|Bermuda||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Cornell Glen (63')|
|2004-02-10||Bermuda National Stadium||Prospect, Bermuda||3000|
Glenns strike gives T&T hard-earned 1-0 win over Bermuda
|Trinidad and Tobago s senior footballers produced a fighting performance to kick off their preparation campaign for the 2006 World Cup qualification bid with a 1-0 victory over hosts Bermuda on Tuesday at the National Sports Centre.|
A 63rd minute strike by Cornell Glenn was all that separated the two teams in an affair which was keenly contested and one which saw the hosts coming at the Soca Warriors from the opening whistle.
Skipper Angus Eve s outfit showed signs of rustiness as it was the national team s first outing since a 2-0 win over Cuba last November and also the first bit of action for the players following the end of the pro league season. But all in all, the Ron La Forest-coached side was afforded the win and will be looking to end on a better victory note come Thursday when the two teams clash again at the same venue.
T&T took some time to settle and the Bermudians hardly waited before having a go at them.
Inside the opening 15 minutes, goalkeeper Kevin Graham, making his senior debut, had his goal shot at on three occasions. First it was John Nusum shooting over bar and then Khano Smith s glancing header going inches wide from close range and then an effort which went wide from the same player.
Glenn had T&T s first effort which, for the Bermudians, went harmless over bar following a quick free kick.
Smith then held his head in despair when his header bounced agonizingly wide on the 20 minute mark.
Five minutes later, the T&T defence failed to clear an incoming right side cross and Rolph Bean s header bounced off the cross bar back into play before being cleared to safety.
The barrage of crosses continued for the first half hour as the T&T defense line of Derek King, Cyd Gray, Anton Pierre, Ansil Elcock and Stokely Mason were forced to run hard to keep the scoreline even.
As half time approached, T&T settled and began stringing passes around, looking dangerous going forward in spurts. Eve had T&T s best chance when he latched onto a pass on the run but shot powerfully against onrushing goalkeeper Troy hall from near the six yard.
On the resumption, Graham had to save a close range effort by Nusum but the pattern of play changed as T&T started enjoying more of the possession. The visitors almost snatched the lead in the 49th minute when Pierre threaded one wide to Eve on the right and his cross met Glenn s head inside the six yard but the ball ballooned over bar.
Midfielder Trent Noel also had a good try at goal and Cyd Gray had a one on one saved by the advancing keeper.
Glenn then took his goal with utmost calm and precision to silence the 3,000 odd Bermudians at the venue who had been routing loudly for their team. He collected one from Eve and fought off three defenders atop the center of the box before placing the ball to the left of the outstretched keeper.
The final minutes of the game did not lack goalmouth action as Graham had to save well to deny Nusum and the home-side also had Kentour Jennings sent off in the 75th minute for making contact off the ball with Gray near the touch line.
Bermudian coach Kenny Thompson later said his team took a lot of positives away from the encounter.
I think we performed extremely well but our finishing was not up to standard because we could have won if we had converted our chances It is important for us to play these games as it shows us that we cannot afford to miss our chances in the international arena. Trinidad showed us that we need to step up at this level because they took their chance well. At the time of their goal, it didn t seem to have any danger in our area and then suddenly the ball was in the goal. We can take a lot of positives out of this game. We actually played well in the 2-0 loss to Barbados and we did similar today. It is important that we try to win on Thursday and you can expect us to come at the Trinidad side again with full force, Thompson said.
La Forest meanwhile, said he is hopeful of a more lively performance from his team in the second outing on Thursday.
The victory was a vitally important one for us being the start of the 2006 effort. There are some areas we need to sharpen up on particularly in the defensive part of the field. It was obvious that some of our players were a bit rusty today but this will improve as we play more games, La Forest told TTFF Media after the game. . We also need to break off faster when we are going forward, he added.
He credited the work of a few of the players saying Cornell had a good game and Angus showed good leadership qualities. The young goalkeeper also had a good debut. We want to roll the ball around as much as we can and I know we have season campaigners in the team and I am expecting that we will settle early and control more of the game on Thursday.
T&T line up: Kevin Graham, Derek King, Ansil Elcock, Anton Pierre, Stokely Mason, Cyd Gray, Travis Mulraine, Trent Noel (Conrod Smith, 59th), Angus Eve, Aurtis Whitley (Garvin McKenna, 88th), Cornell Glenn
|Angus Eve (capt.)|
|59' Conrad Smith|
|88' Garvin McKenna|
|Ron La Forest|
|59'||Conrad Smith for Trent Noel|
|88'||Garvin McKenna for Aurtis Whitley|