|Trinidad & Tobago||Haiti|
|Marvin Andrews (35')|
Arnold Dwarika (74')
Dwight Yorke (76')
World Cup Qualifier
|2000-05-07||Hasely Crawford Stadium||Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||25000|
One down, one to go
|This was the chant from newly-appointed Trinidad and Tobago skipper Russell Latapy and his teammates after they took care of Haiti 3-1 in the first leg of their 2002 third round World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday evening.|
The result means that Haiti will have to beat T&T by two clear goals in the return leg on May 19 in Port-au-Prince.
But while their first mission has been accomplished, the men in red, white and black cannot rest easy after another below par performance.
Indeed, had it not been for substitute Stern John, T&T may well have not had a substantial cushion to talk about today.
Surprisingly, left out of the starting XI by coach Ian Porterfield, John came on in the second half and created the two goals which may eventually take T&T through to the semi-final round of the Football Confederation series.
The 23-year-old Nottingham Forest striker brought an estimated 20,000 crowd to life in the 74th minute when he induced Haitian defender Bruny Pierre Richard to bring him down in the box after collecting a through ball from England-based teammate Dwight Yorke inside the penalty area.
Jamaican referee Peter Pendergast did not hesitate once John, who had turned deftly on Pierre Richard, hit the turf. And Arnold Dwarika made no mistake from the spot, beating keeper Geteau Ferdinand to his right to put the home team up 2-0.
Three minutes later there was even more euphoria when Yorke scored the goal that should have slammed the door shut on Haiti.
Once again it was John who set up the chance. Collecting a right-side cross from Dwarika inside the penalty box after beating the off-side trap, John shot goalward as keeper Ferdinand rushed off his line for a block.
The keeper partially blocked the ball but could only look on helplessly as it banged off the first post and rebounded to Yorke who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net for his first goal of the campaign. This was the signal the crowd needed to begin wild celebrations. Until then, they had to be coaxed into cheering the team on by nutsman Jumbo.
In a 3-5-2 set, Porterfields decision to go with both Anthony Rougier and Dennis Lawrenceboth stronger defensivelyin the middle of the park with Latapy, left the brunt of the work to the Little Magician. Wingers Stokely Mason (left) and Angus Eve (right) also failed to provide the impetus needed early on, especially with the latter seeing very little of the ball and the former having an under par day.
Still, T&T managed to dominate most of the play, but the Haitiansled by key midfielder Sebastien Vorbewere unable to crack the T&T defence commandeered by Man of the Match Marvin Andrews.
But, having seen the few chances his teammates created go abegging, Andrews provided the initial spark T&T needed in the 34th minute.
Taking up his position just inside the penalty area as Latapy took a curling left-side corner, Andrews rushed into the six metre box and rose above the defence to beat Ferdinand with a well placed header.
Then came Johns sterling entrance in the second half.
But even after they were down 3-0, the Haitians refused to die. And that determination paid off on the stroke of full time when striker Golman Pierre beat T&T keeper Clayton Ince, who until then had had a brilliant game, to give his team a possible life line for the return leg.
T&T 3 (Marvin Andrews 34th, Arnold Dwarika 74th penalty, Dwight Yorke 77th) v Haiti 1 (Golman Pierre
T&TClayton Ince, Shurland David, Marvin Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Stokely Mason, Anthony Rougier, Dennis
Lawrence (Stern John 46th), Angus Eve, Russell Latapy, Arnold Dwarika (Carlos Edwards 85th), Dwight Yorke
HaitiGeteau Ferdinand, Jean Roland Dartiguenave, Bruny Pierre Richard, Roosevelt Desir, Ernst Athis (Wilfrid
Montilas 78th), Franz Gilles, Sebastien Vorbe, Carlo Marcelin, Chrismonor Thelusma, Golman Pierre, Jean
Rebert Menalas (Vladimir Edouard 46th)
|14' Stern John|
|85' Carlos Edwards|
|10.||Russell Latapy (capt.)|
|14.||Stern John 80 '|
|14'||Stern John for Dennis Lawrence|
|85'||Carlos Edwards for Arnold Dwarika|