Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers got a wake up call on Wednesday night as they faltered 3-1 to Jamaica in a friendly international before an overpacked Marvin Lee Stadium.
The “Reggae Boyz” under head coach Theodore Whitmore triumphed over the lackluster Soca Warriors outfit through goals by Dane Richards,a gem from outside the box, Rudolph Austin and Bryan to silence the home fans that turned out in their numbers to support Russell Latapy’s men.
Both team spent the opening five minutes feeling out each other but it was not difficult to sense that Jamaica were more fired up and they grabbed the lead on eight minutes when T&T failed to clear miserably at the back and Richards cracked home from outside the box leaving Jan Michael Williams without any hope. Before that, Shavar Thomas got up well to powerfully head just over bar from a Jamaica right corner in the second minute.
T&T, with several T&T Pro League high performers in its line-up, settled slowly and there was not much happening up front for Kerry Baptiste and Devon Jorsling and Kevon Carter was not allowed the freedom on the right as he enjoyed in his double scoring performance against Antigua/Barbuda a few week back.
T&T went into the match without starting midfielders Clyde Leon and Densill Theobald through injury while right back Kern Cupid suffered an ankle sprain in training on Tuesday leaving Latapy, who opted to go with a mostly home-based team, to use Makan Hislop on the right.
He struggled on the evening as T&T looked suspect at the back for much of the encounter. Also missing the encounter due to injury was Radafah Abu Bakr. This meant that Joe Public’s Carlyle Mitchell made his senior international debut alongside Keston Williams in the middle of defense.
Jamaica mounted several attacks on goal and should have doubled their lead when Ryan John blasted over bar from close up in the 21st minute. Richards also went close on a couple of occasions.
T&T eventually got their equalizer in the 27th minute and brought the home crowd back into it. Keon Daniel, who had a decent try moments earlier, played a neat ball into the area from the left and Jorsling outmuscled his man to direct home from near the centre of the box past Donovon Ricketts.
T&T’s celebrations were shortlived as Mitchell brought down Bryan and Austin converted the resulting penalty
The homeside tried to force an equalizer before the break but to no avail. On one occasion, T&T strung some eight passes around the box before Hughtun Hector fired wide.
T&T started slowly after the break and were punished for more lapse defending. Bryan wasn’t picked up by the T&T back line and was able to head home a right side deliver to send Jamaica ahead 3-1.
Latapy introduced Kendall Jagdeosingh and Jason Marcano into the attack and both players had a couple tries at goal but nothing to trouble the visitors. Daneil Cyrus replaced defender Mitchell and he put in a fairly good showing that would warrant a recall to the team.
Jamaica were reduced to ten men when Barbados referee Trevor Taylor showed Rodulph Austin the red card for taking down Jagdeosingh. T&T had one last good look at goal when Noel swung a free kick over from the left but Williams failed to connect from close up on the far post.
The game, even with five minutes added on time, finished without any fireworks at the end and the Jamaicans coming away 3-1 winners. The return friendly is carded for Kingston on October 5. Before that T&T will travel to face Belize and Panama in early September.
Trinidad & Tobago: - 21.Jan-Michael Williams, 16.Makan Hislop, 6.Keston Williams, 3.Aklie Edwards, 17.Carlyle Mitchell (5.Daneil Cyrus 54th), 11.Kevon Carter (10.Hayden Tinto 74th), 19.Keon Daniel (13.Kendall Jagdeosingh 66th), 8.Trent Noel (capt), 7.Hughtun Hector (18.Devon Jamerson 78th), 4.Kerry Baptiste (12.Jason Marcano 54th), 9.Devon Jorsling.
Subs not used: - 1.Marvin Phillip, 2.Ataullah Guerra.
Trinidad & Tobago Coach: - Russell Latapy.
Jamaica: - 1.Donovan Ricketts, 17.Rodulph Austin, 8.Eric Vernan (15.Ricardo Cousins 88th), 2.Richard Edwards (14.Devon Williams 90th), 6.Jermaine Taylor, 4.Shavar Thomas (3.O’Neil Fisher 89th), 7.Ryan Johnson (12.Kenardo Forbes 78th), 9.Kavin Bryan (5.Devon Hodges 66th), 11.Troy Smith, 16.Dicoy Williams, 10.Dane Richards (19.Adrian Reid 80th).
Subs not used: Mario Swaby, Andre Blake.
Coach: - Theodore Withmore (JAM).
Jamaica Goals: - Dane Richards (7th), Rodolph Austin (30th-Pen), Kavin Bryan (52nd).
Trinidad & Tobago Goal: - Devon Jorsling (28th).
Jamaica Yellow Cards: - Eric Vernan (10th), Donovan Ricketts (69th).
Jamaica Red Card: - Rodolph Austin (78th).
Trinidad & Tobago Injury: - Carlyle Mitchell.
Venue: - Marvin Lee Stadium.
Attendance: - 4,550.
Referee: - Trevor Taylor (Barbados).
VIDEO: - Latapy's post match comments after loss to Jamaica.
Jamaica steal TT’s thunder in 3-1 friendly win.
Ian Burnett with the Reggae Boyz in Trinidad.
Port of Spain, Trinidad — Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz returned to winning ways on the international scene following their decent 3-1 victory over Caribbean neighbours and arch-rivals Trinidad and Tobago here at the Marvin Lee Stadium last evening.
Dane Richards put the visitors ahead after only eight minutes before Devon Jorsling pulled the teams level on minute 29.
The home team’s respite was short-lived, however, as Rodolph Austin put the Boyz back in front a minute later from the penalty spot before Kavin Bryan sealed the convincing victory eight minutes into the second half.
And although the Reggae Boyz had to play a man short after Austin was red-carded 10 minutes from time, the Boyz had little difficulty holding the homesters at bay, even after six minutes of time added.
It was the first victory for the Reggae Boyz over the Caribbean’s number one ranked team, following three consecutive drawn results. The teams will do it again in the return leg at Kingston’s National Stadium on October 10.
Despite kicking off more than 15 minutes after the advertised start time, Jamaica looked at home and established dominance immediately, earning two corner kicks in as many minutes, the second presenting Shavar Thomas with a glorious chance at the back post, but the Kansas City Wizards defender could only head high over the top, though unchallenged.
In a massively pro Trinidad crowd, Jamaica’s head coach Theodore Whitmore would have wanted an early goal to settle his team’s nerves, and they did just that when New York Red Bulls’ Richards raced onto a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area and drove it fiercely into the goal, after the Trinidad and Tobago defence failed to clear an Austin diagonal pass from the right side.
Richards’ speed was posing problems on the right side and surprisingly, Ryan Johnson was proving far too tricky for Trinidad’s right-back Makan Hislop, which created openings for the visitors.
Richards could have registered a first-half hat-trick, but he proved profligate, skying a sitter from six yards centre of the goal after Johnson had abused Hislop on the left and teed him up.
He also shot wide from just inside the penalty area after the red-and-black-clad defenders encountered difficulties clearing their lines.
Just before the half-hour mark, the home team pulled level when Jorsling, a decent forward who has the ability to hold up the ball and bring his midfielders into play, bundled home a left-sided crow from Keon Daniel.
Jamaica hit back quickly and decisively when Bryan turned his marker inside the penalty area from a left-sided throw in and Carlyle Mitchell pulled him down. Barbadian referee Trevor Taylor had no hesitation pointing to the spot and Austin placed the ball perfectly on the ground to beat the diving Jan Michael Williams.
Trinidad and Tobago returned for the second half determined to pull level, but they found the Jamaicans giving nothing away, keeping well organised. But it was the visitors who made the game safe when Bryan, under pressure from a towering defender in the centre circle, expertly brought under control Richard Edwards’ high clearance.
The Harbour View frontman then turned his marker before relaying the ball to the right for Eric Vernan to provide a wellweighted cross for him to nod home and silence the crowd.
Trinidad and Tobago tried desperately to get back into the game, but even with the ejection of Austin, Jamaica never looked in danger of conceding another goal.
Such was the confidence of Whitmore, who introduced a number of late changes, which kept the high level of play — sweeper Oneil Fisher looking particularly impressive in his six minutes on the pitch, which means Whitmore must now be looking towards Costa Rica with delight.
Latapy says loss gives him good idea of team state.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
“We lose together, we win together.”
That was one of the statements made by Russell Latapy following Trinidad and Tobago’s disappointing display in their 3-1 defeat to Jamaica in Wednesday’s friendly international at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
But even with such a comment, Latapy didn’t mince his words as he gave his views on the team’s dismal showing, describing his team’s defensive showing as a “disaster” and “like schoolboys”.
The ex-FC Porto midfield wizard said he was now at a point where he had seen sufficient evidence of the T&T Pro League high performers to evaluate on who was good enough to cut it at the international level or at least against formidable oppositions.
‘To be honest the aspect that I’m most pleased with is it showed me exactly where we are in terms of how we want to play football and how the players are taking things on board.
I thought that tonight that defensively we were a disaster. Where we want to go as a footballing nation, that performance tonight was definitely not up to par,” Latapy stated.
“We needed a game against decent opponents to see where we are and Jamaica are a very organized team. The game served its purpose as it gave me a clearer idea of where we are.”
Not known for laying the blame on his players, matter of fact, he has defended them on more that a few occasions, preferring to not to point fingers. But it seemed that for Latapy, like for many if not all who witnessed Wednesday’s performance, it was quite obvious that the showing by the “Soca Warriors” warranted little credit.
There were some bright spots in the showing of midfielder Hughtun Hector and Daneil Cyrus in the heart of the T&T defense which “Latas” himself made mention of in the end-of match press conference.
What was increasingly disappointing was the ineffective performance in front a large turn out of fans who had come out in their numbers to rally behind the team.
“The boys let us down tonight because we came here to give our support and we expected a better fight from them.
But all is not lost because the team needs time to grow maybe with some different players but time will help,”one obviously disappointed fan said in front the press box at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
On the other end, Jamaica Football Federation President Horace Burrell was smiling over his team’s win which he had confidently predicted back in Kingston on the weekend.