IT was a tale of two penalties as Trinidad and Tobago drew 1-1 in Guyana in the final match of the invitational tri-nation series – the Courts Caribbean Classic, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Tuesday.
Neil Danns put Guyana ahead with a 58th minute penalty but Levi Garcia equalised in the first minute of added-on time, two minutes after squandering an opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot.
However, T&T claimed the tournament trophy on the basis of a superior goal-difference to Guyana. T&T hammered Barbados 9-0 on Friday while Guyana whipped the Bajans 5-0; T&T had a better goal-difference of plus-four.
It was a tightly-fought affair for most of the match, with a number of hard tackles, as each team cancelled out each other, especially in the middle of the park.
Garcia, again playing in the false-nine role, met a Noah Powder corner but his header went wide, after 14 minutes of play, while Ryan Telfer was the beneficiary of a good pass from Garcia, in the 43rd minute, but his low shot, from the edge of the penalty box, narrowly missed the mark.
Guyana, who were combative but hardly penetrative in the first half, got a chance to open the scoring in the 57th minute, when referee Crystal Sobers awarded a debatable penalty when T&T right-back Jesse Williams appeared to get all ball from a tackle on Trayon Bobb.
And Danns kept his composure to send T&T goalkeeper and captain Marvin Phillip the wrong way, from the spot.
There were numerous substitutions which affected the flow of the match but the tempo changed in the last ten minutes, when T&T tried to level the scores, while Guyana appeared to indulge in a series of time-wasting tactics.
Rochford broke the offside trap, in the 80th minute, and got around Guyana goalie Akel Clarke, but his effort was blocked, off the line, by a retreating Jeremy Garret.
Five minutes later, Garcia picked up a spectacular cross from the right by Nicholas Dillon but his shot was denied by a well-timed block from centre-back Quincy Adams.
Rochford, who injected pace in the T&T attack, got a call in his favour in the 88th minute, when he was upended in the box from Guyana right-back Leo Lovell. But Clarke guessed correctly and went to his right to save Garcia’s effort.
Two minutes later, Garcia made amends as he rose above the defence to head home a corner from Rochford. However, there was a few security officials at the ground, as spectators rushed on to the running track to join in the celebrations.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 1.Marvin Phillip (GK) (captain); 23.Jesse Williams, 3.Kareem Moses, 2.Aubrey David, 18.Triston Hodge; 24.Kevon Goddard (10.Duane Muckette 68), 15.Neveal Hackshaw (17.Mekeil Williams 63); 12.Judah Garcia (14.John-Paul Rochford 63), 19.Noah Powder (9.Nicholas Dillon 84), 7.Ryan Telfer (13.Reon Moore 46); 11.Levi Garcia.
Unused substitutes: 21.Denzil Smith (GK), 4.Leland Archer, 5.Samory Powder, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 8.Marvin Waldrop, 16.Alvin Jones, 20.Jabari Mitchell, 25.Justin Sadoo.
Coach: Angus Eve
Guyana (4-4-1-1): 1.Akel Clarke (GK); 2.Leo Lovell, 19.Quincy Adams, 4.Jeremy Garrett, 8.Samuel Cox; 10.Omari Glasgow (11.Kelsey Benjamin 60), 23.Daniel Wilson (captain), 16.Neil Danns (9.Clive Nobrega 76), 20.Trayon Bobb (5.Shemar Fraser 76); 6.Nathan Moriah-Welch; 17.Tyrell Ondaan (14.Jamanine Beckles 66).
Unused substitutes: 18.Ronaldo Blair (GK), 3.Kevin Layne, 7.Jobe Caesar, 12.Pernell Schultz, 13.Jamal Pereira, 15.Marcus Wilson, 21.Javier George.
Coach: Jamaal Shabazz
Referee: Crystal Sobers
Watch Full Game
Watch: Jamaal Shabazz's Post Game Reactions after last night's 1-1 draw with Trinidad and Tobago
Watch: Check out Angus Eve's Post-Match reactions after T&T's 1-1 draw with Guyana on Tuesday night