by Rohan âRoachieâ Thomas
When striker Shandell Samuel shot wide in the 34th minute from within the 18 yard box, hopes of St. Vincent and the Grenadines gaining their first win at this stage of the World Cup campaign, were lifted to the heights of La Soufriere.##M[more]##
Second half substitute Howie Williams, sent clear by Alwyn Guy, in the 70th minute, also hit the ball wide with Trinidadian Goalkeeper Daurance William beaten. Williams had replaced veteran midfielder Tyrone Prince in the 65th minute. The 23-year-old playing his fourth international match immediately stamped his impression on the match.
But the expectations of approximately 6000 Vincentian supporters at Arnos Vale Playing Field were dashed when Errol Mc Farlane’s shot beat goalkeeper, Fitz-Gerald Bramble in the 79th minute. The Lebanon-based Mc Farlane pounced on a loose ball after the Vincentian defence failed to clear.
Trinidad and Tobago went ahead after for most of the second half, they were on the back foot, as SVG searched for the go ahead goal with great intent. The Vincentian back four of Captain Ezra Hendrickson, Matthew Forde, Wesley Charles and Cornelius Huggins held firm up to that point. They negated the forays by the much-fancied Stern John, Angus Eve and Arnold Dwarika. Forde and Huggins were outstanding in centre back position.
The Trinidadian trio with deft touches created some concerns in the first period. Dwarika, his country’s 1999 Footballer of the Year looked the part.
At the other end, English based Rodney ‘Chang’ Jack twisted and turned his opponents’ defence with consummate ease. The 31-year-old Jack, a new signee with Oldham Athletic in the English First Division was playing his first representative for his country since 2000.
His efforts though came to nought as,
Mc Farlane scored again in the 86th minute, with a rasping left foot shot.
This goal put a look of despondency on the faces of some Vincentians, many of whom chose an early exit from the venue.
In a different mood, the posse of Trinidad supporters stationed in the Frankie Thomas Pavilion increased their vocal support, accompanied by a pan round the neck steelband, which played with more vigor.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Head Coach Aide Shaw remarked at the end of the match that he could “not fault the lads as they gave 100 percent”.
However, Shaw believes that at this stage of the team’s progress, players have to take responsibility.
He was referring to missed opportunities by his team.
He contended that “we deserved to win the match but did not take the chances.”
Shaw’s opposite number Bertille St. Claire thought his team played well but played “too slow.”
St. Claire, a former coach of SVG was high in praise of his opponents claiming “they played well” but was happy that his team won.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines face Central American giant Mexico, September 4, in the high altitude Mexico City.
The local players travel to Miami August 29,for three days training, before heading for Mexico.
Trinidad and Tobago face St. Kitts in Basseterre, the following day as Group C of
the CONCACAF Zone continues.
Starting line-ups were: SVG- Fitz- Gerald Bramble, Matthew Forde, Wesley Charles, Ezra Hendrickson, Cornelius Huggins, Vincent John, Tyrone Prince, Kenlyn Gonsalves, Kendall Velox, Rodney Jack, Shandell Samuel.
Trinidad and Tobago: Duarance Williams, Marlon Rojas, Dennis Lawrence, Marvin Andrews, Brent Sancho, Arnold Dwarika, Anthony Rougier, Errol MC Farlane, Stern John, Angus Eve, and Kenwyne Jones.
by Rohan âRoachieâ Thomas