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Guerra strikes again as T&T double up on Reggae Boyz. (PHOTO - Shaun Fuentes (TTFA Media).Warriors wins Classico.

Trinidad and Tobago made it two in two over arch-rivals Jamaica when they walked away 2-0 winners in yesterday's Caribbean affair at the Hasley Crawford Stadium.

With nothing much to report on from the first half, it took T&T 49 minutes to break the deadlock. Ataullah Guerra, who scored the winner for T&T in their last 1-0 encounter with the Reggae Boyz just 4-days ago has struck again, this time, four minutes into the second-half to send T&T one up at the restart.

The former San Juan Jabloteh man collected the ball on the left side, skipped a few Jamaican tackles and rifles a low shot into the bottom right corner of goalkeeper McCallum's goal to give T&T the goal advantage.

T&T continued to dominate in the second half and it paid dividends in the 75th minute when Central FC striker Rundell Winchester made a strong run into the box and was fouled by Jamaican defender Alvas Powell which resulted in a penalty. Captain Kenwyne Jones took the honors as the Stoke City striker stepped up to convert from the spot and send T&T further into the lead.

The Reggae Boyz would hold on despite some repeated attacks by T&T as the game eventually ended 2-0 in favor of the home side.

T&T has now won the Caribbean Classico series with 1-0 and 2-0 results respectively and ended their 2013 campaign on a high note.

It was also a farewell match for Port Vale's Christopher Birchall and also paid tribute to Carlos Edwards who has not officially retired but it seems as though head coach Stephen Hart is planning on rebuilding a team with younger troops.

Final Results

T&T 2 v Jamaica 0
Guerra 49'
Jones 73-Pen'

Teams

Trinidad and Tobago 4-5-1: - Jan-Michael Williams; Aubrey David, Carlos Edwards (Curtis Gonzales 87th), Carlyle Mitchell (Radanfah Abu Bakr 74th), Daneil Cyrus (Yellow 44); Christopher Birchall (Kevan George 70th), Ataullah Guerra, Joevin Jones, Andre Boucaud (Yellow 55) (Densill Theobald 83rd), Lester Peltier (Rundell Winchester 25th); Kenwyne Jones (capt) (Trevin Caesar 79th).

Unused Sub: - Cleon John.

COACH: - Stephen Hart.

Jamaica 4-3-3: - Richard McCallum; Adrian Reid, Kemar Lawrence, Alvas Powell, Upston Edwards (Dicoy Williams 46th); Jermaine Woolencroft, Je-Vaughn Watson (capt), Omar Daley; Michael Seaton (Darren Mattocks 46th) (Jermaine Anderson 58th - Yellow 76), Jason Johnson, Deshorn Brown (Andrew Vanzie 84th).

Unused Subs: - Gariece McPherson; Montrose Phinn; Brian Brown.

COACH: - Winfried Schäfer.

Venue: - Hasley Crawford Stadium.

Attendance (APPROX): - 8,000.

Soca Warriors Win 2-0 To Pile On Misery For Jamaica
By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd (The Voice)


WINFRIED SCHAFER'S short-term stint as Jamaica head coach ended with yet another defeat to Trinidad & Tobago, stuttering to a 2-0 reversal at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain last night.

T&T, who defeated the Reggae Boyz 1-0 last Friday with their first win in Jamaica for 49 years, breezed past the visitors with Ataullah Guerra and Kenwyne Jones on target.

But Schafer, despite his abject failure at the helm, is still hoping to be offered a four-year contact by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). That is in the balance as his contract ends today (November 20), and is dependent on whether the JFF can generate enough sponsorship – and faith – in retaining the former Cameron coach despite the fact that he did not register a single win in six games.

Although Schafer again fielded an experimental side, with the focus on unearthing new talent, there is no glossing over the fact that the German has failed miserably in his mission with the Boyz since he took over four months ago.

The Boyz finished rock bottom of their final World Cup qualifying group with a whimper, and the highly anticipated Caribbean 'Classico' against T&T resulted in two defeats and the inability to score goals.

T&T English-based veterans Port Vale's Chris Birchall, who retired after the match, and Ipswich Town's Carlos Edwards were given the nod to start after the pair missed Friday's friendly to join a number of untested players in the line-up.

Finland-based Guerra, whose strike earned the Soca Warriors their triumph in Kingston, was the player who once again impressed against the Boyz. The 26-year-old was back on the scoring sheet and broke the deadlock on 49 minutes. And lively skipper Jones sealed success with his 73rd-minute spot-kick.

Guerra said:
 “It was a pleasure to score for my country. We played to the coach’s instructions and to our strengths, and we had to show our commitment to maintain a winning performance.”

In the opening half, the Boyz back four of Upston Edwards, Kemar Lawrence, teenager Alvas Powell and Adrian Reid were kept busy to stifle the Warriors. But Edwards was replaced at half-time due to injury and the visitors had their work cut out after the break.

But the hosts should have taken a two-goal cushion into the interval, Jones scuffing a gilt-edged opportunity by prodding his effort over the target from just six yards. However, the Boyz could have been given a penalty when Omar Daley was bundled to the ground but the referee waved on play.

With the vocal crowd willing on the Warriors and yelling for an overdue goal at the start of the second half, it was Guerra who obliged with a sparkling strike. He dribbled the ball from the left wing into the penalty area and then unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.

With the Warriors eager to add to their tally, it was surprising that it took a penalty to double their lead. Rundell Winchester and Jones played a neat one-two on the left flank, with Winchester darting into the box only for Powell's late challenge to earn the hosts an undisputed spot-kick that Jones converted with aplomb.

T&T head coach Stephen Hart said: “It gave me an opportunity to continue to experiment with the team and with the players, which is the only way you can evaluate the players.

“It was a very competitive game and this is what I’ve been asking of the players. This has been a unique opportunity to play both home and away, which mirrors what would be necessary if we were trying to qualify for the World Cup – we have to keep building.”

Schafer played down the defeat and said: “For me it is not very important about the result, the result is secondary – the importance is the development of the players.

“I'm happy about our team, which is made up of only local players and players born in Jamaica from the United States. Players need matches for experience. These youngsters did what was asked, but we just did not score tonight.”

Birchall ‘humbled’, Hart satisfied with 2-0 win.
By Ian Prescott (Express).


Happy Send-off

Trinidad and Tobago bid farewell to Chris Birchall, one of the national team’s more popular footballers of recent vintage, with heartfelt thanks and a 2-0 victory over Jamaica in Port of Spain on Tuesday night.

In doing so, the Soca Warriors swept the two-match friendly series, after also beating the Reggae Boyz 1-0 in Montego Bay four days earlier.

Tuesday’s match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium ended the international playing career of England-born Birchall, best known for his powerful “rocket” goal against Bahrain in the first leg playoff during the Soca Warriors’ historic qualification for the 2006 World Cup. On Tuesday, Birchall played 70 minutes before bidding the crowd an emotional farewell, and leaving to a standing ovation.

A bit off the pace early, there was that still never-say-die commitment from “Warrior” Birchall. And for the last time, he reminded T&T of his trademark hard shot when just clearing the crossbar at pace, after meeting Ataullah Guerra’s pass atop the penalty area. Birchall was thrilled that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) had staged a testimonial match for both him, and yet to be retired veteran Carlos Edwards.

“I was humbled that they invited me back. It was never an option to turn it down,” Birchall said. “I was glad for the opportunity to play before the fans again to show my appreciation. Throughout the journey in my career, they were always one hundred per cent behind me.’”

Guerra, the fifth minute match-winner in Montego Bay, said it was “an honour” to score for T&T in a second straight match against the Jamaicans when he gave T&T a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute, slapping a shot low to the near corner after drifting across the penalty area. German Winfried Schafer, Jamaica’s coach, frowned at the ease with which Guerra drifted past his defenders.

“It is not possible that this player (Guerra) (should) go in and shoot the ball past, one, two, three players,” said Schafer after the game. He felt Guerra should have been double-teamed atop the box, and also promised to beat T&T in 12 months’ time.

Stoke City striker and T&T skipper Kenwyne Jones added a second goal from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute, after Rundell Winchester was tripped by defender Adrian Reid after accelerating at pace into the penalty area.

Jones also had a first half header cleared off the goalline after beating Jamaican keeper Upston Edwards to Joevin Jones’ corner. And early on, Jones also curled the ball wide, following an excellent square pass from Lester Peltier inside the six-yard box.

T&T enjoyed the majority of possession against their fierce Caribbean foes, who looked for something on the break.

They got very few looks. Soca Warriors keeper Jan-Michael Williams had a scary opening minute, but his errant kick out was wasted by 17-year-old starlet Michael Seaton, and coach Schafer also swore that it was a “sure penalty” and that Carlos Edwards had tugged at Omar Daley, after being stripped in the penalty area.

T&T coach Stephen Hart made four changes to the team which beat Jamaica last week, Birchall and Ipswich Town defender Edwards among them. Also coming in were locally-based starlet Joevin Jones and Carlyle Mitchell.

The Soca Warriors looked good overall. Goal-scorer Guerra played confidently and controlled the midfield, along with a very assured Andre Boucard. The back four of Daneil Cyrus, Carlos Edwards, Aubrey David and Mitchell excelled.

Peltier was very active until he got injured an was replaced early by young Winchester, who showed plenty pace, while Jones also showed penetration on the opposite flank.

Coach Hart also said Trevin Caesar “put fear into Jamaica” by showing his trademark aggression after replacing Jones (J).

“I wanted the team to put two solid halves together. They did that. Once again, another clean sheet. We pushed the ball forward a little bit quicker. We had penetration on both sides. It is very difficult to ask more of the players,” the T&T coach said.

“As I said before, I am not a miracle worker. Football is about players and the players are responding. We still have a long way to go. In Trinidad it’s feast or famine, but overall, I am pleased about the performance in both games.”

Hart next plans to talk with the TTFA about doing something with the local players between now and March, when there are no international match dates.