Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers got their first taste of defeat in their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign after going down 2-1 to Bermuda at the National Sports Centre in Hamilton, Bermuda on Friday.
Both teams were deadlocked in the first half before Antwan Russell and Nakhi Wells goals in the 53rd and 63rd minutes respectively- did it for the 'Gombey Warriors'.
T&T got a consolation item from rising-star and Orlando’s City talented midfielder, Kevin Molino, in the 81st.
Now T&T's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign has come under some scrutiny as Guyana is now leading the race to progress to the next stage of qualifiers after they defeated Barbados 2-0 earlier today.
The win for Bermuda is not their first over T&T, as they also managed a shocking 2–1 win over the Soca Warriors in their last 2008 World Cup qualifying campaign at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Trinidad.
This is the first defeat in four games under head-coach Otto Pfister, as well as the first time T&T has conceded any goals under his leadership.
Pfister’s record shows a 3-0 win over Asian minors (India) in an international friendly game, then two slim victories over Bermuda (1-0) and Barbados (2-0) respectively and now a 2-1 defeat to Bermuda.
T&T will now regroup and head to Port of Spain where they will entertain Barbados in 4-days time.
Bermuda 2 (Antwan Russell 53', Naki Wells 63') v T&T 1 (Kevin Molion 81')
Bermuda: - Frederick Hall, Khano Smith (capt), Keman Tucker, Taurean Manders (Seion Darrell 85th), Devrae Tankard, John Barry Nusum, Tyrell Burgess, Kwame Steede, Lashan Dill (Damon Ming 65th), Antwan Russell (Yellow 70'), Nakhi Wells (Chris Casey 68th).
Unused Subs: - Tahj Bell (Red 37'), Quadir Maynard, Angelo Simmons, Jesse Seymour.
Coach: - Devarr Boyles (Bermuda).
Trinidad & Tobago: - Marvin Phillip, Julius James, Seon Power, Akeem Adams, Khaleem Hyland (vice-capt) (Yellow 39'), Osei Telesford, Lester Peltier, Hayden Tinto (Hughtun Hector 34th), Keon Daniel (Kevaughn Connell 65th), socawarriors.net, Kevin Molion, Stern John (capt) (Devorn Jorsling 60th).
Unused Subs: - Jan-Michael Williams, Andrei Pacheco, Clyde Leon, Mekeil Williams.
Coach: - Otto Pfister (Germany).
Venue: - National Sports Centre, Hamilton (Bermuda).
P W D L F A Pts
Guyana 3 3 0 0 6 1 9
Trinidad 3 2 0 1 4 2 6
Bermuda 3 1 0 2 3 3 3
Barbados 3 0 0 3 8 0 0
'Warriors' slip to first defeat in qualifiers.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers put themselves in a familiar position having to win all three remaining matches in the current CONCACAF group phase if they are to realize their ambitions of qualifying for Brazil 2014.
And all it took to cause some discomfort for Otto Pfister’s men was a 2-1 victory by Bermuda over T&T at the National Sports Centre, Hamilton on Friday night.
The win left T&T second in the group on six points behind Guyana (9pts after beating Barbados 2-0) with Bermuda third on three and Barbados pointless.
John Nusum did the damage to T&T back in 2008 and his return to the Bermuda line up today brought back winner’s luck as the hosts took their chances perfectly with Antwell Russell hitting home past Marvin Phillip in the 53rd minute and Bradford City striker Nahki Wells punishing them with a blistering shot following an error at the back ten minutes later.
The game itself seemed odd from the start as the Bermudan anthem was never played as instead the sounds of United States’ own started playing shortly after T&T’s anthem.
That was the second time of such an occurrence at the same venue at a meeting between both teams.
Added to that, there was an announcement over the PA that the game time would be pushed back because fans were still trying to get into the stadium.
Quite odd, considering that there was maybe just under 3,000 fans and extra seating at the venue and about 100 were trying to get in at the time of the announcement ten minutes before the scheduled start. The game eventually kicked off 18 minutes late.
The Bermudans showed spirit on the pitch against a T&T team that was missing five regular starters but still managed to move the ball around with some zip early despite struggling to create clear cut chances on goal.
When Kevin Molino pulled a goal back in the 81st minute, T&T could not complete a comeback despite their valiant efforts in the closing stages
Lester Peltier had an effort on 12 minutes and Stern John’s low drive from a free kick went wide two minutes later.
Bermuda slowly got into their own and once they realized they were in a position to challenge for result their spirits lifted and they began to believe.
Skipper and mainman Khano Smith, playing in the left wingback position, forced a corner with a good effort and Kwame Steede shot into the side netting soon after.
Pfister played Hayden Tinto on the left and Peltier on the right but the former never settled and forced the German to replace him with Hughtun Hector in the 34th.
John was up top with Khaleem Hyland, Molino and Keon Daniel in the middle. Seon Power and Julius James played in central defence with Akeem Adams on the left and Osei Telesford on the right
Lashun Dill caused a scare for T&T when his effort rocked the crossbar in the 36th minute and Bermuda’s confidence kept growing. All the while T&T appeared comfortable despite not mounting countless pressure on the Bermudan goal.
As the second half started, Bermuda went in early search of a goal with Wells’ shot saved by Phillips.
They got the go ahead item when a soft exchange between Keon Daniel and Osei Telesford allowed Andre Manders to pick up possession and he found Russell who clinically got the ball past Phillips.
The goal certainly woke T&T up with Hector proving to be a force on the left side but it wasn’t too long before Bermuda put a further dent on T&T.
Another lapse at the ball saw the end result being Wells picking up and unleashing a rocket which left Phillip hapless between the sticks. The Bermudans celebrated like never before.
John had a header denied and his replacement Devorn Jorsling brought some additional force up front for T&T. Molino brought back some hope for T&T when he bundled the ball over the line for a 2-1 scoreline after Kevaughn Connell played one in that caused some mayhem in the box.
Pfister’ men pressed and hustled after every ball, keeping Bermuda on the backfoot for much of the remaining half but could not force an equalizer.
Julius James had a header cleared on the line and Peltier also muffed an opportunity inside the box while Hector curled one wide of the far post late in the game.
When the final whistle came after three minutes injury time, the result hurt the T&T team. But Bermuda began partying like Brazil was only now a booking away and rightly so. It was maybe their biggest ever victory on home soil.
The T&T faithful living in Bermuda, commendably, kept on waving the T&T flags more than half hour after the game was over, ensuring that the rhythm section was still going as the T&T bus exited the venue.
Pfister will hold a session on Saturday morning prior to the team’s departure to Port Spain where they will face Barbados from 5pm on Tuesday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
A revived Bermuda will host Guyana. T&T will also face Guyana on the road and at home with everything to play for in what hopefully will be a November to remember. For the right reasons of course.
Pfister: No reason to press panic button
Head coach Otto Pfister said this was no time or reason for pressing the panic button as this country heads into its next three 2014 World Cup qualifying matches needing to win all to stay ahead in the race for a semi-final round spot.
Speaking after Friday’s 2-1 defeat to Bermuda in Hamilton, Pfister said: “Bermuda were a good team today.
Okay I never look for excuses but we had three or four key players that didn’t play today and we had three players that played for me for the first time today. This was difficult for the coordination.
We slept in the first half because I was only happy with the last twenty minutes. It was our plan to press from the begin but we didn’t. We have to work and make corrections.
In two days we have the next game. I think the competition is open. Bermuda also has their next game at home. This is football. We have to respect the defeat and we go again.”
“No need (to press the panic button). In football you have three possibilities. You draw, you win or you lose. Today we lose. The first two games we win and now we have to try and win again.
“The weather was the same for the two teams. They had two opportunities and they took them. This is football.”Soca stars forced to dance to Gombey beat.
By Stephen Wright (Royal Gazette).
Bermuda proved lightning can strike twice with another famous victory over Caribbean powerhouse Trinidad and Tobago to keep their World Cup qualifying hopes alive.
The night may have started in an inauspicious fashion with the public address system playing the US rather than the Bermudian national anthem, but it was the Soca Warriors who were made to dance to a Gombey beat at a jubilant National Sports Centre.
Thankfully that embarrassing mistake by the PA announcer was just about the only thing that went wrong for Bermuda whose feel-good victory was no more than their workaholic display deserved.
Second-half goals from Antwan Russell and Nahki Wells provided Devarr Boyles with his first win as Bermuda coach and breathed fresh life into their qualifying campaign.
Bermuda have become somewhat of a bogey team for Trinidad in recent years, having beaten them by the same scoreline in a qualifier in Port of Spain three years ago.
While they were forced to spend the majority of that backs-to-the-walls win repelling wave after wave of Trinidad attacks, it was a very different story last night with the hosts outplaying their more decorated counterparts for large portions for the game.
Trinidad, for all of their physical threat and professional experience, rarely troubled Freddy Hall's goal with Bermuda creating by far and away the better scoring opportunities.
They drew first blood midway through the first period when Lashun Dill's right wing cross picked out Russell who probably should have done better, putting a free header over the bar.
Bermuda were then denied by the woodwork when Wells released Dill with a defence-splitting pass, with the pacey winger driving into the Trinidad box only to see his curling effort cannon off the crossbar.
Trinidad, missing five players from the side which defeated Bermuda 1-0 last month, were struggling to find any passing fluency with their top all-time goalscorer Stern John cutting an isolated figure upfront.
Such was their attacking impotency, Trinidad coach Otto Psfister didn't even wait for the half-time whistle before shuffling his pack, hauling off the ineffectual Hayden Tinto for Hughtun Hector.
The switch made little difference, though, and at half-time Bermuda's only real concern was that their substitute keeper Tahj Bell had been bizarrely dismissed for relieving himself at the far corner of the NSC while warming up.
With the wind on their backs, Bermuda started the second half with real purpose and their endeavour was rewarded when they broke the deadlock on 53 minutes with a goal that sent the NSC crowd wild with delight.
Taurean Manders robbed Trinidad defender Akeem Adams in a perilous position, and with the Trinidad defence static, pulled the ball back for Russell who supplied a close range finish.
Ten minutes later the shell-shocked visitors found themselves further behind when Kwame Steede teed up the superb Nahki Wells on the edge of area who hammered a first-time effort into the top corner.
Trinidad poured forward in the closing stages and set up a tense finale when Bermuda conceded a dangerous free kick which pinballed around the box before Kevin Molino scrambled it home on 83 minutes.
But with Bermuda's defence impressively marshalled by the imperious John Barry Nusum, Trinidad were unable to find an equaliser, which left a serious dent in their qualifying aspirations.
While Bermuda's victory will mean nothing unless they beat Guyana at home on Tuesday, Boyles side are at least firmly in the race claim the all-important Group B top spot.
“We're over the moon, this is big, this is new ground for us. I'm pleased for the boys this is a great result for us and it sets us up nicely, now it's just a matter of us being disciplined tonight, tomorrow, and Monday in preparation for Tuesday,” said Boyles.
“It's very rewarding, we felt that on the balance of the play we deserved it, so all credit to us. Trinidad are very powerful and it was a good game.”
A disgruntled Trinidad coach Psfister bemoaned the fact he missing several key players but he insisted he would not be pressing the panic button just yet. The Soca Warriors are now three points behind Guyana who defeated Barbados 3-0 last night.
“I think this Bermuda team played a very good game and we were not 100 percent concentrating. Okay, I know I look for sorry or something but we have three key players who don't play today, and three players who play the first time with me in a game,” said Psfister
“I don't see them in a game before, Devorn Jorsling, Osei Telesford and (Kevin) Molino, it was difficult for the co-ordination. We sleep in the first half and I was only happy with the last 20 minutes when we pressed which was our plan from the beginning.
“Football you have three possibilities, you draw, you win, or you lose. Today we lost, the first game that we win and we have to try in three days to win again.”
Soca Warriors slump to 2-1 defeat.
By Ian Prescott in Bermuda.
BERMUDA BEAT T&T
"I think the Bermudans played a very good game and we were not a hundred per cent concentrating," Pfister said following the Soca Warriors 2-1 away defeat to Bermuda in a CONCACAF Zone Group B second round qualifier at the National Stadium in Prospect on Friday night.
"We sleep in the first half. I was only happy with the last 20 minutes," Pfister declared. "It was our plan pressing from the beginning. But we don't press, and it is correct that we lost this game 2-1."
Initially, Bermudan officials reported that the Trinidad and Tobago coaching staff had refused the invitation to attend a post-match press conference. Grudgingly, Pfister eventually came. But he was hardly in a good mood and ended the session after answering four questions.
"We have the next game, I think the competition is now open," Pfister said of the result.
"This is football. We have to respect the defeat and we go ahead. In football you have three outcomes. You draw, you win or you lose. Today we lose. We have to try in three days to win again. Thank you," the German said, and left.
Friday's match was mainly balanced and ultimately settled by the quality with which Bermuda scored two second-half goals.
In defeat, Trinidad and Tobago played some of their best passing football in three qualifiers.
Pfister sacrificed some defensive steel by packing his team with attack-minded midfielders Kevin Molino, Lester Peltier, Hayden Tinto, Khaleem Hyland and Keon Daniel. But it left them vulnerable to counter-attack.
And all was not well with the Soca Warriors. Molino was T&T's play-maker and best player; Peltier played scared and was distraught afterward; Tinto was ineffective and, like his first-half replacement, Hughton Hector, looked out of position on the left.
Natural left-footer Daniel was used mainly infield, while another lefty, Kevaughn Connell, brought some penetration, but only came on late in the second-half.
Despite Trinidad and Tobago lining up 4-3-3, veteran striker Stern John was most times the lone attacker, but he broke up many a good build-up with poor passing.
The Soca Warriors barely looked capable of scoring.
However, the defensive quartet of Osei Telesford, Akeem Adams, Seon Power and Julius James were individually solid.
And keeper Phillip handled everything except the two well-taken goals.
Friday was a great night for Bermuda, who have now beaten Trinidad and Tobago twice in four World Cup qualifiers, with the first coming in the 2010 qualifying campaign in Trinidad.
The Gombey Warriors went into the match facing the great possibility of early elimination and consequently played passionately, gambling their very World Cup existence on getting the victory.
For Bermuda, captain Khano Smith was dangerous in attack, former Ipswich Town play-maker Nahki Wells was a creative force and veteran Barry Nusum was a rock at centre-back.
Speedy Bermudan winger Lashun Dill set up the home team's first goal in the 52nd minute by exploiting Daniel's lethargy.
Dill intercepted Telesford's throw in front of slow-moving Daniel, then fed Antwan Russell, who gave keeper Phillip no chance from the centre of the penalty area.
And after Bermudan goalie Fredrick Hall barely managed to smother a close-up Stern John shot, Wells brought his countrymen to their feet in the 68th minute when spectacularly finding the top left corner of the T&T goal, again from the centre of the penalty area.
Once behind, Trinidad and Tobago poured forward aggressively and Molino got a goal back when ending a melee with a close-up finish in the 81st, following up Connell's low shot into the penalty area.
Despite late pressure, Bermuda held on bravely.
"Great result for us," Bermudan coach Devarr Boyles said afterward. "Hopefully this result encourages Bermudans and the rest of the Caribbean, because to beat Trinidad is huge."
"I knew we would create chances tonight, and we took them. They were both fantastic finishes," added Bermudan captain Smith, who went closest to scoring in the first half when striking T&T's crossbar from distance in the 34th minute.
Victory gave Bermuda a lifeline, their first points in qualifying, and dropped the Soca Warriors three points behind Group B leaders Guyana (nine points) , who won 2-0 away to Barbados on Friday.
Trinidad and Tobago will hope to bounce back on Tuesday when they host bottom team Barbados at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, before meeting group leaders Guyana next month in two matches which are likely to decide the lone team to advance out of the group.
However, Bermuda now think they have a chance of also figuring prominently.