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Roberts celebrates his goal with Birchall and JonesTrinidad and Tobago moved to the top of their group standings in the second round of 2014 World Cup qualification by way of a 2-0 victory over Barbados in their second encounter at the National Stadium in Bridgetown on Tuesday evening.

Goals by United States-based midfielder Keon Daniel (17th) and Darryl Roberts (67th) ensured the “Soca Warriors” collected maximum points on what turned out to be a not so attractive football match on a hard and uneven surface at the Stadium in Waterford.

Guyana meantime won their second match at home, overcoming Bermuda 2-1 which left T&T ahead on goal-difference after two games. T&T will meet Bermuda there on October 7 and then host Barbados four days later.

T&T head coach Otto Pfister later reiterated the point that the job was to secure three points despite the lack of a top notch performance against stubborn opponents who had lost their opener 2-0 to Guyana in Georgetown.

Jones’ opening attempt at goal was not the most inspiring after he picked up on a loose ball near the box and moved goalwards before directing his effort harmlessly over bar when better placement should have put T&T ahead early in the match.

But  not long after, Daniel put the visitors ahead with a well taken goal from a nicely orchestrated build up on the right. Jones, after collecting from Hayden Tinto, slipped one through for Daniel and the Philadelphia Union man kept his composure to neatly slot past goalkeeper Jason Boxhill.

That goal settled the T&T eleven which saw Clyde Leon and Daniel as well as goalkeeper Marvin Phillip coming into the starting team at the expense of Khaleem Hyland, the rested Stern John and Anthony Warner.

Jones was the lone man up top with Roberts to his left and Tinto on the right while Seon Power and Julius James controlled the middle of the defense ably supported by Anthony Wolfe on the right and Carlos Edwards on the other end. Chris Birchall and Leon took care of things in the middle with Daniel in the left midfield position.

Barbados looked less likely to cause much of a panic for the T&T defense even though Phillip did have to pull off a superb save, diving to his left to push out an effort by captain Norman Forde in the 74th minute.

On 32 minutes, Jones was sent through by Tinto but tried to round the ‘keeper and overpushed before he could get a shot off.  Power also had a header blocked near the goal line by a defender from a Daniel left side corner.

Like the first half, the second half began in a less than frenzied pace with T&T still trying to move the ball around the deck and the “Bajans” struggled to compete for possession. Roberts goal came at a good time for the visitors.

Jones and Tinto played a one two on the edge of the box before the latter found Daniel wide on the left. He floated one over and Jones headed downwards and  Roberts to force over the goal line after Boxhill failed to hold on to Jones’ attempt.

Edwards had another effort and Daniel’s free kick saw Boxhill saving low on his left post.

There were no injuries or cards to report for the T&T players. It may not have been a pretty performance but the job coming into the encounter was to secure three points and it was completed without much of a tussle.

The T&T team returns home at 6pm on Wednesday with the overseas-based players flying out to their respective destinations.

Head coach Otto Pfister in his post match comments told TTFF Media.

“It’s not easy playing away but today I thought we played again a little bit better. Today I changed the organization and we started with a 4-3-3 formation with Phillip, Clyde and Daniel coming into the first team.

We dominated the game. Last Sunday Kenwyne Jones scored and today he gave the last two passes for the goals. I am satisfied with the performance.

Now we have six points but we have to work very seriously for the next set of matches because we have to top this group and we need to stay unbeaten.

“We had a good mix of local and overseas players. Today Power was the best player on the field and he is a local player. And I was also very happy with James. Today he played a perfect game.

All these boys were okay and Daniel was also very good. At the end of the game when were leading 2-0 I give a chance to Hyland also.”

Skipper Kenwyne Jones added: “Six points in two matches is what we entered these matches aiming for and we have achieved that. There is always room for improvement and as a team we know what is needed. We know where we are heading or where we want to go and that’s the important thing.

I think now we can assess these two matches and prepare as we need to for the upcoming matches. It wasn’t an easy match because of the conditions but we were able to overcome that obstacle and that’s a plus for this team. We can only get better now especially for the stronger oppositions in the future.”

Goalscorer Darryl Roberts was also elated, now having three goals in as many matches for T&T.

“Everytime I go out there my aim is to do my best for the country. I wasn’t too happy with the last match but we went out there and did a job. I felt great being able to get the second goal because it was at a point in the match where we really needed to increase our advantage and push on further.”

Midfielder Keon Daniel felt the T&T team demonstrated a kind of fight in them that was necessary.

“We know that teams like Barbados will run all they can to try to make things hard for you.  But we stuck to our game and we put away two chances even though it would have been better to get a couple more goals.

Personally I was pleased with the performance. Now we need to ensure we maintain our focus for the other games and take things further in terms of securing the points and finishing the group on a high.”

Teams

Barbados: - 1.Jason Boxhill, 10.Norman Forde (capt), 2.Barry Skeete, 5.Ramuel Miller, 4.Omar Archer (18.Rommelle Burgess 40th), 3.Jonathan Straker, 8.Ronaldo Marques, 17.Louis Moss (6.Kadeem Atkins 62nd), 15.Jonathan Nurse, 9.Rievere Williams, 11.Mario Harte (14.Kyle Gibson 79th).

Unused Substitutes: - 23.Bentley Springer, 7.Carl Joseph, 12.Jason Lowell, 16.Dwayne Mars.

Coach: - Colin Forde (Barbados).

Trinidad and Tobago: - 1.Marvin Phillip, 20.Seon Power, 17.Anthony Wolfe, 6.Julius James, 11.Carlos Edwards, 7.Christopher Birchall (8.Khaleem Hyland 78th), 10.Hayden Tinto (18.Densill Theobald 90th), 12.Darryl Roberts (13.Lester Peltier 84th), 2.Clyde Leon, 9.Kenwyne Jones (capt), 19.Keon Daniel.

Unused Substitutes: - 21.Anthony Warner, 4.Akeem Adams, 5.Andre Boucaud, 15.Carlyle Mitchell.

Coach: - Otto Pfister (Germany).

Referee: - Elmer Bonilla (El Salvador).

Standings

MP  W  D  L  GF  GA  Pts
Trinidad & Tobago 2  2  0  0  3  0  6
Guyana 2  2  0  0  4  1  6
Bermuda 2  0  0  2  1  3  0
Barbados 2  0  0  2  0  4  0

Trinis again.
By Ezra Stuart (Nation News).


Nothing has changed!

Trinidad and Tobago maintained their dominance over Barbados with a comfortable 2-0 victory in their 2014 World Cup CONCACAF Group B qualifying football match at the National Stadium yesterday.

Goals by Keon Daniel (16th) and Darryl Roberts (67th) sent the Bajan Tridents crashing to their second straight defeat, following last Friday’s 2-0 away loss to Guyana.

The Soca Warriors were on song from the 4:05 p.m. kick-off and totally dominated the first half.

Daniel combined with midfielders Hayden Tinto, Christopher Birchall, Akenaton Edwards to feed strikers Roberts and their powerfully-built captain Kenwyne Jones with some neat passes which kept the Barbados defence busy all evening.

Daniel opened the scoring when he beat the off-side trap to collect a flick-on from Jones and hit past goalkeeper Jason Boxhill. Roberts sealed the outcome when he scrambled the ball over the line after Jones tapped on a cross from Daniel.

Jones, closely marked by Barry Skeete, had a few chances to get on the scoresheet as he muscled his way around the Bajan players but it wasn’t his day, as he failed to cope with the bounce of the Stadium field.

He still showed his class as he went past the Barbados defence, but dribbled the ball out of play and also headed onto the body of Johnathan Straker. Birchall also had a shot deflected for a corner which Roberts headed over the cross bar.

Barbados substituted right-back Omar Archer and brought on Romelle Burgess but surprisingly pushed the England-based Dagenham and Redbridge striker Jonathan Nurse to wing-back.

Watched by Minister of Sport Stephen Lashley and Barbados and West Indies cricketers Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Pedro Collins and Dale Richards among the estimated 3 000 spectators, Barbados’ play generally lacked imagination and creativity.

Reappointed captain Norman Forde was a workhorse in midfield in an improved second-half display but lacked support.

Louis Moss never got in the game and was replaced by Kadeem Atkins, while Renaldo Marques and Burgess had to do plenty of defensive work in a double-marking role.

Barbados’ first effort on goal came after 65 minutes when a Riviere Williams left-booter was easily held by custodian Marvin Phillip.

Then, after Boxhill made a timely save to deny Roberts his second goal when substitute Khaleem Hyland slipped the ball across the goalmouth, Barbados’ best play came in the 75th minute.

It was an accurate one-time left-foot shot by Forde after Ramuel Miller crossed the ball from the left side to his Youth Milan teammate just outside the 18-yard box, but Phillip made a brilliant left-handed save.

The hosts also came close to scoring when a corner from Forde caused some confusion in the Trinidad defence, with Miller putting the ball into the box but no one could get a foot onto it to squeeze it over the line. 

Coach Colin “Potato” Forde conceded that qualifying was now virtually a mission impossible.

“We have got to go back to the drawing board. With four games left, it is extremely difficult, but we still have to go out there and represent the country,” he said.

“Our backs are really against the wall. It will take a miracle for us to progress from here.”

Julius James had a perfect game - OttoSoca Warriors win second qualifier 2-0.
By Ian Prescott (Express).


Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors looked comfortable, albeit against moderate opponents, when beating Barbados 2-0 in a FIFA 2014 World Cup CONCACAF Zone second round qualifier yesterday at the National Stadium in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Central midfielder Keon Daniel gave T&T a 1-0 first half lead with a low shot in the 16th minute and striker Darryl Roberts got a second in the 77th, when bundling the ball into goal from close up, after a flick on from his captain Kenwyne Jones. There were further chances for the Warriors to score, but they missed the opportunities.

Trinidad and Tobago now have a maximum six points from two matches and next travel to Bermuda for a return game on October 7. The Soca Warriors began their World Cup campaign by edging the Bermudans 1-0 in Port of Spain last Friday.

There was one sour note at the start of the match when lanky West Indies spin bowler Sulieman Benn was the only man seated, deliberately refusing to stand for the playing of the Trinidad and Tobago national anthem. When the Barbados anthem played, Benn sprung up promptly and flashed a big grin.

On the field, the Soca Warriors were without their all-time record goal-scorer Stern John, who was sidelined by a strained hamstring and was also given time off by T&T's German head coach Otto Pfister to mourn the loss of his mother, who passed away last week.

Having lost their opener 2-0 to Guyana, Barbados coach Colin Forde indicated prior to kick-off how much the home team desperately wanted to beat Trinidad and Tobago.

"We must come and attack Trinidad, we just can't sit back and hope for the best. It's a massive match for us and we must go out there and put in 100 per cent, play positive and keep posession," Forde said. "We just can't let Trinidad dictate in the stadium in Barbados. We have to keep Trinidad on the back foot. If you give them time and space, they will kill you."

Forde's strategy almost backfired early on when, in just the fifth minute, Jones was left with only keeper Jason Boxhill to beat after intercepting a poor back pass from central defender Barry Skeete.

Bearing down from the left, Jones hit the ball over the bar. What a poor effort!

Two minutes later, Barbados were scrambling again when Jones collected the ball after two defenders collided in the penalty area, but passed off the responsibility to Daniel, whose chip was just gathered in by Boxhill's fingertips.

Two chances missed by T&T in the first seven minutes. Would it come back to haunt them?

Not really as the Soca Warriors were ahead in the 16th when Daniel was sprung by Hayden Tinto's through ball. Put clear, Daniel banged a low shot down the middle of the goal.

Even before the goals, Trinidad and Tobago had already began to dominate, despite playing on a pitch with unpredictable bounce. There were further chances for Tinto, who failed to collect on three occassions in the box, and Chris Birchall, who had a shot desperately blocked.

But most disappointing was Jones, who missed for the third time when miserably failing to beat only the Bajan keeper.

Sent clear by Tinto, Jones waltzed down the centre of the penalty area, clumsily tried to go around the keeper and took the ball out of play.

Barbados were fortunate to be just a goal down and did not have a single shot on the T&T goal in the first half.

Given the chances they wasted, the Warriors were starting to look disappointing. It must have been some relief when Roberts finally doubled the score when forcing the ball in from four yards.

And Roberts had a chance for a third goal in the 83rd following a great Khaleem Hyland pass into the box. But keeper Boxhill kept the ball out with his feet.

Barbados only managed their first shot at T&T keeper Marvin Phillip in the 62nd and their captain Norman Forde looked to have scored a sure goal when hitting a bullet to the far corner in the 88th. The ball was about to go in until keeper Phllip flew across and touched the ball away.

It was an absolutely brilliant save!

TEAMS:

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO—1. Marvin Phillip, 20. Seon Power, 17. Anthony Wolfe, 6. Julius James, 11. Carlos Edwards, 7.Christopher Birchall (8. Khaleem Hyland 78th), 10. Hayden Tinto (18. Densill Theobald 90th), 12. Darryl Roberts (13. Lester Peltier 84th), 2. Clyde Leon, 9. Kenwyne Jones (Captain), 19. Keon Daniel.

Substitutes: 21. Anthony Warner, 4. AKeem Adams, 5. Andre Boucaud, 15. Carlyle Mitchell.

BARBADOS—1. Jason Boxhill, 10. Norman Forde (Captain), 2. Barry Skeete, 5. Ramuel Miller, 4. Omar Archer (18. Rommelle Burgess 40th), 3. Jonathan Straker, 8. Ronaldo Marques, 17. Louis Moss (6. Kadeem Atkins 62nd), 15. Jonathan Nurse, 9. Rievere Williams, 11. Mario Harte (14. Kyle Gibson 79th).

Substitutes: 23. Bentley Springer, 7. Carl Joseph, 12. Jason Lowell, 16. Dwayne Mars.