|
|Bertille St. Clair|
|23'||Densill Theobald for Keyeno Thomas|
|81'||Angus Eve for Nigel Pierre|
|88'||Cyd Gray for Anthony Rougier|