|Bermuda||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Conrad Smith (47')|
Cornell Glen (75')
|2004-02-12||Bermuda National Stadium||Prospect, Bermuda||2000|
Fighting draw gives Bertille something to work with
|Trinidad and Tobago's senior footballers produced a show of fight in Thursday's 2-2 draw with Bermuda at the National Sports Centre that would earn kudos from head coach Bertille St Clair.The play was far from pretty from both teams but if it's one thing that St Clair will give his players credit for after viewing videos of both games over the next 24 hours, it would be for their valiant effort against the Bermudans who were not afraid to "rough up" the Soca Warriors on a wet evening.|
T&T fell behind to a Khano Smith strike in the 36th minute and when the visitors seem to be taking command of the game following a quick equalizer following the interval through Conrod Smith in the 47th minute, their efforts were marred by the untimely sending off of midfielder Travis Mulraine in the 66th minute.
Despite being unable to secure a second win, skipper Angus Eve still credited his team's showing.
"It was a still tremendous effort from the guys. But a bit of indiscipline caused us to lose grip of the match. The fight that we showed though in standing up to the Bermudians was good but I think we lost our heads a bit and we can only learn from such an experience.
"I know coach Bertille since the Under 16 level and I think he will appreciate the fighting spirit of these guys and we can only look forward to working with him now and remain upbeat ahead of the game on Tuesday against the Brazil All Stars," Eve told TTFF Media.
Assistant Coach Ron La Forest had simlar thoughts saying "They showed character after going a goal down to come out banging in the second half. We went ahead after going a man down as well. But our problems were in defense, we must attack the ball more when we don't have possession.
"The master will now take over the team and he has our fullest support. I will be submitting my report of all the strengths and weanesses of the team over the past week and he will take it up from there."
Unlike Tuesday's 1-0 win in which T&T were forced on the backfoot from their earlies, the men in the red and white stripes seemed more at ease and were controlling the pace of the game despite the one or two surges forward by the hungry Bermudians.
This time around T&T had the better tries at goal in the opening stages, forcing three consecutive corners inside the third minute. the last of which was headed over bar by Anton Pierre. Striker Cornell Glenn then had an effort forced wide by advancing goalkeeper Troy Hall.
T&T goalkeeper Kevin Graham was forced to keep out Chris Moulder's low shot and then Derek King skied one over bar from close range after Hall dropped the initial corner. At that stage the 2000 odd fans, of which maybe fifty were Trinis decked in red with their flags, were enjoying some intense action as the rains poured down.
It was the home fans however who got something to make noise about when the T&T defence failed to pick up on a quick break on the Bermudian right side. A ball came across and fell nicely for Smith to stab past an advancing Graham to send Bermuda 1-0 ahead.
Glenn's right footer on a loose ball then went inches over bar moments before the break as the match seemed set up for an exciting finish in the second half. Just that was what followed.
With the rain still beating down, Smith, who started up front alongside Glenn, executed a perfect glancing header from Eve's left side free kick which left Hall hapless between the uprights.
Midfielder Aurtis Whitley saw his effort go wide soon after and Glenn's header also narrowly missed the far post from Eve's right side corner. But things soon got ugly when Mulraine was involved in an altercation with Jemeiko Jennings following a foul against the Bermudians and the Jabloteh man had to be held back by his teammates as play was held up for some two minutes. Jennings was cautioned but he had the last laugh as Mulraine, apparently still fuming from what had transpired a minute earlier, went charging at Stanton Lewis for a high ball and ended up making hand contact with the player who fell to the ground clutching his face. Mulraine was immediately given marching orders and from there on it was an uphill task for T&T.
Almost every play from the "Soca Warriors" which followed in the following ten minutes, including fouls in favour of the visitors was met with jeers from the Bermudian fans. But T&T didn't hang their heads and Glenn silenced the Centre when he chased a long clearance from Graham and got there before the advancing Bermudian 'keeper to get a touch on the ball which trickled over the line from near the left edge of the box. The action was far from over though as the T&T defence was caught napping when a cross from about 30 metres out on the right met the head of the unmarked striker who got it past Graham. The remaining minutes then saw both teams playing it out for a 2-2 draw.
T&T arrive home on Friday night and St Clair will then finalize his squad for Tuesday's game against the Brazil All Stars before holding sessions on Saturday and Sunday. T&T's overseas pros spearheaded by Stern John arrive on Sunday while the Brazilians will touch down at Piarco on Monday morning.
|Angus Eve (capt.)|
|Travis Mulraine 66 '|
|69' David Charles|
|Ron La Forest|
|69'||David Charles for Conrad Smith|