|Jamaica||Trinidad & Tobago|
World Cup Qualifier
|2001-02-28||National Stadium||Kingston, Jamaica||34000|
T&T shut out at The Office
|THERE is only one boss at The Office.|
The Trinidad and Tobago football team discovered as much yesterday afternoon when they fell 1-0 away to the Jamaican Reggae Boyz in the opening game of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers final round.
The win extended Jamaicas unbeaten run at the Kingston National Stadium, christened The Office, which now stands at 47 games with their last defeat coming in November, 1994 against the United States.
It was a record that the bullish Jamaicans never looked like losing. Not that their opponents from the southern Caribbean didnt try.
But the Trinidad and Tobago defence led by Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, found the Reggae Boyz to be too stubborn on their home ground.
They have their own way of doing things at The Office.
The pre-game party sanctioned by the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) lasted practically until kick-off with singers like Morgan Heritage, Carlene Davis and Lexus all doing their bit to hype up the crowd.
So much for the Fifa regulation which states that all such entertainment should end a full 60 minutes before the teams take to the field.
There was similar disregard for Fifas insistence that the aisles be kept clear in case of an emergency at the ground. The Stadium is listed as having a seating capacity of 35,000 but there were easily 40,000 spectators there yesterdaythe vast majority complying with JFF president Horace Burrells plea to wear gold.
It was this defiant atmosphere that greeted T&T captain Russell Latapy and company as they strode out for the 1 p.m. kick-off.
And the T&T attack found themselves negated by a solid Jamaican team.
More famed for shutting down plays than creating them, the Reggae Boyz ran true to form.
Their guests had the lions share of the possession but, for all T&Ts huffing, they ended the match with just two shots on goal from nine efforts.
Only one was a genuinely spurned opportunity.
The Reggae Boyz had far less sight of T&T goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, but how they made the most of what came their way.
Jamaicas Derby County midfielder Darryl Powell was bundled over just in front of the T&T penalty area but the Guatemalan referee waved play on as Tyronne Marshall raced in purposefully to collect the loose ball.
It allowed for a stunning goal worthy of deciding any match.
One Marshall touch negated the spin of the straying sphere, the other sent it flying past Hislop and in off the underside of the crossbar. It proved to be the afternoons only emphatic show of attacking play.
Not that YorkeConcacafs most expensive playerdidnt threaten though. In truth the striker, fresh from a weekend hattrick against Arsenal, could well have changed the course of the match some minutes earlier.
For all their pre-game banter, the Reggae Boyz started slowly.
And they were dealt a blow after just nine minutes when Bolton Wanderers left flanker Ricardo Bibi Gardener came out on the wrong end of an aerial collision in the opposing area. He was replaced by Bradford City midfielder Jamie Lawrence.
Reggae Boyz coach Clovis de Oliveira may have been forgiven for questioning the gods.
On the 11th minute, de Oliveira was questioning his captain as well after his trusted defender Linval Dixon tarried around his own area and was dispossessed by Stern John. John wasted no time in rolling the ball instinctively towards Yorke, but his radar failed, his shot flashing past the far post.
True T&T were finding Yorke with encouraging regularity while Angus Eve was whipping in crossballs with near perfect aim.
But in the heart of the Jamaican defence, Ian Pepe Goodison played with the calm of a man who had seen it all before.
Goodisons majestic performance was worth its weight in gold.
More often than not, it was Goodison who made the difference laying down The Office rules to a lively but, in the end, frustrated Yorke.
Still it was an awesome display of Marshall law which secured Jamaicas three points and left one of the English Premierships best goalies beaten all ends up.
There was never any doubt about who run things at The Office though.
|77' Stokely Mason|
|8.||Angus Eve 38 '|
|77' Carlos Edwards|
|10.||Russell Latapy (capt.)|
|6.||Ronald Mauge 76 '|
|77'||Stokely Mason for Lyndon Andrews|
|77'||Carlos Edwards for Angus Eve|