|Trinidad & Tobago||Azerbaijan|
|Nigel Pierre (21')|
Conrad Smith (67')
|2005-01-23||Manny Ramjohn Stadium||Marabella, Trinidad and Tobago||1000|
T&T beat Azerbaijan 2-0
|The Trinidad and Tobago senior football team ended the Azerbaijan tour
on a high note with a comfortable 2-0 victory over the visitors at the
Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, yesterday afternoon.|
Goals in both periods of play from Nigel Pierre and second-half substitute Conrad Smith gave the "Soca Warriors" their second win in as many matches against their opponents.
The game was a considerable improvement on Friday's first encounter, which should give the hosts some confidence in their preparations to face the United States in their first match of the final round of World Cup qualifying on February 9 at the Queen's Park Oval.
Yet, despite a more purposeful display than they gave at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the Warriors still disappointed a modest Sunday afternoon crowd with their passes in midfield when on the attack. But they could thank Azerbaijan custodian Rauf Mehdiyev for making the game a little easier, as the visitor's goalie had a hand in both T&T goals.
A slow start promised a duplicate outing to Friday's. But T&T eventually got into stride, taking control of the midfield and pressing forward in search of the opener. Striker Scott Sealy created problems for his opponents once more, running onto a pass from new T&T midfielder Jose Luis Seabra in the 14th minute on the left of the area and placing the ball to Mehdiyev's right, the goalie making a diving save.
But T&T threatened to keep themselves out of the game, poor passing negating promising moves up front. A gift of a ball from Mehdiyev to Nigel Pierre gave the hosts their first in the 23rd, though, as he mis-hit a back pass directly to Pierre at the edge of the area, and the striker obliged, slamming home for a 1-0 lead.
Seabra looked more comfortable in midfield than on his first outing in T&T colours, creating opportunities, but in the latter part of the first half the hosts seemed to run out of ideas and were content to knock the ball around.
Coach Carlos Alberto must have decided at the interval that the best mode of defence would be attack, as Azerbaijan opened the second half with more positive play, pushing T&T back into their own half in the hunt for the equaliser.
A few timely saves from the home defence, as well as a lack of sting in their attack, though, made progress tough for the visitors.
That opened them up at the back, but a barrage of misses by T&T suggested another 1-0 scoreline. A double substitution brought on Smith and Dallas FC striker Cornell Glen, sparking some life into the team, and the combination sealed the win, Glen on a break from the right passing to Smith in the area. Smith shot straight at Mehdiyev, but a poor attempt at a parry only succeeded in another goal.
T&T looked threatening in the dying stages of the game, but were once again unable to make hay on a sunny afternoon.
The national squad will now resume training for the upcoming US match-up on Tuesday at the Oval from 9 a.m., before their warm-up games against Haiti early next month.
|68' Marlon Rojas|
|Derek King (capt.)|
|54' Conrad Smith|
|46' Angus Eve|
|81' Michael Celestine|
|88' Densill Theobald|
|54' Cornell Glen|
|Bertille St. Clair|
|46'||Angus Eve for Anthony Rougier|
|54'||Cornell Glen for Scott Sealy|
|54'||Conrad Smith for Leslie Fitzpatrick|
|68'||Marlon Rojas for Avery John|
|81'||Michael Celestine for Jose Seabra|
|88'||Densill Theobald for Nigel Pierre|