|Netherlands Antilles||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Marvin Andrews (92')|
World Cup Qualifier
|2000-03-18||Ergelio Hato Stadium||Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles||200|
T&T get past Dutchmen
|STAND-in Trinidad and Tobago skipper Ross Russell and his teammates advanced to the next round of the 2002 World Cup qualifying series on Saturday night here at the Ergilio Hato Stadium.|
The men in red, white and black earned a 1-1 draw in their return leg matchup to knock the Netherlands Antilles out of the next round 6-1 on aggregate.
However, while the overall tally may look impressive, T&T learned a lesson which is sure to serve them well when the battle for the three spots in Japan and Korea heats up.
Almost everything that could go wrong for them on the night did go wrong.
An islandwide blackout at 7.05 p.m. delayed the start by some 45 minutes, disrupting their warm-up. Then, after enjoying the better of the exchanges, Russell's side found themselves 1-0 down at the interval.
In the second session, they battled back to earn an equaliser - but not before striker Arnold Dwarika had found himself in the middle of several angry Dutchmen after an incident with goalkeeper Marcelo Pisas. The tall custodian took offence at Dwarika's challenge as both contested a ball in the 83rd minute. And having gathered the ball, Pisas lashed out at the T&T marksman who responded with a shove.
Several Dutchmen then surrounded Dwarika and began shoving him around before his teammates stepped in.
But the final say went to Jamaican referee Peter Pendergast who, having had a clear view of the incident which caused the trouble, showed Pisas a red card.
The ejection did not go down well with the small home crowd of some 250 people who vented their disgust as he went off.
And there were just four minutes left in regulation time when T&T settled themselves enough to grab the equaliser through Scotland-based defender Marvin Andrews.
The six-foot-plus Andrews scored his second header in as many games against the Dutchmen when he crept in on the far side to place a curling right-side freekick from Dwarika past a helpless Michael Martina, the replacement for Pisas.
But even after the final whistle had gone, officials of both teams had to calm the players down and the two teams eventually shook hands before they finally left the field.
Earlier, coach Ian Porterfield's decision to experiment backfired and T&T found themselves under pressure for long periods.
Porterfield put Mickey Trotman, usually a striker, in with Stokely Mason and debutant Dennis Lawrence as his core midfielders in the 3-5-2 set. But, with players also having to make the adjustment to the artificial surface, the trio were initially unable to give the side the impetus it needed in attack. Trotman in particular looked out of sorts.
Still, T&T were clearly the better of the two sides and Dwarika would muff three clear-cut chances to open the scoring within a 10-minute spell.
In the 21st minute, he was on the end of a right-side cross from Ansil Elcock but the ball deviated slightly just as he unleashed his shot which posed little problem for Pisas. Four minutes later, Dwarika succeeded in curling a right-footed freekick around a five-man wall from just outside the penalty area only. Pisas pushed it over the bar. Within minutes, Pisas had to dive low to his left to stop a blast from Dwarika.
Where Dwarika had failed, the home side succeeded, Angelo Martina beating Russell against the run of play. In a quick counter-attack which caught the T&T defence napping, Manuel Rekondie surged up the right flank and fed a long pass all the way across the field to Martina.
With his marker Elcock nowhere in sight and several T&T players trying desperately to get back, the Dutchman made his way into the area and slotted past the advancing Russell.
The Trini posse who had made their way across earlier in the day on a charter went silent. At the interval, they still wondered whether their team could come back.
The home team's quick start suggested they might not.
Eight minutes into the half, Russell had to come off to take a cross from Raleigh Francisca. When he could only punch the ball as far as Martina, the striker rifled a shot back in where the defence had to clear.
Only then did T&T begin to respond. In the 59th minute, Mason delivered a low right-side cross into the six-metre box. Both Dwarika and Kerwyn Jemmott, brought on at the interval for Trotman, were inside the six-metre box as the cross was whipped in but neither could get a decisive touch. Pisas make a fine reflex save on the line as Dwarika rushed into the six-metre box to stab a shot goalwards.
Substitute striker Hector Sam came on in the 66th minute to add more spunk to the T&T attack. His deft dribbling skills left the Dutch defence in tatters at times and they often had to resort to roughhouse tactics to stop him.
Russell also had to do some stopping of his own at the other end. When winger Michael Obispo dispossessed T&T Brent Sancho on the left flank and spotted the custodian slightly off his line, he unleashed a dipping right-footer on the run from 15 metres out. But, diving backwards, Russell just managed to push the effort over the bar.
After that, the home side began to let their frustration really show and when they lost Pisas, T&T took full advantage.
They will now meet the Dominican Republic who also got the better of Montserrat yesterday.
T&T 1 (Marvin Andrews 86th) v Netherlands Antilles 1 (Angelo Martina 41st) - T&T
advance 6-1 on aggregate
T&T-Ross Russell, Shurland David, Marvin Andrews, Brent Sancho, Ansil Elcock
(Carlos Edwards 76th), Sherwyn Julien, Dennis Lawrence, Stokely Mason, Mickey
Trotman (Kerwyn Jemmott 46th), Nigel Pierre (Hector Sam 66th), Arnold Dwarika
|22.||Ross Russell (capt.)|
|80' Carlos Edwards|
|16.||Stokely Mason 60 '|
|67' Hector Sam|
|46' Kerwin Jemmott|
|46'||Kerwin Jemmott for Mickey Trotman|
|67'||Hector Sam for Nigel Pierre|
|80'||Carlos Edwards for Ansil Elcock|