A spectacular double from captain Kenwyne Jones and a fine individual goal by Andre Boucaud helped T&T overcome host Saudi Arabia 3-1 at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh today to cop third-place in the 2013 OSN Cup.
The Trinidad and Tobago team started off brightly with Jones netting his deuce in the 4th and 5th minute respectively. T&T would continue to control the game for the first half-hour and had a few more chances to bury the host even further.
The game however, would switch hands as T&T looked a bit tired and Saudi Arabia started to build momentum and launched repeated attacks on the T&T defence. Finally, the pressure paid-off and at the restart striker Hazazi would sneak behind T&T's defence and score a header off a well taken free-kick to bring his side back into the game.
Saudi Arabia never gave up and continued to pile attack on T&T defence. The Warriors held their own despite losing their captain who had gotten a knock and was taken off in the first half. T&T still managed to keep their spirits high and did well enough to keep the Saudi's at bay.
Then in the 85th minute a moment of brilliance came into play when midfielder Andre Boucaud intercepted a pass from Kevin Molino on the left from about 50 yards out and made a solo run on goal and calmly slotted a left-footed strike under the Saudi goalkeeper to seal the hard fought victory for the Warriors. It would be his first goal in T&T colors for the Notts County man.
T&T could have made it 4 in the dying minutes of the game when Marcus Joseph rifled a fierce free-kick from about 35 meters out that would ricochet off the woodwork, the Saudi keeper look shocked and would have to thank his goal-post for coming to his recuse.
T&T 3 v Saudi Arabia 1
Jones (Primus) 4 Hazazi (Al Shehri) 47
Jones (Unassist) 5
Boucaud (Molino) 85
T&T (4-4-1-1): - 1.Marvin Phillip (vice-capt), 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr (Yellow 46), 12.Robert Primus, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 3.Justin Hoyte (Yellow 66), 10.Kevin Molino (Yellow 88), 8.Khaleem Hyland (Yellow 60) (Densill Theobald 74th), 14.Andre Boucaud (Yellow 27), 11.Willis Plaza (7.Ataullah Guerra 81st), 19.Lester Peltier (Yellow 86) (5.Kevan George 87th), 9.Kenwyne Jones (capt) (16.Marcus Joseph 39th).
Unused Subs: - 21,Jan-Michael Williams, Glenroy Samuel, Mekeil Williams.
Injured out: - Curtis Gonzales and Aubrey David.
Coach: - Stephen Hart (TRI).
Saudi Arabia (4-5-1): - Abdullah Al Maiouf (Fawaz Al Qarni 46th), Kamil Al Mousa, Shaya Ali Sharahli (Nawaf Al Abid 63rd), Yasir Al Shahrani, Omar Hawsawi (Yellow 89), Saud Khariri (Yellow 56), Abdullah Al Asta, Ahmed Ateef (Yousef Al Salem 75th), Yahya Al Shehri, Naif Hazazi, Fahd Al Muwallad (Yellow 65) (Mustafa Al Bassas 84th).
Unused Subs: - Abdullah Al Sudairy, Ahmad Asiri, Hamdan Al Hamdan, Mansour Al Harbi, Mohammed Abusabaan, Osama Hawsawi, Sultan Al Bishi, Taisir Al Jassim, Waleed Abdullah, Motaz Hawsawi.
Coach: - López Caro (ESP).
Venue: - King Fahd International Stadium, Riyadh.
Video: - T&T vs Saudi Arabia Highlights
T&T topple Saudi Arabia 3-1 to take third spot.
By Shaun Fuentes (TTFA).
Trinidad and Tobago stunned host nation Saudi Arabia with two early goals to capture third place at the OSN Cup 2013 by way of a spirited 3-1 victory at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Monday.
A double strike by captain Kenwyne Jones in the 4th and 6th minutes gave T&T a dream start and an 87th minute item by Notts County midfielder Andre Boucaud sealed the win for the “Soca Warriors” after the home side threatened to level the scores after puling a goal back in he 47th minute.
This victory was T&T’s first over the four-time World Cup finalists in four outings and a well deserved one of that.
“I’m pleased for the players because they’ve worked hard to get the result,” Hart told TTFA Media following his second victory in six games since taking over the job as head coach in June.
“I have a bit of mixed feelings, bitter sweet really because I thought we went to sleep a bit after the second goal and we allowed them (Saudi Arabia) to force themselves back into the game and we made the game harder for ourselves.
“We played some really nice stuff early, moving the ball and penetrating well. But mentally we seemed to just lose concentration and our ball possession was poor at times as well as our decision making was rushed. We made too many errors because we were trying too hard to win a game that we were already supposed to be in control of. But overall it’s a really good result for us moving forward,” Hart added.
Jones was a proud captain and was deserved sung praises by his teammates on the heel of a series of strong performances for his country.
“I thought we did well as a team to grind out a result. We got a good start with the two early goals but the game was never an easy one especially as the officials decided that t hey would make life harder for us on the night. But I’m happy with the way we stuck together and we ‘ve shown some really good progress as a team,” Jones said.
“Hopefully we can continue to build on this because we want to see the country’s football progress and we will continue to do our part on the pitch,” added the Stoke City man.
Hart used Willis Plaza and Kevin Molino as well as defender Sheldon Bateau in his starting eleven for this game and it paid dividends as Plaza’s hustle up top made things uneasy for the Saudis. Goalkeeper Marvin Phillips also came in for Jan-Michael Williams.
On four minutes, Jones received a return ball from Robert Primus on the left and clinically side-footed the ball into the right corner of the net to put T&T ahead 1-0. That was Jones’s second goal for T&T in as many games and Primus’ second assist in the two OSN Cup matches.
The home team could hardly settle before Jones doubled T&T’s advantage with a brilliant lob over goalkeeper Abdullah Almuaiouf from about 30 metres out as he ran on to win possession of a ball played back by Yousef Alsalem.
Saudi Arabia got more involved as the game progressed and created some opportunities of their own but solid defending by the T&T backline and a couple great stops by goalkeeper Marvin Phillip denied them from getting the much needed lifeline.
T&T lost Jones in the 39th minute after he received a kick to the ankle and he was replaced by Marcus Joseph who went close to increasing T&T’s lead in the second half when his thunderous free kick crashed off the crossbar.
Saudi Arabia caused some panic for T&T when they pulled a goal back in the 47th minute. Naif Hazazi headed home on the far post after Yahia Alsheri swung a free kick over from the left following a foul after Khaleem Hyland lost possession atop the T&T penalty box.
But T&T continues to stay in the game with the introduction of Densill Theobald and Ataulla Guerra even as some legs began to tire.
Boucaud finished off the Saudis after an exchange of passes with Kevin Molino and Lester Peltier, the English-born midfielder moved goalwards and cleverly moved past Saudi captain Ahmed Ateef before burying a low left footer into the left corner of the net to spark the celebrations among the T&T contingent which included a dozen T&T nationals in the stands.
Saudi Arabian referee Jameel Juma Mohamed seemed to be intent on making the game harder for T&T, issuing as many as six yellow cards to the visitors on either side of the break and three to the host team one of which came in the final minute.
T&T will now look ahead to the remaining FIFA international dates for 2013 with already New Zealand expressing interest in playing Hart’s men in October. T&T’s home-based members will return to Port of Spain on Thursday following a one night stay over in London.
In Monday’s final, United Arab Emirates , which defeated T&T 7-6 on penalty kicks last Thursday, captured the Cup with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand.