The Soca Warriors suffered their second defeat in a row in the Digicel Cup Finals after losing 1-0 to Grenada and leave themselves in real danger of being eliminated from the tournament. It seems a far cry from the glory they achieved only 4 years ago when they competed in the FIFA World Cup and contested the Digicel Caribbean Cup Final itself.
The Soca Warriors started the game with an almost completely new side from the one that competed against Cuba and with coach Latapy obviously in no humour to suffer any more setbacks the team started well.
After 6 minutes Molino headed the ball onto Jorsling who controlled well on his chest on the edge of the box and smashed his first time volley toward goal, only for Baptiste to make a wonderful flying save for the Spice Boys.
Both sides seemed to be more cautious than adventurous and knowing that a loss could cause irrevocable damage to their hopes for progression to the Digicel semi finals. While Trinidad looked the side more hopeful in combining passes and moving the ball forward, Grenada looked a threat in long balls over the top for the experienced duo of Bain and Facey who looked as if their pace and strength might just get them a chance.
Grenada dangerman Bain was in on 41 minutes but as he waited for the bouncing ball to strike on the volley, Jones had enough time to get back to make a last ditch tackle and stop the lethal front man.
Two minutes later as Bubb raced through for a one on one, Wolfe somehow managed to get back and dispose the Grenadian striker despite the Spice Boys appealing to referee Cruz for a spot kick.
The second half took much the same shape as the first but when substitute Keon Daniel found himself with space on the left hand side Trinidad looked as though they may score, but unfortunately drilled his shot wide when he had more time to approach the goal that he thought.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man, but in this instance cometh the 69th minute when Kitson Bain scored what must have been the goal of the tournament. As he collected the ball on the far left of the pitch, he cut inside his marker and with 4 defenders in front of him, he just let fly from all of 25 yards and watched as the ball screamed into the top right corner of the Trinidad net, in off the post.
Trinidad were now up against it, facing two losses in two games and almost certain elimination. They responded well and threw caution to the wind and were unfortunate to have a goal disallowed on 73 minutes when Julius James had his header ruled out after referee Cruz adjudged he unfairly challenged for the cross.
Latapy rang out the changes and brought in some experienced players, but even they could not forage any real opportunities and Grenada were able to soak up the few challenges that Trinidad tried to put their way.
In the end, the clock ran out and as Cruz called time on the game, he may just have called time on the Soca Warriors involvement in the Digicel Cup.
Grenada: - 1.Andre Baptiste, 2.David Cyrus, 19.Patrick Modeste, 11.Benedict Modeste (capt), 6.Marc Marshall (4.Curt Rennie 53rd), 9.Ricky Charles, 10.Kitson Bain, 16.Arkenson Neckles (3.Shanon Phillip 67th), 17.Craig Rocastle (5.Cassim Langaigne 75th), 12.Bradley Bubb, 8.Delroy Facey.
Coach: - Franklyn Simpson.
Trinidad &Tobago: - 21.Marvin Phillip, 11.Anthony Wolfe, 6.Daneil Cyrus, 12.Julius James, 14.Joevin Jones (18.Densil Theobald 74th), 16.Kendall Jagdeosingh (19.Keon Daniel 58th), 2.Clyde Leon (capt), 8.Trent Noel, 7.Hughtun Hector (13.Cornell Glen 65th), 9.Devon Jorsling, 10.Kevin Molino.
Coach: - Russell Latapy.
Grenada v Trinidad and Tobago
5 Shots 9
14 Fouls 17
4 Corner Kicks 3
0 Offsides 0
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
Referee: - Hugo Cruz (Costa Rica)
Assistant Referee 1: - Steven Browne (Jamaica)
Assistant Referee 2: - Ricardo Morgan (Jamaica)
Match Commissioner: - Colin Klass (Guyana)
'Warriors' go out
...No Gold Cup for second straight time
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago were knocked out of the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup when they went under 1-0 to Grenada in their second Group H encounter at the Pierre Aliker Stadium on Sunday evening.
Following their 2-0 loss to Cuba on Friday, the “Soca Warriors” needed at least a draw to advance after being initial tournament favourites but Grenada and potent striker Kitson Bain had other ideas.
Kitson Bain scored what has been the goal of the tournament so far in the 70th minute when he held off a couple defenders, making room for himself in the process before unleashing a ripper which flew into the top right corner of the net past an outstretched Marvin Phillip.
That was the writing on the wall for Russell Latapy’s men who though deserving to get more from the game had only themselves to blame with poor finishing on the evening.
Unlike the first match against Cuba, T&T played with better chemistry but will now have to face the reality of also missing the 2011 Concacaf Gold Cup Finals.
It will be the second straight time T&T are missing out on this tournament with the Francisco Maturana led team also losing to 2-1 to Grenada and failing to advance out of the group phase in December 2008.
T&T went on to beat Barbados 2-1 in their next outing but were then held 1-1 by Jamaica which saw them go return home from Kingston earlier than the four semi-finalists.
Latapy started with Devorn Jorsling being the lone striker up front and Kendall Jagdeosingh starting on the left while Kevin Molino started on the right.
Jorsling caused some early problems and forced an excellent save from goalkeeper Andre Phillip when he chested and fired a volley on the turn.
Molino also looked dangerous at times but indecision in and around the penalty box saw T&T finding chances hard to come by in the first half.
Grenada’s Bain meantime had a good try which was just kept out by the T&T defense in the 41st minute. Bain and brothers Patrick and Benedict Modeste were the high performers for Grenada and kept held their team’s game together for longer periods than T&T would have hoped for.
T&T started the second half much in the same manner of the first and but again their final service let them down.
Latapy introduced Keon Daniel and Cornell Glen into the attack but soon after Bain let fly with a fantastic effort which left Phillip without a prayer and at that point the Concacaf Gold Cup spot was already beginning to look beyond T&T’s reach.
Skipper Clyde Leon and his men pushed forward in a last gasp effort for the equalizer. Julius James put a header into the net but was called for pushing while Daniel only managed to drag his left footer wide of the right post after being perfectly positioned inside the box following a quickly taken free kick.
And down the final stretch, Noel opted for trying to find Glen at his side instead of trying to go for goal after Daniel picked him out from the right.
Then inside the final minute, a left side ball came across the goal when the slightest of touches could have resulted in an equalizer but both Glen and Jorsling failed to connect on a play which summed up T&T’s evening.
Latapy summed up the result as extremely disappointing.
"It's a hugely disappointing result. It's a football game that we had to win or at least draw to keep our chances alive and we achieved neither.
We showed some improvements from the first game but we failed to find the net when we needed to and we suffered the consequences," Latapy told TTFF Media.
"We've got to pick ourselves up and move over this with the mindset that there's going to be a lot more football matches to play and games to assess where we went wrong and how we head in a direction to achieve a certain level of consistency in international football."
Captain Leon added: “It’s disappointing… there’s no way to explain the feeling right now. We came into the tournament with our sights on winning but we didn’t do any justice to our chances. We didn’t start well in the first game and now we are paying the price.
It’s a difficult time for us.” T&T will now meet hosts Martinique on Tuesday but are mathematically without a chance of finishing among the top two teams from the group. The four semi-finalists will advance to the Gold Cup next year in the United States.