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Costa Rica coach Rodrigo Kenton Johnson said he was very impressed with the skill and performance of T&T midfielders Hayden Tinto and Carlos Edwards. The coach’s comments came after the teams’ 2010 Concacaf World Cup Qualifier at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago on Saturday night.
Tinto was playing in his first qualifier, while midfielder Edwards was asked to perform duties at right back by coach, Russell Latapy for the crucial encounter. Tinto, who plays local team bmobile Joe Public in the T&T Pro League, was replaced at the half-time for a more experience striker in Colin Samuel. “T&T started off very strong and powerful and everybody was on top of us. But, I just wanted the first 15 to 20 minutes to pass because I knew that probably their energy and speed would drop a little, which would allow Costa Rica to start to play a little better, and luckily for us that’s how it happened,” said Johnson.

Edwards, who scored for T&T against El Salvador in a 2-2 draw, opened the scoring for the host in Saturday’s 3-2 loss.

Johnson said, “T&T’s intensity in the first-half was a surprised to me. I did not expect them to be so aggressive but really they did a great first-half and have really interesting players. “I don’t know what happened to the number ten (Hayden Tinto) but I know he was doing a great job in the first-half and the number 11 (Carlos Edwards) is also a very impressive player. “But I knew probably they were not going to continue with that intensity for the 90 minutes. So we just had to play and by the second half we felt they would drop and luckily for Costa Rica it happened like that,” the coach revealed.

Johnson added: “After T&T scored the first goal I knew we had to continue pushing and see if we (could) tie the match and that helped us a lot. When we scored T&T dropped a little in their resistance, speed, fitness and Costa Rica continued playing and using the space, and I think that helped made the difference in the game”. He continued: “We had a great second half. Probably we could have scored more. We played good combinations and if you saw the match against USA, I think our second-half against T&T was more like our performance in our previous match on Wednesday.

“All in all, I’m very happy for my team because we knew before coming here that it was not going to be an easy match as T&T needed to make probably their biggest effort for a win to keep in the race for an automatic qualifying spot. “I know that after this result for us we maintained our main objective, which was to be at the top of the group. We won and I’m very happy about that because I think it will give us a little break and a little distance in points from all the other teams,” said Johnson.