Indy Eleven midfielder Nathan Lewis scored a goal after making the opener as T&T Soca Warriors blanked United Arab Emirates 2-0 in their international friendly in Girona, Spain, yesterday,
The Arabs were in trouble as early as the second minute when T&T skipper Khaleem Hyland found some freedom in the area, unfortunately his shot was on the wrong side of the crossbar but Charleston Battery' Ataulla Guerra, playing his first match for T&T in over two years was the epitome of composure when he finished in style to open the scoring in the 37th minute at the end of a classy build up between Lewis and Finland-based Shahdon Winchester.
The speedy Lewis was a thorn in the side of the UAE as he dominated the left flank for long periods and subsequently came in for some rough play but despite constant probing from the former Jabloteh winger and Germany-based Joevin Jones, it remained 1-0 T&T at the half.
Jones took over proceedings in the second period as he tormented his opponents with deft skill and penetrative passes and it was one of those passes which opened the door for goal number two.
The Darmstadt 98 midfielder pick up the ball at the half line and just left defenders in his wake before delivering the perfect centre for Lewis to neatly finish in the 58th minute.
To their credit, the UAE then came hard at Dennis Lawrence’s team with Omar Alraqi causing some problems in the middle of the pitch but the defence in that area was well marshalled by Daneil Cyrus and Kevon George.
When they did get through, T&T goalkeeper Marvin Phillip showed his class between the uprights, denying Alraqi and Ismail Alhammadi who produced credible attempts.
The 2-0 victory makes for an impressive run for the team since the November 2017 win over the United States with three wins, three draws and one loss.
Coach Lawrence was obviously pleased with the effort and said: 'I think we did really well. I am really pleased with the boys. I think everybody knows what we have been through over the last few days and I have to give them full credit for their performance.'
Looking at the game the effort they put in and I thought they worked very well as a group and they deserved the victory.
'With regards to Guerra, Lawrence said he thought the USA based player played well.'
'I thought Ataulla (Guerra) came in and did really well. He took his goal really well and Nathan Lewis I thought he had an outstanding match today (yesterday).
All in all, as a team they all worked together and dug in as a team.
In general, Lawrence said the match was really important for the national team.
'We spoke about the preparation and they were all angry just like I was, so we are very proud with the result and we move on from here now.'
Slovakian-based defender, 19-year-old Keston Julien was a late introduction in the match and Lawrence speaking of the former Jabloteh player said he did a great job.
'We were leading 2-0 and UAE was pressing and looking for a goal, but he came in and did very well, and also created a chance where he almost had an assist to make it 3-0.
'All in all, I was very pleased with the total team effort as the boys have shown again they are prepared to work hard for T&T.'
Looking ahead Lawrence said the focus will now shift to the match against Thailand on October 14 in Bangkok, but before that he is expected to have a debriefing about the UAE contest as well as some discussions with the T&T Football Federation.
Trinidad Tobago vs UAE 2-0 Highlights /friendly match
Dennis Lawrence's post match reactions after 2-0 win over UAE
Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 2.Aubrey David, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 18.Triston Hodge (6.Keston Julien); 19.Kevan George, 8.Khaleem Hyland (captain); 7.Nathan Lewis (12.Kathon St Hillaire 88), 9.Ataulla Guerra (16.Neveal Hackshaw 67), 3.Joevin Jones (23.Jomal Williams 83); 10.Shahdon Winchester (11.Marcus Joseph 74).
Unused substitutes: 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 15.Curtis Gonzales, 14.Akeem Humphrey, 13.Duane Muckette.
Coach: Dennis Lawrence
UAE (3-4-3): Khalid Eisa (GK); 20.Mohammed Marzooq (16.Hassan Al Saheh 81), 19.Ismail Ahmed, 6.Mohnad Salem; 2.Mohamed Barghash, 8.Majed Ahmed (25.Ali Salmin 59), 13.Khamis Esmaeel, 21.Mahmoud Al Hammadi; 10.Omar Abdulrahman, 7.Ali Mabkhout, 11.Ahmed Khalil (captain) (15.Ismail Al Hammadi 59).
Unused substitutes: 1.Ali Humaid (GK), 22.Fahad Ahmed (GK), 9.Ahmed Barman, 23.Mohamed Ahmed, 5.Amer Abdulrahman, 26.Bandar Sahmeed, 3.Walid Murad, 4.Khalifa Mubarak, 14.Rayan Mohammed, 17.Fares Hasan.
Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni