Alvaro Soborio scored a pair of goals and helped on another as Costa Rica ended a three-game losing streak to revive its World Cup hopes, beating Trinidad & Tobago 4-0 Saturday night in Rene Simoes’ first game as manager.
Costa Rica, which hadn’t scored its three losses, climbed into third place in the standings for the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying with 15 points, four behind the leading United States but two ahead of Honduras in the fight for the last guaranteed trip to South Africa.
Three sides are assured of berths in the 32-team World Cup field while the fourth-placed team will have to play a two-leg playoff with the fifth-placed team from South America for the last place in South Africa.
Costa Rica will play its final game against the already qualified United States in Washington on Wednesday while Honduras will have to travel to play already eliminated El Salvador.
Costa Rica dominated the first half but took the lead on an own-goal by Radanfah Abu Bakr.
The 28th minute score came from after a seemingly innocent cross by Costa Rica midfielder Michael Barrante had deflected off the foot Trinidad defender Abu Bakr before striking Julius James in the shoulder and past goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.
Costa Rica appeared to have taken the lead just seconds earlier when a strong long distance blast from Barrante had Phillip beaten but smashed off the Trinidad and Tobago post.
Phillip made two saves in the first 25th minutes, thwarting a blast from defender Christian Montero and another try in the 25th minute by defender Esteban Sirias.
Phillip kept the game close late in the half, turning away close shots by Costa Rica midfielder Brian Ruiz in the 36th and 41st minutes.
Phillip could not deny Walter Centeno, who notched his 23rd career goal for the Ticos in the 50th when he got behind a Saborio cross to make the score 2-0.
Sabario got things started when he raced down the left wing, turned Abu Bakr at the goal line and sent a pass across the face of goal to an onrushing and unmarked Centeno.
Sabario then scored his first in the 61st minute when he raced on to a through ball after a clever back-heel from midfielder Rolando Fonseca before outpacing Abu Bakr and calmly slotting the ball past Phillip.
Sabario added his second of the game and 16th of his career for the Ticos two minutes later, outjumping Phillip and striker Kenwyne Jones to head a corner kick past Phillip.
Trinidad finished the game with 10 men after James was ejected in the 65th after colliding with Centeno and appearing to make contact with his elbow.
Costa Rica could have made the score 5-0 in the 82nd minute but Montero couldn’t convert his penalty kick after Phillip made a sensational save and then made a second stop when Dennis Lawrence nearly knocked the spot kick rebound into his own goal.
Saturday’s match kicked off in a driving rain which made the aging playing surface at Saprissa Stadium slippery leading to several strange bounces off the artificial surface and several players on both teams struggling to keep their footing.
While Trinidad already had been eliminated from advancing to the 2010 tournament before Saturday’s game they close out their campaign against Mexico on Wednesday in Port-of-Spain.
TRI: - 1.Marvin Phillip, 4.Jake Thomson (Yellow 87), 3.Julius James (Red 65), 5.Radanfah Abu Bakr (Yellow 12), 7.Kern Cupid, 11.Carlos Edwards (capt), 8.Trent Noel (15.Devon Jorsling 77th), 2.Clyde Leon, 12.Keon Daniel (10.Hayden Tinto 63rd); 14.Kerry Baptiste (6.Dennis Lawrence 69th), 17.Kenwyne Jones.
CRC: - 1.Keilor Navas, 3.Luis Murillo Marin, 2.Esteban Sirias, 4.Cristian Montero, 5.Dennis Marshall (Yellow 71), 6.Michael Barrantes, 17.Pablo Herrera (8.Victor Nunez 75th), 10.Walter Centeno (capt) (13.Cristian Bolanos 67th), 14.Randall Azofeifa, 9.Alvaro Saborio, 11.Bryan Ruiz (7.Rolando Fonseca 58th).
T&T v Costa Rica Player Rating.
By: Inshan "Flex" Mohammed.
Marvin Phillip - 9 - Definitely T&T's man of the match, made a few mistakes especially with Costa Rica second goal in the 50th minute by Walter Centeno when Phillip was hesitant in goal and should have ran out earlier to claim Saborio's cross which was the turning point of the game as Costa Rica's confidence grew. Made a brilliant save to deny Azofeifa from the penalty spot.
Jake Thomson - 8 - Made one mistake all night and that was in the 87th minute and he was rightfully yellow carded for it when he committed a foul during an attacking run up front. Thomson made an impressive debut for T&T and by far T&T's best out of the back four. Not to mention he is confident on the ball and technically equipped. Though two goals was scored on his side one can't blame the player as he was trying to make things happen up front and in his defense this was probably the first time he has ever played a right back role. A good find though (Thank you Stern John). A good cap (Thank you Russell Latapy). Lets hope he stay's committed after that 4-0 drumming... (smile).
Julius James - 6 - Had a decent game on his World Cup debut- nothing spectacular and certainly did not deserved the red card awarded to him in the 65th minute. Made a few indecisive tackles at times but made up for it. T&T's second best of the back four.
Radanfah Abu Bakr - 3 - Beat for pace every single time and made some bad passes to his fellow teammates. Was the worst of the back four. How could one have a player with his pace play so high in defense at one point and to make matters worst he does not know how to work the off-side trap effectively.
Kern Cupid - 5 - Had some good runs going forward, worked very hard but his final pass had let him down. Jlloyd Samuel didn't make the trip and no left back or left footed replacement was made. Akeems Adams and Uriah Bentick are fresh from the under 20 World Cup but yet Latapy decided on not calling either of them. Oh' attacking under 17 standout Shahdon Winchester was called up as Samuel replacement maybe Latapy thought Costa Rica was already eliminated.
Carlos Edwards - 6 - We need Edwards to focus on his game because he is our best attacking option. Giving him the captain's arm-band might not have been a good idea. Edwards also needs to stay away from taking any free kicks especially if Keon Daniel and Trent Noel is on the field.
Trent Noel - 4 - Broke up plays but had no impact on the game what so ever. Being our main play-maker in central midfield and not taking control of the game was really depressing.
Devon Jorsling - N/A - Came on as a substitute and didn't do much. Brought nothing to change the game. Not the type of player you bring on if you want to score goals, his mobility is poor. Might do better as a starter. Having Jones and Jorsling on the field at the same time was not a good idea as both play a hold up striking role. Maybe Hughtun Hector would have been a better option.
Clyde Leon - 4 - Hard worker but, technically lacking. His passing and decision making lets him down. His pace is horrible. Both Leon and Noel transition play from defense to attack was dull and lacked pace giving Costa Rica enough time to recover.
Keon Daniel - 7 - This is the Keon I like to see. Give him the number 10 jersey and make him our official play maker in central midfield. Made some passes that probably brought many smiles to Latapy's face.
Hayden Tinto - N/A - Dazzling player and brought some energy into the team but not effectively. Hesitant in taking shots on goal and making timely passes, ran into trouble and then makes a decision to pass the ball under pressure. He also gets bumped of the ball way to easily.
Kerry Baptiste - 5 - Had a nice shot cleared off the goal line by a Costa Rican defender in the first half. And made some decent runs in the first half but had a quiet game for most parts.
Dennis Lawrence - N/A - Almost scored an own goal. For an experience man Lawrence didn't solidified T&T's defense when he came on.
Kenwyne Jones - 7 - Worked hard and deserves a round of applause for his effort.
Russell Latapy - 5 - Not to impress. The team is definitely playing a better brand than Maturana's one but still they are not doing the simple things. Like every game T&T plays, they start off very well and after thirty minutes they transform into a different team. They become their own worst enemies. Plays break down, players lose focus, no fluid passing and they cannot find a space to receive a pass from their teammates- so keeping procession for a mere two minutes seems impossible.
Too much gaps in T&T defense, their transition play is very poor, no organization in defense and players are still standing around waiting for a return pass. Maybe Latapy needs a better assistant coach along with Yorke to assist him off course. Someone specialized in defense.
T&T is lacking the simple fundamental things, trapping, passing, working off the ball and shooting. Imagine newcomer Jake Thomson was our best player on the night "Technically" as he did the simple things, trap, pass, run for a return ball and covered his teammate.
Back to basics
I think our players needs to be in a more professional environment. They are not short on talent but mentally they fall off the game way to easily. We also need do go back to the basics and work our way up again. We have to make a step back before we can move forward.
With Mexico securing a spot in South Africa already and the game against the "El Tri" will have no significances what so ever expect to see a future Mexican team. Come on Latapy, time to unleash players like Leston Paul, Akeem Adams, Uriah Bentick, Juma Clarence, Robert Priums and Khaleem Hyland and let the rebuilding process begin.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain and despite ticket price being somewhere from $200 - $500 at least make the game interesting and give the patrons their monies worth come Wednesday.
T&T suffers 4-0 loss in San Jose.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago suffered another miserable defeat, this time to Costa Rica by a 4-0 margin at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium on Saturday night.
The win for the “Ticos” left the “Soca Warriors” at the bottom of the six-team table and kept the home team’s chances of qualifying for South Africa 2010 alive.
Alvaro Saberio scored two goals and Walter Centavo added another, while an own-goal opened the scoring which led to Rene Simoes' winning debut as coach.
T&T started the match with debutant Jake Thomson at right back while Kern Cupid and Julius James were also making their first appearance in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones was the main hope up front with Joe Public's Kerry Baptiste. Carlos Edwards was the captain for T&T on a rainy evening in San Jose.
The “Soca Warriors” did in fact manage to contain the Costa Ricans for the opening twenty minutes the own goal put the home side ahead.
A low cross from the left by Michael Barrantes was sliced by Radanfah Abu Bakr and went in off James. A minute later T&T went on the attack and were unlucky not to have found the equalizer when Baptiste’s effort was headed off the line by a defender after a good run on the right by Edwards.
The visitors didn’t look like a side capable of being demolished in the first half as they maintained decent possession in spurts and had the Costa Ricans at bay and their fans out of the game for some periods.
Goalkeeper Marvin Phillip also came up big with a couple superb saves before the break to keep T&T within reachable distance of the home side.
And on the resumption after half time, Edwards and company started briskly, catching the “Ticos” off guard but nothing came of it before Simoes’ men punished T&T in quick succession.
Centeno doubled the advantage in the 50th minute when he converted from a Saborio cross. Saborio then struck a quick double, slotting home in the 61st and heading past Phillip in the 63rd minute to round off the scoring.
Phillip pulled off a good stop to deny Randall Azofeifa from the penalty spot as T&T played much of the second half with ten men after James was red carded for a bad challenge in the 65th.
Following the loss, Latapy conceded that his team were beaten by the better team on the night but still managed to take out a few positives from the defeat.
“At this stage of the campaign, we always knew it was going to come into a tough match because Costa Rica had everything to play for while our chances of getting to the World Cup were already over.
In saying that I thought we played good for 50 minutes before they scored their second goal and then we didn’t react well to that. We were punished with two quick goals,” Latapy told TTFF Media.
“But I was pleased with the effort from the players in the first half but again we conceded easily and we didn’t pick ourselves back up. A lot of times in football, how your results end up depends on how well you react when things don’t go your way and we didn’t react well.”
Speaking during the post game press conference, Latapy when asked what was the difference between this loss and the 3-2 defeat in Tobago, replied: “They were two completely different games because of the stages. When we played the first game we were still in with a chance of qualifying.
Trinidad is in a rebuilding process and this time we thought it would be good to give some of the younger players an opportunity to get some experience. I thought that my team played really well in the first half and in the second half with a lack of experience and a lack of concentration, we had 15 or 20 crazy minutes and Costa Rica scored their goals.
“In football you never know what’s going to happen and that’s the beauty of the game and it’s why everybody loves the game.
We also know that one of the reasons that Costa Rica has qualified for the last few World Cups is because they have become very strong at home so we knew right away that coming to play here was always going to be difficult.
“One of the factors which meant that the two games were different is that when we played in Trinidad, we still had the possibility to qualify for the World Cup, Obviously, as much as we are professions, you always work with a different motivation when you have a chance to qualify.
But in saying that it was a perfect opportunity for the Trinidad and Tobago team to give some young players an opportunity to play so they can see what playing this level is like because we are in a process of rebuilding for the future and for the next World Cup in 2014.
Every game we participate in as a national team we go into it with having the possibility of winning the game and this is what we always work towards and we will continue to do that until it becomes right for us,” Latapy said.
The T&T team will return to Port of Spain on Sunday evening and look ahead to their final match in the 2010 campaign against Mexico at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 8pm on Wednesday.
Mexico booked their spot in South Africa with a 4-1 win over El Salvador on Saturday while USA also qualified by way of a 3-2 win on the road to Honduras.
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