|Kuwait||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Angus Eve (85')|
China Four Nations Tournament
|2001-08-03||Shanghai Stadium||Shanghai, China||2000|
'Soca Warriors' go down fighting in Shanghai
|Trinidad and Tobago's senior footballers gave a spirited and determined performance in the opening match of the Shanghai four-nation tournament on Friday morning but were downed 4 -3 on penalty kicks by Kuwait following a 1-1 regulation time result.|
The 'Soca Warriors' came close to snatching victory from the Asian team after dominating most of the second half before skipper Angus Eve tied up the scores in the 85th minute. Mohamed Al-Failakawi had earlier given Kuwait a 57th minute lead.
At the end of regulation time, the game was carried straight into penalty kicks. TnT s Nigel Pierre, Conrad Smith and goalkeeper Michael McComie all converted but Dale Saunders and Eve had their attempts saved by Saleh Mohawamed in goal for Kuwait.
TnT will now meet China in the playoff for third place at the same venue on Sunday from 5:15am after the hosts also suffered a loss on penalty kicks to North Korea in the second game of Friday s double header. Both teams battled to a 2-2 draw before the Koreans came away 4-2 winners on penalties. Kuwait and North Korea will meet in the final for the US$35,000 winners prize. Runners up take home US$25,000 while third and fourth place finishers will receive US$20,000 and US$15,000 respectively.
Coach Rene Simoes young troop gave a respectable account of themselves in front ofsome 32,000 fans at the Shanghai Stadium which has a capacity of 60,000.
Team Manager George Joseph, the "Soca Warriors" even had the support of many of the Chinese fans who turned up to witness their team in action in the second match.
TnT missed at least five good scoring opportunities during the match with Pierre, Eve and Cyd Gray going close but were denied by the efforts of keeper Mohawamed.
The closing 15 minutes saw the Asians on the backfoot as TnT pressed for the equalizer which came five minutes from full time.
A penetrative run by substitute Sherman "Ants" Phillip led to his cross for an Eve tap in to send the game straight into penalty kicks. Kuwait had also missed a penalty in the in the 54th minute.
Speaking after the game, Coach Simoes, never one to like defeat, expressed some degree of satisfaction with the display from his team, pointing out that the experience alone in front of the large crowd was a valuable one.
Joseph noted that TnT were never outplayed by their opponents at any stage of the match.
"We actually could have pulled off the victory in the latter part of the game. Our boys give a good showing and there was a lot of promise on which to build on from this performance," said Joseph.
Eve was impressed with the offering from the newly assembled unit.
"It was a really good performance from us and it was even better to see this coming from a squad of young players. I think the guys adapted well to the conditions and the atmosphere here. No one showed any nerves or so even though most of them has had little experience at this level. The coach did a lot in this respect by instilling the kind of confidence in the team which served us well," said Eve.
He mentioned that his team was actually looking forward to continuing into sudden-death.
"We were actually preparing to continue the game and we felt we would have had a really good chance to sealed the game. But we looked at the hosts in the second game and I think once we give the sort of performance we did today we will be in with a good chance of beating the Chinese," added Eve.
|63' Addison Belfon|
|0||Angus Eve (capt.)|
|81' Sherman Phillips|
|63' Conrad Smith|
|63'||Conrad Smith for Adrian Narine|
|63'||Addison Belfon for Marlon Cayonne|
|81'||Sherman Phillips for Travis Mulraine|