Caledonia AIA attacker Devorn Jorsling netted a second half hat-trick to lead a new look Soca Warriors team to a 4-0 victory over Antigua & Barbuda at the Sir Vivian Richards Ground in Antigua.
Both teams went into the break at deadlock but it would be T&T who came out in the second half on a mission to get a favorable result over a team that is preparing for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers which begins in June.
Trinidad and Tobago had only themselves to blame for not taking it to the Antiguans in the first-half and spilt many great opportunities to score a few goals well. Richard Roy was the known culprit as it was reported that the striker missed quite a few chances for the Warriors who seemed to have had a pretty good showing in the first 45 despite the score-line.
Another incident, this time involving Kevon Carter- who is making a return to the game after a long-term injury was taken down in the penalty box by Antigua's Quinton Griffith in the 35th minute. Devorn Jorsling took the honors and stepped up for the spot-kick only to see his poor effort saved by the Antiguan custodian Molvin James, however, despite missing the penalty the former Defence Force man made up by scoring a hat-trick to help T&T prevail over their Caribbean neighbors.
Jorsling goals came in the 59th, 70th and 78th minutes respectively before substitute Willis Plaza final nail on the coffin with an 81st minute goal that completed the route. The San Juan Jabloteh in-form striker now has 2 caps for his country registering one goal; he is also the current leading goalscorer in T&T's Pro League with nine league goals to his name.
This would be the second hat-trick for Jorsling with his first being against St Vincent in the 2010 Digicel Cup. The striker has now registered his 16th overall goals for his country with 29 caps to his name.
Antigua will face St Kitts next (March 3) in a friendly game as they are preparing for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, they are a nation of under 80,000 people and has booked their place in the penultimate round of CONCACAF qualifying for Brazil 2014. They are grouped with USA, Jamaica and Guatemala.
T&T on the other hand has no 2014 World Cup to look forward to but is using the games as preparations for the 2012 Caribbean Cup which is schedule to start later this year.
The new look Soca Warriors side saw a few newcomers to its side with Elton John and Rodell Elcock making their debuts while Daneil Cyrus and Kevon Carter is coming of lengthy injuries.
Former Köping FF midfielder Kevon Neaves meanwhile, with has one solitary cap (now two) is also making a return to T&T after his debut in 2006 against Iceland; the talented left winger is also coming off a lengthy injury that he sustained while playing for local outfit T&TEC FC.
T&T, under interim head coach Hutson Charles led his troops well from the bench and should be satisfied by his team showing especially against an opponent that fielded a few foreign-born English based players as their team head coach Tom Curtis is currently looking to improve his team before they go into the all important WC qualifiers. Charles meantime record to date stands at; 1 win and 1 lose- a defeat that came in the hands of Finland when they defeated T&T 3-2 in January, 2012 in Port of Spain.
Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) General Secretary Gordon “Banks” Derrick has defended the decision to import a number of England-based players for the senior team’s International Friendly against Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.
Derrick, who is a former Villa Lions player, urged fans to be patient and reminded that there has to be a period where the waters are tested.
“Persons would say, ‘you shouldn’t do that. You wasting money.’ But I would not agree with that. We are now in the pre-season stage. We are developing and getting ourselves ready for June. This is our very first game. The premier league would have finished on January 19 so it is some 11 days later. We obviously did not have a very good game, especially in the second half that is not a question, but it is a starting point,” he said.
“As coaches you look at the situation and you analyse and see all the work that you need to do and the areas that you need to tighten up on and you move forward from there. That’s why you have friendly games and warm-up games,” Derrick added in an interview with the Antiguan Observer reporter Neto Baptiste.
Antigua: Molvin James – Marvin McCoy, George Dublin (capt), Anton Blackwood (Karanja Mack 16th), Dave Carr, Marvin McCoy (Akeem Thomas 71st), Quentin Griffith, Kieran Murtagh (Kerry Skepple 71st), Lawson Robinson, Stephan Smith (Ranja Christian 78th), Peter Byers (Justin Cochrane 58th) (Gayson Gregory 71st).
TD: Tom Curtis.
Trinidad & Tobago: Marvin Phillip (capt) – Clyde Leon (Yellow 57), Elton John, Rodell Elcock, Ataullah Guerra (Aubrey David 90th), Kevon Carter (Keon Boucher 67th), Kevon Neaves (Bevon Bass 78th), Devon Jorsling (Kerlon Ferguson 78th), Richard Roy (Willis Plaza 71st), Daneil Cyrus, Seon Power (Jamal Jack 30th).
TD: Hutson Charles.
Referee: Ignatius Jno Baptiste (DMA).