|Trinidad & Tobago||Bahrain|
|Christopher Birchall (76')|
World Cup Qualifier
|2005-11-12||Hasely Crawford Stadium||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||24991|
Bahrain seize edge from Warriors
|T&T was left to rue at least three missed first-half chances as
visitors Bahrain seized the advantage in their home-and-away World Cup
play-off for a place in next year's final in Germany after a 1-1 draw
at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, yesterday.|
With the backing of at least 26,000 spcetators all clad in red tops from as early as 3pm the Warriors enjoyed the better of the exchanges against the Asian nation but at the end of the 90 minutes was left pondering a long journey to Asia where they must now get a win to secure a first ever spot in the World Cup finals.
From as early as the sixth minute, T&T was on the offensive and almost grabbed the lead when midfielder Christopher Birchall hammered a right footed blasted towards the bottom right hand corner of the goal, however Bahrain goalkeeper Ali Hassan Ali was up to the task and went full stretch to his left to pull off the save.
Carlos Edwards was the next T&T player to test the nervous Bahrain defence when he managed to steal the ball from Bahraini left back Sayed Mahmood Jalal, but after weaving his way past two defenders his final attempt at goal from an acute angle was too tame to trouble goalkeeper Ali.
Bahrain, after a few long balls forward to lone striker Husain Ali Ahmed managed to get the ball in the back of the net in the 14th minute, but it was rightfully called back for an off-side infringement.
Ahmed should have made T&T pay for a lapse in defence in the 23rd minute, but after being put through by nippy midfielder Talal Yusuf Mohammed he fired wide of the target with only T&T goalkeeper Kelvin Jack to beat.
Dennis Lawrence and team captain Dwight Yorke both came close to giving T&T the lead just before the interval, but on each occasion they were denied by desperate Bahraini defending.
First Lawrence managed to get on the end of a pin-point right sided cross from Christopher Birchall, but his powerful down-ward header which seemed only metres from crossing the goal-line was brilliantly kept out by goalkeeper Ali to the disbelief of the T&T defender and the vociferous crowd.
Silvio Spann then whipped in a dangerous looking right sided cross which was smartly knocked down by Stern John for Yorke, but after collecting and turning in one motion the Sydnet FC striker saw his attempt blocked at point blank range by the a lunging tackle from defender Sayed Mohamed Adnan.
On the resumption, Bahrain went for a fresh pair of legs up front and introduce their key striker Alaa Ahmed Hubail at the expense of Husain Ali Ahamed, but like his teammate he seemed to have little effect on the match.
T&T meanwhile continued to pressed the visitors and inspired by a man-of-the-match performance in midfield from Aurtis Whitely created another chance in the 48th minute.
This time Whitley, one of only two local players to make the final 18 man squad selected by coach Leo Beenhakker found his captain Yorke, who was unmarked just outside the Bahraini penalty-area.
However, the former Manchester United striker cleverly taken left footed snap-shot just missed the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
At the other end of the field, Jack had to be on alert to keep out a fierce left footed drive by Salman Isa Ghuloom Ali in the 60th minute.
|67' Jason Scotland|
|19.||Dwight Yorke (capt.)|
|81' Kenwyne Jones|
|67'||Jason Scotland for Russell Latapy|
|81'||Kenwyne Jones for Stern John|