|Issue No. 1175||Monday, October 4, 1999||Copyright 1999 The Trinidad Publishing Company Limited|
By EVERARD GORDON
TRINIDAD and Tobago Under-23 footballers yesterday defeated Barbados 4-1 in the first leg of an 2000 Olympic Games qualifier at the Centre of Excellence ground at Macoya.
Hardly had the appreciative crowd settled, when Kenwyn Jemmott neatly converted a Hector Sam cross to give T&T the lead in the third minute.
The start of the match saw T&T dominating the exchanges but had a second goal disallowed for an off-side infringement.
Sam ran rings around the Barbadian defenders but just could not convert the efforts.
It was no surprise when the Barbadians equalised, as there were many defensive blunders in the T&T backline and Christopher Holmes evened the score in the 23rd minute.
Sam and Brent Sancho were the outstanding players for the homesters prompting and promoting attacks.
Sam impressed with his spectacular runs and Sancho with his good reading of the game and strong tackles.
On the half hour, captain Travis Mulraine was on hand to convert a right-side cross from Sam to put his team ahead again.
Just 12 minutes later, Nigel Pierre scored the goal of the match.
He collected a pass from Marlon Rojas, just in the Barbados half of the field, outsprinted the defence for about 20 yards and shot a powerful left-footed bullet into the upper right-hand corner of the goal from about 25 yards.
The goalkeeper, David Forde had no chance.
The second half did not match the first and most of the action was in midfield. T&T must be concerned about the defence but made up in attack for most of the time.
Yet when the Barbadians did they looked more dangerous and the home team looked vulnerable.
T&T had the misfortune of having another goal disallowed for an offside infringement.
However in the 78th minute, after a good build-up with five passes strung together, Mulraine let fly with a shot from a good 30 yards that rocketed into the net to make it 4-1.
The return match is scheduled for Barbados on October 17.
Yesterday's game was the first leg of the home and away qualifying series for the Sydney Olympics and T&T will be going to Barbados with a comfortable 4-1 cushion for the away match.
T&T: Jefferson George, Anton Pierre, Atiba Charles, Brent Sancho, Derek King, Travis Mulraine (capt), Jason Peters, Kenwyn Jemmott, Nigel Pierre, Carlos Edwards, Hector Sam. Reserves: Keyno Thomas, Jason Scotland, Atodele Greene. Keyno Thomas, Selwyn George, Andre Cooper, Robin Hart.
BARBADOS: David Forde, Neil Bovell, Jonathan Straker, Randy Burrowes, Llewellyn Broomes, Norman Forde, Julian Thorington, Christopher Holmes, Ramuel Miller, Ryan Lucas, Sheridan Grosvenor. Reserves: Dwayne Gale, Kent Hall, Paul Lovell. Sean Goodridge, Terry Stoute, Kirk Bourne, Mayhew Castro.