|Egypt||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Stern John (79')|
|2004-03-31||Arab Contractors Stadium||Cairo, Egypt||13000|
T&T Soca Warriors slip 2-1 to Egypt
|A second half goal by Birmingham City striker Stern John capped off a
fighting performance by Trinidad and Tobagos senior team as they were
narrowly defeated 2-1 by Egypt at the Arab Contractors Stadium, Cairo
on Wednesday evening.Playing before a vibrant crowd of around 13,000 which included a small
group of T&T fans with the red, white and black flag, the Angus Eve
captained team came back strongly to make a game of it after conceding
two early second half goals.|
John had given T&T a chance of coming away with at least a draw when he met a right side cross from Carlos Edwards and chest trapped before hitting home with his left foot from close up past goalkeeper Esam Hadary.
Playing against a well-knit Egypt side, T&T, though forced on the backfoot in the early stages against a quick running Egypt outfit, were never out of the contest and coach Bertille St Clair was left with a lot of positives from the affair.
St Clair, although still disappointed with a losing result, was satisfied with certain areas of the performance which will be shown delayed on local television in April.
It was a decent game for us and while there is still work to do, there was some positive aspects which gave us some cause for satisfaction, St Clair told TTFF Media after the game. We gave up a soft goal but giving a good run away to Egypt and forcing a goal back says something about the character of the team. This game gave us a lot to build on.
There are obviously some mistakes for us to correct and again this shows that these are the type of games we need to play on a regular basis. We will back in training and aiming to get it right before the campaign kicks off in June he added.
T&T started with both Carlos Edwards and Brent Rahim in midfield in a 3-5-2 system, opting to start Wrexham striker Hector Sam alongside John having planned to throw the speedy Cornell Glenn into the attack in the second half.
The Egyptians had the better of the early tries on goal with goalscorer Osama Hosan heading over bar inside the fifth minute and then veteran Hosam Hosan forcing Rahim to scramble away a dangerous cross from inside the six yard box soon after.
Tall defender Dennis Lawrence had T&Ts first worthwhile attempt on goal when his header from eves left side free kick went wide just after the quarter hour mark.
Mohamed Treka and Osama Hasan had further tries on Shaka Hislops goal but it was T&T who enjoyed the better of the closing stages in the first half, going close to scoring on the three occasions just before the interval whistle.
Glenn entered in place of Sam and his presence brought some life to the T&T attack. Edwards served one from the right and John connected on a half volley forcing Hadary to pull off an excellent one handed save to give T&T a corner. Then Glenn met another right side delivery but his header from deep inside the box brought another fine reflex save from Hadary. T&T were peppering the Egyptian goal at that point as Eve curled a free kick in from the left but Lawrences long legs couldnt force the ball home and the host scrambled to safety.
Strong midfield play by Anthony Rougier and courageous defending by Marvin Andrews, Brent Sancho and Lawrence with Hislop doing his fair share kept T&T in touch with the opposition.
But game swung again as the second half commenced and Treka was the one getting the reason to celebrate. First he directed an effort over bar but made up in the 60th minute when he collected a loose clearance and saw his shot take a deflection on its way past Hislop.
T&T countered soon after the restart when a decent build up led to Rahim centering from the right but John was heavily policed deep in the box and the bal was pushed out for a corner.
Six minutes later Egypt struck a second time when a lapse in concentration at the back resulted in a free kick to Egypt which caught the T&T defense flat-footed as Abdel Haly headed home from a left side free kick by Tarek Sayed.
T&T tried to hit back a minute later when Rahim centred again from the right but Johns run to goal was cut out by a quickly advancing Hadary.
Eve and company didnt hang their heads though and when John struck, there was that little sensing that the Soca Warriors would be back into the proceedings but they had only a creditable performance to take back home.
T&Ts next assignment is expected to be in April against an opposition to be announced while the May 23 clash with Iraq in London is also on the cards. The overseas-based pros return to London on Thursday while the rest of the T&T contingent will overnight there on Thursday before arriving home on Friday evening.
Shaka Hislop, Brent Sancho, Dennis Lawrence, Marvin Andrews, Stokely Mason, Carlos Edwards, Anthony Rougier, Brent Rahim (Anton Pierre 75th), Angus Eve (capt), Stern John, Hector Sam (Cornell Glenn 38th - Kerry Baptiste 89th).
|Angus Eve (capt.)|
|75' Anton Pierre|
|Bertille St. Clair|
|0'||Cornell Glen for Hector Sam|
|0'||Kerry Baptiste for Cornell Glen|
|75'||Anton Pierre for Brent Rahim|