Trinidad and Tobago reverse fortunes to dispatch Monserrat in bid for Gold Cup group spot

Trinidad and Tobago 6 Monserrat 1

July 2 – Trinidad and Tobago’s players put the off-field soap opera of their federation’s disastrous administration behind them with an emphatic 6-1 win over Monserrat in the First Round of the 2021 Gold Cup Prelims on Friday night at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

A win on Tuesday against French Guiana will see them qualify for the Gold Cup group stages and rescue what has been a miserable return to international football that saw them fail to qualify for the final round of Qatar 2022 qualifiers in June.

The off field problems were referenced by new coach Angus Eve who was drafted in to take over from the controversial English coach Terry Fenwick. Fenwick had presided over the worst loss in Trinidad and Tobago’s history against a third string US side and effectively lost the dressing room during the World Cup qualifiers.

Trinidad and Tobago

It was a football nation desperately in need of some good football news and while taking the scalp of Monserrat won’t rank as a major win, Monserrat nevertheless had the potential to cause an upset having managed a draw against El Salvador in World Cup qualifying.

Eve said in the pre-match press conference that “a lot of the off field issues had really affected the team, but (with the coaching change) the enthusiasm and refocus of the team has been brilliant. We want to show we are still to be reckoned with within the region.”

Certainly the rumours of their death now look to be exaggerated. Gold Cup qualification won’t restore the glory years of France 98 World Cup qualification, but it will certainly keep them in the company they believe they should be keeping.

Trinidad talisman Joevin Jones, who plays his club football for Inter Miami in the MLS, was unavailable due to injury but his leadership presence around the squad is such that the players held up a shirt with the letters JJ in the pre-match team photo.

The first goal arrived in the 21stminute with Kevin Molino scoring from the penalty spot after a foul on Aubrey David in the Montserrat area. On 35 minutes Marcus Joseph caught Montserrat goalkeeper Corrin Brooks off his line and flighted in a shot from 40 yards out.

The Monserrat challenge was wilting despite the threat of Nottingham Forest forward Lyle Taylor. When Ryan Telfer hammered in a right-footed shot on the stroke of half time to put Trinidad three up it looked like game over.

Monserrat

Montserrat coach Willie Donachie has put together a group predominantly from the lower English leagues who know how to battle and who came out fighing in the second half. On 55 minutes Lyle Taylor headed in after Spencer Weir’s shot deflected off the crossbar and suddenly a famous comeback looked like it could be on the cards.

It was shortlived. Trinidad and Tobago reasserted control two minutes later when Judah Garcia latched on to a long ball to make it 4-1. Reon Moore, coming off the bench then wrapped the game up with a right footed finish in the 68thminute and second goal on 82 minutes.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1660700393labto1660700393ofdlr1660700393owedi1660700393sni@n1660700393osloh1660700393cin.l1660700393uap1660700393

 


Grp AWDLFAPts
Mexico210407
El Salvador201416
Trinidad and Tobago021132
Guatemala012161
Grp BWDLFAPts
USA300819
Canada201826
Haiti102363
Martinique0033120
Grp CWDLFAPts
Costa Rica300629
Jamaica201426
Suriname102353
Guadeloupe003170
Grp DWDLFAPts
Qatar210837
Honduras201736
Panama111874
Grenada0031110

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