Mon, Jun
Match Report
Jamaica Trinidad & Tobago
Jamaica T&T flag
 Nigel Pierre (37')

Digicel Cup
2005-02-20Waterford National StadiumBridgetown, Barbados5000

‘Reggae Boyz’ maintain jinx over T&T

Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers failed in their attempt to break their jinx against Jamaica’s “Reggae Boyz” as they succumbed to two soft first half goals in a 2-1 defeat in the opening match of the 2005 Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals at the National Stadium in Barbados on Sunday evening.

Striker Nigel Pierre scored the goal of the match in the 37th minute to leaves the scores 2-1 at half time but despite a better second half showing the “Warriors” failed to break the aggressive Jamaicans who had taken the lead in the 14th minute through Luton Shelton who pounced on a lapse in the T&T defense to slot past goalie Duarance Williams from close up. Real Salt Lake’s Andy Williams then doubled Jamaica’s advantage when he nicked one in on the near post from a right side cross.

But the nine-times Caribbean champions hit back inside the next minute as Pierre perfectly controlled a serve from Rojas and let go a shot which left goalie Shawn Sawyers without a prayer. Bunji Garlin’s 2005 hit “Blaze the fire” instantly blasted from the speaker boxes.

Still T&T never  settle into their game in the opening 45 minutes. Veteran midfielder David Nakhid showed glimpses of his old self but had to go off at half time after receiving a gash above the eye and was complaining of dizzy spells. He was replaced by Densill Theobald while Marlon Rojas also pulled up with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Jose Luis Seabra. Rojas is out for the rest of the tournament while Nakhid is unsure for Tuesday’s match against Cuba.

On the resumption, both teams found chances on goal hard to come by as the Jamaicans seemed content with playing direct balls on the flanks and hoping to break on the counter while T&T at times were guilty of  falling into a similar style of play. Winger Cyd Gray hardly made full use of his speed on the right side as his crossing of the ball never troubled the Jamaicans while Leslie Fitzpatrick and Eve never found enough time and space to explore the opposition as they had to spend most of their time tracking their men.

But once the ‘Warriors’ particularly  Theobald, started playing  the ball on the deck and taking control of the game flow, they left the Jamaicans chasing. Unfortunately for Bertille St Clair’s team, some missed chances as well as solid taking  by Sawyers kept them trailing for longer than they would have hoped.

On 62 minutes, defender Derek King slid in on the far right post only to sky his attempt over bar following a left side free kick by Angus Eve. Five minutes later, a blistering right footer from 20 metres out deflected inches wide of the upright as T&T pushed forward and began to take the game to the Jamaicans.

In the 74th minute Eve swung a right side free kick inside the box only for Cornell Glen’s well directed header superbly kept out by Sawyers on the far left corner.

The Jamaicans then went pressing on the break and brought out a couple excellent stops from Williams who stood relatively well between the uprights.

Both matches were played in front one of the largest crowds to witness international football at the venue, an estimated 5,000 fans. But the majority, like the 150 odd T&T fans,  were left disappointed as the hosts Barbados fell 3-0 to Cuba in the second affair.

Cuba went ahead in the 17th minute through Lester More Hennigan. The same player then collected a through ball before hitting past substitute goalkeeper Adrian Chase who had replaced first call Jason Boxhill. The latter suffered a broken leg inside the opening five minutes of the match.

Barbados did create some openings but failed to capitalized and paid even further for that in the 90th minute when Maikel Galindo met a ball from Ivan Perez and sent a left footer high into the net from near the six yard box.

Coach Bertille St Clair felt that T&T punished themselves by giving up two easy goals and made an urge to his players after the match to pay more attention to that aspect of their play.

“I thought there was a lapse in concentration and we gave up two soft goals which we definitely cannot afford to be doing at this stage,” St Clair told TTFF Media.

“It’s always difficult to come back from there. We showed some fight by getting a goal back but when we were supposed to go for the kill when we had them on the back foot, we failed to make enough penetration. And we didn’t maintain that sort of patience by keeping the ball and knocking it around but instead we kept running and playing it over like they were doing.”

Looking ahead to the rest of tournament which continues with a 6pm clash with the Cubans on Tuesday, St Clair said: “We definitely have to pick ourselves from here because we cannot afford to take a similar approach against Cuba. We showed today that once we play our kind of football which is to keep the ball and work it into their half, then we can pose problems and I think once we can keep it tight rather than give up early goals and then pick up the pace in attack, then we definitely can get the results we want to achieve.”

T&T has now lost four and won one game in its last five outings against Jamaica dating back to 2000. Overall, both teams have played 22, with T&T winning 5 and Jamaica 11 with 6 being drawn dating back to the 1990 Shell Caribbean Cup. Fans would argue that the "Warriors" have enjoyed the better of the exchanges on more occasions but the facts remain in the Jamaicans favour.

T&T: Duarance Williams, Keyeno Thomas, Derek King, Anton Pierre, Cyd Gray (Scott Sealy, 84th), Leslie Fitzpatrick, Marlon Rojas (Jose Seabra, 41st) Angus Eve, David Nakhid (Densill Theobald, 46th)  Cornell Glen, Nigel Pierre

1.Daurance Williams
19.Subbed outCyd Gray
 Subbed in 84' Scott Sealy
6.Derek King Yellow Card 70 '
16.Anton Pierre
2.Subbed outMarlon Rojas
 Subbed in 40' Jose Seabra
5.Keyeno Thomas
8.Angus Eve (capt.)
7.Leslie Fitzpatrick
 Subbed outDavid Nakhid
 Subbed in 46' Densill Theobald
13.Cornell Glen
 Nigel Pierre
 Jose Seabra
12.Densill Theobald
 Scott Sealy
 Jan-Michael Williams
 Lyndon Andrews
 Kerry Baptiste
 Conrad Smith
 Bertille St. Clair
40'Subbed outSubbed inJose Seabra for Marlon Rojas
46'Subbed outSubbed inDensill Theobald for David Nakhid
84'Subbed outSubbed inScott Sealy for Cyd Gray
70'Yellow CardDerek King