T&T gets first win under Maturana.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago recorded their first victory under Francisco Maturana with a well played 1-0 victory over El Salvador in Wednesday’s friendly international at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
A 57th minute free kick strike by United Petrotrin midfielder Keon Daniel proved to be the winning item as a near to packed Stadium witnessed a relatively inexperienced outfit players put on a brave and promising showing against the Central Americans who are preparing for a World Cup qualifier against Anguilla later this month.
Maturana had three debutants in his starting team, 16-year-old left side defender Akeem Adams, 22-year-old forward Randi Patterson and 18-year-old forward Jamaal Gay. Both forwards proved that they possess what it takes to play at the senior international level and will grow into better players while Adams, though caught out a few times on the left, showed good composure on the ball and was willing to give the extra bit when needed and was a definite good debutant as well. Silas Spann also came on in the 77th minute for his first senior international appearance.
El Salvador got closest to goal first and goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, sound between the uprights all game, had to make his first pick out when he intercepted a dangerous looking ball from William Castillo on the right. That particular player created more than one opportunity from the right side of the park but a stable defensive line up dealt properly with all of his threats. Makan Hislop, Keston Williams, Cupid, Adams and Daniel were ensuring all was safe. Midfielder Khaleem Hyland also kept movement in the middle as T&T tried to do the right things at the right times all evening.
The Whitley-led team brought the crowd to life in the 9th minute when a quick bit of exchanges around the left of the box after Adams played one low and deep saw Patterson, with Gay and Whitley also getting involved, the ball was eventually laid on at the top of the box for Daniel, but on his weaker right side, his low effort was kept out by goalie Juan Gomez.
T&T had settled into a smooth rhythm by then, stringing their passes around and trying to build in confidence. There were also signs that the defense was instructed to try and remain disciplined and they were making every effort to ensure that as neither wing backs Adams nor the hardworking Cupid hardly tried to make overlapping runs. Cupid, just back from a trial with Charleston Battery which he hopes will work out favourably, would have given that club’s head coach Mike Anhaeuser a lot more to think about with his near flawless performance on the evening.
On 26 minutes, Gay, built tall and strong with pace, used all his assets and took one down well before playing on for Kerry Baptiste to hit his snap attempt over bar. Whitley then turned it on with a surging run on the edge of the box before laying off wide for Baptiste but his searching ball was a bit too much for Patterson.
El Salvador were still enjoying spurts of good possession and were constantly searching for the opening runs to goal but never really created anything that would cause major panic at the back for the hosts. Ramon Aguirre almost created a good opening with his serve from the right but neither Salvador Perez nor Carlos Alfaro could connect.
The half ended slowly with both teams seeming contented with having not conceded and the second half didn’t offer much more pace until Daniel broke the deadlock. The Tobago-born player, already evidently liked by Maturana, calmly stepped up and whipped a left footer past Gomez low on his left near post to bring the crowd to life and set up the win for T&T.
T&T pushed on and were looking to extend their lead with the hard running Patterson in particular looking to get on the scoresheet on his debut. Jose Mendoza had one close try for the visitors in the 89th minute when he collected on the left of the box but could only direct his try over bar. Overall, the result proved a suitable one and a much needed boost for the slate of upcoming internationals for Maturana’s men. Next up – T&T vs Jamaica in Kingston on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, second-half doubles by veteran Tashia St Louis and Kennya Cordner cancelled out a first-half strike by Karyn Forbes, as the national senior women’s squad defeated their Under-17 counterparts 4-1 in the supporting match.T&T:
– 21.Marvin Phillip, 2.Kern Cupid, 4.Keston Williams, 19.Keon Daniel, 9.Aurtis Whitley (capt), 15.Akeem Adams, 6.Khaleem Hyland, 5.Makan Hislop, 8.Kerry Baptiste (17.Silas Spann 77th), 7.Jamaal Gay, 11.Randi Patterson.Subs that did not play:
– 1.Glenroy Samuel, 3.Akile Edwards, 13.Kevon Neaves, 12.Justin Fojo, 16.Daniel Cyrus.Head Coach:
– Francisco MaturanaEl Salvador:
– 1.Juan Gomez (capt), 8.William Castillo (17.William Alegria 67th), 19.Carlos Alfaro, 5.Ramon Aguirre, 16.Oscar Campos, 13.Emerson Corleto (20.Andres Mejia 59th), 9.Salvador Perez (14.Rudis Rivera 82nd), 3.Marvin Leiva, 4.Jose Mendoza (12.Alfredo Manuel 70th), 7.Ramon Peredez, 2.Luis Campos.Subs that did not play:
– 22.Miguel Moreno, 6.Alexander Rosales, 18.Luis Anaya.Head Coach:
– Carlos de los Cobos.Related Round UpChild's play for Maturana.Up-close with Touches, click here for report.Video Highlights courtesy of ttproleague.Aurtis Whitley & Randi Patterson - T&T vs El Salvador.
Maturana: Players played with heart.
By: Randy Bando (ttproleague).
Commenting on Wednesday’s 1-0 performance against El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago Head Coach Francisco Maturana believed that his young bunch of players played from their hearts.
Relishing his first victory as head coach of T&T, Maturana told reporters, “This is good for the future of T&T football.”
Maturana used an unfamiliar age group to the T&T Senior Team featuring players as young as 16 year old defender Akeem Adams and 18 year old striker Jamaal Gay.
He added, “It’s a young group that played from their hearts led by (Aurtis) Whitley. They were intelligent. I saw them playing from their hearts in executing their coaches’ plans.”
T&T boasted young players such as Jamaal Gay, Randi Paterson, Khaleem Hyland, Makan Hislop and Akeem Adams. Goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, Keon Daniel. Keston Williams, Kern Cupid, Kerry Baptiste and Aurtis Whitley where not as young but National assistant coach Anton Corneal labeled the squad as a near U23 team.
Corneal went on to add, “This is something that we can use for the future. We used youngsters such as Akeem Adams, Jamaal Gay and Randi Paterson who is new to everyone but they all showed potential. We don’t know their role tomorrow but we are sure we have players for the future.”
Just as T&T’s previous encounter against Guadeloupe at the Queens Park Oval which ended goalless, Maturana used the El Salvador friendly to improve defensively.
Corneal explained, “We normally bring in attacking players from abroad. We can always find forwards and midfielders, so coach (Maturana) saw the need to fix the team defensively.”
”Getting the players to remain compact and play cohesive for the ninety minutes was our plan and our plans worked against El Salvador. We saw very little errors by our team and we were able to force El Salvador to play the ball from side to side rather than forward,” added the satisfied assistant coach.
T&T will now prepare for their next fixture against a much powerful opponent, Jamaica in Kingston next Wednesday. Coach Maturana is expected to recall a number of European based pros including Sunderland star Kenwyne Jones. Also expected to be included for the Jamaica clash is Joe Public defender Keyeno Thomas to add some experience in defence.
Whitley: Good to be back.
By: Randy Bando (ttproleague).
After more than a year off the international scene, Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Aurtis Whitley feels good to be back.
The 2006 World Cup player fitted in well with a host of new players that featured against El Salvador on Wednesday night at the Marvin Lee Stadium. T&T won the match 1-0 courtesy a stunning second half free-kick but United Petrotrin midfielder Keon Daniel.
”It feels good,” Whitley told media officials following his team’s victory. Whitley who wore the captain’s armband said that it didn’t make much difference wearing the armband, he just wanted to play.
”I fell we played really well. It was a really good performance by the players, especially with a young bunch. We went out and played to the coaches’ plans,” he said.
Whitley who finished last season with W Connection hinted on resurgence for both club and country in 2008, and his return to the national team could well be a start. He pointed out National team debutant and Charleston Battery forward Randi Paterson as player of the match against El Salvador.
Patterson who believed he did enough to impress the T&T coaches for another selection said, “At first I was a little bit nervous. But I thought I played pretty well. I should have scored a couple goals and have some assists but I didn’t.”