|Trinidad & Tobago||Guyana|
|Clyde Leon (7')|
Keon Daniel (69')
|2008-07-08||Marvin Lee Stadium||Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago||0|
Warriors beat Guyana at Marvin Lee
Closer to home, on Tuesday night at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Colombian Francisco Maturana, Trinidad and Tobago's national team football coach, might have been schooling in public.
The T&T Soca Warriors came away comfortable enough 2-0 winners over Caribbean rivals Guyana in their friendly international, using a defensive system.
It might be argued that a 4-5-1 system, in which Cornell Glen was the lone striker, was over-kill against moderate opponents such as the Guyanese.
But the way Maturana's men were methodically getting behind the ball, especially on the extremities, suggests that this strategy may be adopted for bigger fish...possibly the United States, Cuba and Guatemala, who Trinidad and Tobago will play when the CONCACAF semi-final round of 2010 World Cup qualifying gets going in just over a month.
Maturana certainly has enough "babies" at the international level to run his own nursery. Apart from recent regulars like Khaleem Hyland, Keon Daniel and Kern Cupid, most of whom have less than ten caps, there were also places for a few more.
W Connection's Clyde Leon, who took over the defensive midfield role of injured captain Aurtis Whitley, produced a sizzling opening goal from 35 metres and also looked the part of an international player.
Kendall Jagdeosingh, playing with the Puerto Rico Islanders in the American United Soccer Leagues (USL), got his break at left midfield, but did not look as sharp as when with Joe Public in the T&T Pro League last year.
Kerry Noray, back with Joe Public since last month's international break after a trial with the Puerto Rican team, got a run but had insufficient time to "show" in 15 minutes. Likewise, North East Stars midfielder Aklie Guevara.
Glen and Anthony Wolfe, who went to the World Cup in Germany two years ago with the T&T national squad, also returned to the line-up.
It was strange to see Wolfe, joint top-scorer in the Pro League two years ago, playing in midfield. His unsettled club North East Stars have had to use him there and, utilising a defensive 4-5-1 system, Maturana opted for the same.
But, Wolfe is an out and out striker on nine of any ten days.
Glen has never quite regained his form since getting injured at the World Cup, but given his chance in national colours, the ex-Ma Pau marksman attempted to get on the score sheet as early as the second minute, testing Guyana keeper Richard Reynolds with a rasping shot from the right side.
After just eight minutes, Leon struck from far out to give T&T a 1-0 lead, hitting a scorcher past keeper Reynolds following a free-kick.
Later, Glen outraced the defence in the tenth minute and hit just wide of the upright under pressure from defender Charles Pollard, then T&T central midfielder Hyland had the ball in the net again soon after from close up, but was adjudged offside.
But after looking like they would be blown away in the first ten minutes, Guyana soon settled down to some constructive and sometimes better football.
The Soca Warriors' deliberate attempt to zone mark and the lack of options up front gave the ascendancy to their opponents. Guyana therefore held much midfield possession without turning that into dangerous moments.
Nigel Codrington had their first chance in the 18th, but he hit straight at T&T custodian Marvin Phillips from close up. And in the 33rd , a mix-up between the keeper and his captain Keyeno Thomas almost allowed the weakest of crosses to sneak into T&T's goal.
Konata Mannings, the deadlocked midfielder, had been pulling the strings for Guyana and also got Phillips' attention with a 40-metre scorcher.
A much more attack-minded home team showed up for the second half following the introduction of Kevon Carter. But, while the Warriors got control of the game, they failed to regularly penetrate the Guyanese defence. It was not until the 69th minute that a piece of skill from Daniel, aided by.
|Keyeno Thomas (capt.)|
|77' Kerry Noray|
|Clyde Leon 46 '|
|46' Akiel Guevara|
|46' Kevon Carter|
|70' Jerol Forbes|
|46'||Akiel Guevara for Kendall Jagdeosingh|
|46'||Kevon Carter for Anthony Wolfe|
|70'||Jerol Forbes for Kevon Carter|
|77'||Kerry Noray for Khaleem Hyland|