|Jamaica||Trinidad & Tobago|
|Osei Telesford (75')|
Aurtis Whitley (90')
|2008-03-26||National Stadium||Kingston, Jamaica||19000|
Stalemate at the Office
|Captain Aurtis Whitley rifled a spectacular left-footed goal in the 90th minute to earn Trinidad and Tobago a 2-2 draw against the Reggae Boyz as the Caribbean heavyweighs clashed in a friendly international at the National Stadium last night.|
Marlon King (34th) and Tyrone Marshall (40th) scored for Jamaica, while Osei Telesford (74th) and Whitley netted for the Trinidadians. The Reggae Boyz were totally dominant with their foreign-based cast heavily numbered on the pitch and that level of superiority was mirrored in a 2-0 half-time lead.
But as technical director Rene Simoes rang the changes to create a heavy influx of local-based players in the second half, the balance shifted gradually, then decisively into the visitors' favour as they clawed their way back to a draw that left the crowd vexed, booing the team that had led comfortably until the 74th-minute.
After a rather nervous start by both sides, the more experienced Jamaicans started exuding a fair amount of composure to dominate possession and pick apart the Trinidadians with dominant midfield play from the skilful Demar Phillips, mixed with the pace of Omar Daley on the right flank which was instrumental in the opening goal.
Jamaica created the first scoring chance in the fifth minute with a nice movement engineered on the right when King lifted a pass over the fullback along the flank and Daley sped to the byline and delivered a pass to the back post. Luton Shelton could not get enough elevation for a comfortable header and nodded the ball over the goal.
Within three minutes, another right-sided movement utilising Daley's speed produced an open opportunity with a square to the other side of the goal for O'brian Woodbine, but the Reno midfielder's first touch spooned the chance to goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams.
The writing was on the wall and the Reggae Boyz duly launched into the lead in the 34th minute when Phillips played a lovely pass down the left side for King. The striker controlled perfectly with a defender Keyeno Thomas goal side and, in almost one movement, turned 90 degrees to face the goal side on. He then curled a beautiful shot, a real striker's goal, beyond the fully-stretched goalkeeper inside the far post to spark wild celebrations.
Before they had settled, Tyrone Marshall had the fair-sized crowd on its feet bawling for goal again at the 36th minute following a short corner played to Rudolph Austin. He drifted between defenders then lifted a cross to the six-yard box. Shelton's off target header found Marshall unmarked, and he finished clinically, only for the goal to be waved offside.
With Jamaica maintaining the pressure, Marshall, the Jamaican captain in the absence of the injured Ricardo Gardner, scored for real four minutes later when he took a well-measured diagonal pass from Phillips behind the defence and kept a stride ahead of two defenders while bearing down on goal, before angling a shot across Williams into the side-netting on the far side of the goal.
Like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago also had a goal disallowed - very marginal - for offside, one which also emanated from a set play. In the 13th minute, a strike from Makan Hislop was waved off after the striker and central defender Keyeno Thomas raced in front of Jamaica goalie Donovan Ricketts to pick off Keon Daniel's curling left-footed free kick. The custodian blocked Thomas' shot but Hislop turned in the rebound only to have his celebration abbreviated by the linesman's flag.
That apart, the lesser experienced Trinidadians again reacted quickly to another Daniel free kick on the left, this one served up to the back post, but Marshall's intervention denied Randi Patterson a clear header. They would almost concede an-other goal on the stroke of half-time when Phillips was fed a cheeky pass inside the penalty box, but he was called offside after he controlled and put the ball past Michael into the net.
Though Deon Burton, who replaced King at the break, fired an open chance wide of the far post, the local-based squaddies in the Jamaica side - six in total who were introduced during the second half - only served to highlight their inexperience and hurt their cause of winning a place in the team gearing towards World Cup qualification in June by dribbling too much to squander possession easily when passing options were rife.
Trinidad and Tobago, with a largely local-based team as well, took advantage by reducing the deficit when substitute Telesford was left free on the left side facing goal after the ball was nodded down by a cross, and he hit the ball past substitute goalie Duwayne Kerr. Khaleem Hyland, missed a great chance to equalise by firing wide but Aurtis Whitley, who took a ball headed out from defence, hit a spectacular shot to tie the game.
|46' Aklie Edwards|
|9.||Aurtis Whitley (capt.)|
|8.||Kerry Baptiste 59 '|
|77' Osei Telesford|
|59' Jamal Gay|
|46'||Aklie Edwards for Akeem Adams|
|59'||Jamal Gay for Randi Patterson|
|77'||Osei Telesford for Kerry Baptiste|