Vincy Heat cools under Soca Warriors
November 19, 2004
Vincy Heat cools under Soca Warriors

St. Vincent and the Grenadines senior footballers will now have to look to the Digicel Cup to bring their compatriots a long overdue glory.

“Vincy Heat” faltered in their quest to advance to the final stage of the CONCACAF zone of the World Cup qualifiers Wednesday. {{more}}

The Vincentians, who needed to achieve the monumental task of defeating Trinidad and Tobago by three goals, instead went under 1-2, at the Haseley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, last Wednesday evening.

After taking the attack to their hosts from the start, the Vincentians, from reports, missed out on some easy goal scoring opportunities in the first half.

Within the first seven minutes, Vincy Heat had three open chances which went a begging.

In an all out attack, the Vincentians had the Trinidadians on the defensive for most of the half.

This early showing lifted the hopes of many Vincentians who journeyed to the twin island republic to give moral support to their players.

The Vincentians broke free soon after the resumption, when speedy forward Shandell Samuel’s shot on a counter attack was finished by substitute Renson Haynes in the 49th minute to put Vincy Heat one up. The US-based Haynes had replaced Marlon James.

Pressed to get the other two goals, the Vincies seemed to lose some of the heat, while the goal spurred the Trinidadians into action.

Vincentian goalkeeper Melvin Andrews kept his team in the match with some instinctive saves.

The Soca Warriors’ coach, Bertille St. Claire, made some changes that proved to be decisive, while his opposite number Zoran Vranes was forced to readjust his formidable back four.

An injury to Captain Ezra Hendrickson, saw the injection of Benford Joseph, who was placed in the left back position with Wesley Charles taking up the right back position.

Substitute Hector Sam’s shot in the 84th minute took a deflection to put the teams on level pegging.

But Vincy Heat could have rebounded immediately, but again the old problem of not scoring was evident. Veteran forward Alwyn Guy hit wide after having a clear opening.

Angus Eve who, like Sam, was brought on in the second half, scored the winner in injury time.

The goal resulted in a free kick close to the Vincentians’ penalty, awarded after defender Charles floored a Trinidadian forward. Charles was given a red card by Guatemalan referee Carlos Batres for his tackle. The Trinidadians took advantage of the numerical advantage and scored the winner. They too ended the match with a man short after midfielder Avery John was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Trinidad and Tobago, with 12 points, took the runner-up spot to Mexico from Group C. Both advanced to join the USA, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala, to the final stage.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines ended with six points, to record their best showing thus far in a World Cup campaign.

Searchlight’s sports editor, William “Kojah” Anthony, who witnessed the match, said that Vincentians acquitted themselves well and won the hearts of many Trinidadians, who opined the team has a lot of pedigree.

He further stated that the Vincentians showed up many of the weaknesses in the Trinidad and Tobago team.

Anthony’s trip was facilitated by the General Employees Co-operative Credit Union (GECCU).