T&T Seniors lose 3-0 but Coaches describe it as 'beneficial exercise'
Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior team suffered a loss on the road, going down 3-0 to a high riding Peru team at the Estadio Nacional in Lima on Tuesday night.
Coming off the thrills of their 1-0 victory over Chile last Friday at the same venue which kept their 2014 World Cup dreams alive, Peru didn’t let off the gas and delighted their home fans with a polished performance against a T&T team that used the encounter as tune up for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July.
Goals by Yordy Reyna (45), Paolo Hurtado (81st) Christopher Gonzales in the 83rd minute did the damage for Peru. T&T’s best chance was a right footed crack from Chris Birchall which hit the cross bar seven minutes into the second half.
T&T started with Cornell Glen up front as the lone striker with Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones on the bench and Caledonia AIA midfielder Keyon Edwards, defender Aubrey David and goalkeeper Marvin Phillip coming into the start team.
The visitors struggled to find momentum in the first half as Peru controlled the run of play for large periods. Glen managed to hold the ball up at times but there lacked support for him around the penalty box and there was little creativity in the middle of the park for the “Warriors”.
Birchall’s passing was a bit off in the first half but he was able to later settle down while Kevon Carter and Curtis Gonzales had a difficult time dealing with the Peruvians. Carter was unable to make any runs that forced the Peruvians on their backfoot at any point in the match.
Peru’s constant ability to hold possession and orchestrate timely attacking plays kept the T&T players busy for most parts. But T&T, captained by Densill Theobald, deserved credit for maintaining shape and discipline, at least up until the closing stages of the match.
Peruvian winger Irven Avila, considered one of the stars of the Peruvian League, was a threat from early on and managed four good attempts at goal in the opening half hour. Avila was the provider for Peru’s opening goal which came after a T&T attack broke down.
Avila rushed past Aubrey David on the right and crossed for an unmarked Reyna to head home. Peruvian goalkeeper Diego Penny was a mere spectator for the opening 45 minutes s Glen’s shot which went wide was T&T’s first and only real good look at goal in the 36th minute.
T&T grew in confidence as the match progressed, gathering some momentum that had been lacking previously and gave a much better account from the start of the second half but the Peruvians continued to stay in control.
The equalizer evaded T&T in the 52nd minute when Birchall fired with his right foot after Edwards laid on for him from just inside the area, only to see the ball crash off the cross bar. That chance resulted after some good pressure by T&T deep in the Peru half which saw defender Mitchell head down for Edwards to set it up for Birchall.
W Connection left back Joevin Jones managed a decent showing, showing that he was comfortable on the ball, also making some good runs into the area from the flank. His effort went narrowly over bar in the 68th.
T&T faded at the end and conceded as Peru shifted gears in the closing fifteen minutes of the match. Phillip did however pull off a couple strong saves to deny Jefferson Farfan and Daniel Chavez.
Jones came on in the second half while Marcus Joseph, Darren Mitchell, Jason Marcano and Kareem Moses also got a run as T&T tried to make good use of the remaining minutes.
T&T co-head coach Hutson Charles admitted he was disappointed by the result while his partnering head coach Jamaal Shabazz also mentioned that the game showed indications of which players were able to compete against teams such as Peru under conditions like those in Lima.
“The players that we brought here allowed us to see who can go forward and who couldn’t make it,” Charles told TTFF Media.
“This was the right game for us. We are looking for the right chemistry, the right players for the right positions. And this game brought out a lot in terms of our physical and mental preparation. We’ll go back the drawing board. I’m disappointed with the result because I thought we gave up three soft goals. But we are going to keep working and we’ll get this thing right,” Charles added.
Shabazz added: “I think it was a really good exercise for us to get some answers as it gets closer to the Gold Cup in terms of players who are ready and who will have to wait a bit longer. We saw some good moments in the match. We saw some good work with the two centre backs (Cyrus and Mitchell).
We saw Cornell Glen hold up the ball well at times and we also saw the midfield, even against a high level opponent away from home, try to put the ball down and play. These were some of the positives for us and we can only get this right by playing quality opponents like this from time to time,” Shabazz said.
“It shows us that when you add (to this squad) players like Carlos Edwards, Khaleem Hyland, Sheldon Bateau, Keon Daniel, Ataullah Guerra and Jan-Michael Williams just to name a few and even some who may still come in … we will have a squad that is capable of doing Trinidad and Tobago proud. Of course we have some areas to improve on but I think all in all we as a staff and as team was able to benefit from this type of exercise,” Shabazz continued.
The T&T team will return home on Wednesday night. Preparations will continue with two away friendlies in the first week of June. T&T opens its Gold Cup account against El Salvador in New Jersey on July 8th, before facing Haiti on July 12th and Honduras three days later in Houston.
Peru 3 v T&T 0
Reyna 39', Hurtado 80', Gonzales 82'.
Perú: 1.Diego Penny (capt); 17.Luis Advíncula, 2.Néstor Duarte, 18.Jesús Álvarez, 4.Álvaro Ampuero (19.Yoshimar Yotún 46th), 5.Alfredo Rojas, 14.Paulo Albarracín, 20.Edwuin Gómez (7.Paolo Hurtado 60th), socawarriors.net, 16.Luis García (24.Daniel Chávez 46th), 11.Irven Ávila (8.Christofer Gonzales 82nd), 9.Yordy Reyna (10.Jefferson Farfán 73rd).
Unused Subs: – 12.Salomón Libman, Paulo Requena, Diego Chávez, Miguel Araujo, José Morales.
Coach: - Markarián, Sergio.
Trinidad & Tobago: 1.Marvin Phillip; 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 4.Curtis Gonzales, 6.Daneil Cyrus (5.Kareem Moses 87th), 2.Aubrey David; 7.Christopher Birchall, 18.Densill Theobald (capt) (15.Darren Mitchell 84th), 16.Keyon Edwards (9.Kenwyne Jones 62nd), 14.Kevon Carter (8.Jason Marcano 75th), 3.Joevin Jones; 13.Cornell Glen (12.Marcus Joseph 73rd).
Unused Sub: – 21.Cleon John.
Coaches: - Hutson Charles & Jamaal Shabazz.
Referee: - Diego Lara (Ecuador).