Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior footballers put in an encouraging performance but it was not enough to have an effect on Jamaica’s impeccable home record as the “Reggae Boyz” labored to a 1-0 victory at the National Stadium, Kingston on Sunday night.
There was a lot going on in the pre-match build up to the encounter with both teams continuing their keen rivalry and preparing for the Digicel Caribbean Cup. And it turned out that Dane Richards’ 19th minute penalty was all that separated both teams on the night.
It was the visitors who made the brighter start of the two teams as striker Devorn Jorsling almost silenced the home fans inside the first minute when his fierce left footer effort brought the best out of goalkeeper Richard McCallum as he pushed around the left post.
T&T did in fact enjoy the better of the early exchanges with Cornell Glen firing well wide after a good switch over from the left in the 10th minute.
T&T custodian Jan Michael Williams was solid for much of the encounter and did well to parry away an effort in the 12th minute. He also pushed away another effort from Eric Vernan as Jamaica began to assert themselves after going ahead from the penalty spot. That resulted when Marvin Morgan was adjudged to have been brought down by Daneil Cyrus in the 18th minute. Marshall stepped up to hit home on Williams’s left side.
After that, Glen had a powerful header well pushed out by McCallum in the 22nd minute from a Trent Noel corner. And debutant Morgan then sidefooted over bar close to the break as Jamaica tried to stretch their advantage and get their fans back into the match after they went silent for long periods.
Lester Peltier started on the left for T&T but never settled while defender Yohance Marshall made a pleasing debut at the heart of the T&T defense. DC United’s Julius James did not start after recovering from a virus late on the eve of the encounter. He did however enter the match in the second half in place of Cyrus.
T&T again had the better of the exchanges as the match resumed after half time and forced two consecutive corners after Leon’s effort was deflected just wide of the right post following a good combination between Daniel and Jorsling. And the introduction of midfielder Hughtun Hector and Keon Daniel added some added zip to the T&T attack as they went in search of an equalizer. The workhorse Anthony Wolfe dropped into a more defensive position as the second half progressed.
Left back Jovin Jones was one of the positives for T&T with his intelligent play and he had the opportunity to roam up the flank some more in the second half.
On 64 minutes, Glen got possession from Shavar Thimas ball deep in the Jamaica half but opted at squaring for a lurking Jorsling instead of cutting back and hitting at goal. The eventual cross was collected by the goalie.
T&T kept on pressing and Jamaica also had a goal ruled offside in the 73rd minute when Dever Orgill slotted home and Williams had to do well to prevent Ryan Johnson’s effort from going in soon after. Marshall also did well to get in the way of Orgill’s close range effort which led to a T&T counter attack as Daniel sent a diagonal ball up field, releasing Glen behind the Jamaican defense but McCallum was quickly off his line to deny the charging forward.
Daniel had a right footer deflected to McCallum in the 87th and Jorsling also had a one time left footed shot go inches wide of the near left post. In added on time, substitute Jamal Gay had a weak flick on header go straight to McCallum. The T&T players acknowledged the presence of the 60 odd T&T fans in the open stands who seemed far from dismayed with T&T's showing on the evening.
T&T line up Jan Michael Williams, Yohance Marshall, Jovin Jones, Daneil Cyrus (Julius James 85'), Kern Cupid (Hayden Tinto 78'), Trent Noel, Clyde Leon (Hughtun Hector 68'), Anthony Wolfe, Lester Peltier (Keon Daniel 46',) Cornell Glen, Devorn Jorsling (Jamal Gay 78')