Carlos Pavon scored two goals and Honduras defeated visiting Trinidad & Tobago 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier Saturday night at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano.
The win took Honduras another step closer to an automatic place in South Africa, while Trinidad is on the verge of elimination with only five points from seven games.
The Catrachos, winners of three straight, dominated play from the opening whistle, making it eight wins in eight home qualifiers.
Pavon, who plays locally with Real Espana, put Honduras ahead in the 20th minute and added another eight minutes later. The 35-year-old striker now has 22 goals in 31 all-time qualifying games.
Captain Amado Guevara crushed any hopes of a comeback by the visitors, when he made it 3-0 in the 61st minute.
Spurred on by its throng of supporters, Honduras went in search of another goal.
David Suazo quenched the fans’ thirst with an 83rd minute strike. It was the 29-year-old’s first international goal since scoring against Puerto Rico on June 14, 2008. He has recently returned to fitness after a lengthy spell away from the game following an injury while on loan at Portugal’s Benfica last season.
Five minutes before time, Kerry Baptiste secured a consolation goal for the Soca Warriors, but it really was a case of too little, too late.
Next up for Honduras, which now tops the CONCACAF qualifying table with 13 points after Mexico's win at Costa Rica later in the evening, is a showdown against El Tri in Mexico City on Wednesday. Trinidad hosts the USA on the same day.
Hon 4 (Carlos Pavon 18, 27, Amado Guevara 61, David Sauzo 83) v T&T 1 (Kerry Baptiste 85th).
TRI - 1.Clayton Ince; 11.Carlos Edwards, 4.Marvin Andrews (capt), 3.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 2.Jlloyd Samuel; 12.Keon Daniel (14.Kerry Baptiste 78th), 7.Densill Theobald (15.Lyndon Andrews 75th), 8.Trent Noel, 16.Silvio Spann (10.Hayden Tinto 46th); 13.Cornell Glen, 17.Kenwyne Jones.
HON - 18.Noel Valladares; 3.Maynor Figueroa, 5.Erick Norales, 12.Emilio Izaguirre, 16.Mauricio Sabillon; 7.Amado Guevara (capt) (15.Edgar Alvarez 70th), 4.Hendry Thomas, 17.Danilo Turcios (13.Melvin Valladares 76th), 11.Ramon Nunez; 8.Jerry Palacios (4.David Sauzo 59th), 9.Carlos Pavon.
T&T Yellow Card - Silvio Spann, Trent Noel.
Referee: Mark Geiger.
Latapy: we won't stop trying to win.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
National Senior Team head coach Russell Latapy maintained even in light of the heavy 4-1 defeat to Honduras which dampened the country’s 2010 World Cup chances that no fingers would be pointed and the “Soca Warriors” will continue to make every effort to finish the campaign on the highest possible note.
Latapy, who took T&T to its highest FIFA ranking since September 2006, #63 this month, was as disappointed as any other member of the team on Saturday night but refused to throw the towel in before Wednesday’s match against United States at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
“We know that coming to Honduras was always going to be a very difficult game. I must say congrats to Honduras. They made this Stadium a very difficult one to come to and well done to them,” Latapy said in the post game press conference. “
In my opinion, we gave away two very soft goals as well and these are the mistakes you need to avoid when you play matches like this. But again we will point no fingers and we will regroup and come again for the remainder of matches starting on Wednesday at home.”
One Honduran reporter spoke of his admiration for Latapy during his playing career and asked whether T&T was capable of producing more players like or similar to him.
“Thanks but to answer your question… we have a lot of our better players that are based in the foreign leagues and it’s always difficult to get them to come together much in advance before a game like a lot of other teams in the world. You don’t have your players to work with as much as you would like. For instance for this game we had four training sessions since our last game against El Salvador.
“ I think at the international level you also need to work more with your experienced players as well and then you have a lot of young players who don’t always play at a very high level.. so you need the right balance and if we can do this then possibly we can find that type of player,” Latapy told the press gathering.
Looking ahead to Wednesday’s clash, Latapy added to TTFF Media, “As a national team you always go out to try and win all your matches and that is what we are going to do in our remaining three games. Every time a player represent the country they must play to the best of their ability. We want to end up with as much points as we can. We are also changing generations as well so winning games brings confidence for the players so that means we are going to try and win as much games as possible,” Latapy added.
The streets of San Pedro Sula was in party mood hours after the victory as scores of Honduran fans lined the streets on the outskirts of the stadium and those leading to the Hilton Princess Hotel. Fans also pounded the T&T team bus shouting “Honduras en South Africa… Cuatro Cuatro” as others threw objects at the bus as it inched its way through some parts of the traffic under police escort. There was also the occasional use of racial slurs.
The T&T team,which was captained by Marvin Andrews and saw Bolton Wanderers defender Jlloyd Samuel make his debut, will return home on Sunday night and resume training on Monday evening at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in preparation for Wednesday's match against the United States which kicks off at 7:11pm.
World Cup dream shattered.
T&T Guardian Reports.
There is a saying—it is not over until the fat lady sings. Well, the fat lady has sung on the T&T Soca Warriors. That 4-1 drubbing on Saturday night at the hands of host, Honduras, effectively ends the Warriors’ road to South Africa 2010 campaign. With three hard matches remaining, some supporters may feel there is a mathematical chance of reaching South Africa, by being the fourth place finisher in this group, and getting the chance of playing the fifth place finisher in South America. Honduras, by this win, now has 13 points. The United States defeated El Salvador 2-1 in Utah to reach 13 points. Mexico climbed to 12 points with a 3-0 victory over a deflated Costa Rican team. Costa Rica still has 12 points.
Both T&T and El Salvador are locked on five points each. The Soca Warriors, playing in front of a huge crowd at the Olympic Metropolitan Stadium needed the three points to stay in contention. But defence blunders and poor judgment by goalkeeper Clayton Ince, pushed the Warriors on the back foot very early. The team made mistakes at the back and it cost T&T dearly. In the 19th minute, Carlos Pavon pounced on a loose ball and hit home to give Honduras a 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later, Pavon made it 2-0, again benefiting from a defence blunder. In the 35th minute, the Warriors came close to scoring when Carlos Edwards’ throw fell on the head of striker Kenwyne Jones. The header struck the cross bar, however, and rebounded into play. The score remained 2-0 at half time. In the second half, diminutive striker Hayden Tinto replaced a disappointing Silvio Spann. His entrance brought the game alive for T&T on the right wing, but he got no assistance. Both Jones and Cornell Glen had a rough game, not being able to control things up front.
For yet another match, Jones failed to get his name on the score card. The Sunderland striker has not yet scored for T&T in the World Cup campaign. In the 61st minute, Amado Guevara sent the 45,000-strong crowd wild when he scored Honduras’ third goal. David Suazo made it 4-0 in the 83rd, through another defensive blunder. Kerry Baptiste came on as a substitute and immediately showed why he is the leading scorer in the Pro League. He netted in the 85th minute, this time from a Honduras blunder. The score was now 4-1 and the Warriors came alive. But it was a case of too little, too late.
One thing was evident on the field —T&T was leaderless. Although Andrews wore the captain’s arm band, he did not lift the spirits of the players after the first goal.
The T&T team will certainly remember the mistakes of this campaign. After being up 2-0 against El Salvador in February, skipper Dwight Yorke allowed Stern John to kick the second penalty of the match. The first was scored by Yorke, and he decided to give John a chance. That shot went over the bar, and El Salvador was able to tie the game, 2-2, in the later stages of the match. In the next match, T&T allowed Honduras to share the points at Hasely Crawford Stadium. In June, after opening the scoring against Costa Rica in Tobago, the Warriors lost the game 3-2. A disappointed Concacaf President, Jack Warner, said the dream of reaching South Africa 2010 was over. “It would be difficult from here for the players to qualify for the finals. They did not play good football tonight,” Warner added.
Present at the match were Concacaf President Jack Warner and his wife Maureen; TTFF president Ollie Camps, vice-president Raymond Tim Kee and general secretary Richard Groden. There were journalists from the T&T Guardian, I.95.5 radio, and 105 FM, along with a handful of faithful T&T supporters who have been attending all the away matches.