KENWYNE JONES’ injury and subsequent replacement by Jamille Boatswain, moments before the start of last Tuesday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round qualifier between Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica, may have seen T&T attacking qualities more frequently throughout the game, according to ex-national youth team coach Keith Look Loy.
T&T were beaten 2-1 at the Costa Rica National Stadium in San Jose, but Look Loy pointed out that the absence of Jones, the national captain and striker, saw the speedy Boatswain, as well as midfielders Kevin Molino, Joevin Jones and Nathan Lewis, in use more often than the Costa Ricans would have anticipated.
“We saw a hint of the potential of this team when we play with an approach that I think is more natural and more rationale, given the abilities and the strengths of our players, which is quick counter-attacks into the spaces, along the sides of the pitch and behind the opposing defence,” said Look Loy, during a recent interview.
“The injury to Kenwyne Jones, and I hope he’s alright, gave the opportunity for us to play without him,” he continued. “I have been saying that successive coaches should have been doing so for years now. We looked dangerous when we allowed our players to run.
“When we’re playing with Kenwyne Jones, and his hold-up play, the attack is static, even stagnant.
When we were able to release men on the sides of the pitch and release Boatswain up front, we created panic in the Costa Rican team.” Commenting on the match itself, Look Loy, who is also the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Super League, as well as coach of FC Santa Rosa, noted, “We should not have lost.
“We should have at least drawn (but) didn’t, if only because the assistant referee, who was probably no more than 15 yards away, with a clear sight-line, didn’t give what was an obvious penalty (against Boatswain in the 51st minute).
“These things happen in football, as hard as they are to stomach.” But Look Loy pointed out, “The reason why we lost the game was because (of) a very poor defensive performance that allowed two goals, too much space allowed to opponents, in and around the penalty area, and they penalised us for it.” On the flip side, he said, “We got a favour from Honduras with that (2-2) draw in Panama City.
Panama haven’t been going very well and they have been dropping points at home, where we have to go. I never give up and I believe we must fight till the end.
“I think with changes in formation and changes in selection, and if we get all points in Panama (and at home to) Honduras, and all points against the United States, that would give us 12. Call me a dreamer, I have not given up hope as yet.”