Trinidad and Tobago vs Canada

Out go T&T, under 23 team

     TRINIDAD and Tobago Under-23 footballers' hopes of playing in the 2000 Sydney
     Olympic Games went crashing last night when they went under to Canada 2-0 at
     Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

     Going into the match needing a point to advance to the final qualifying round with
     Guatemala, T&T fell to strikes by Steve Kindel (33rd minute) and Paul Stalteri on the
     stroke of full time.

     T&T paid dearly for failing to make better use of some early chances with Hector Sam
     being the main culprit.
     His partner Lebanon based Errol McFarlane Jnr hardly had a look at goal.
     Canada, needing a victory to advance, got the go-ahead goal when Jeffery Clarke
     crossed from the right for Kindel to head past goalkeeper Ryan Edwards.

     With the second half starting under a drizzle, the Canadians were content on defending
     that one-goal advantage while T&T went into desperation as the minutes ticked away.
     With the alarm bells ringing and the ghost of a 1-0 loss to the Canadians in the Gold
     Cup semi-finals last month seeming to have returned, a mishap by defender Keyeno
     Thomas made matters worse.

     Thomas carelessly gave up possession of the ball on the right which allowed Kindel to
     cross for Stalteri, a member of their winning Gold Cup side, to bury a shot past a
     hopeless Edwards from close up.

     Coach Anton Corneal's teams hopes were dashed at that stage and to add insult to
     injury they were reduced to 10 men when defender Brent Sancho vented his frustration
     by slamming the ball onto the turf after having a foul called against him.

     Canada and Guatemala advanced to the final stage of qualification in the United States
     in May while T&T's main aim is now going through to the 2002 Japan/Korea World

     Earlier in the evening, Guatemala slammed the Netherlands Antilles 9-1 with Fredd
     Carera leading their charge with six goals,to top the three-team standings with seven
     points - the same as Canada, who had an inferior goal difference.
     T&T came next with four points, followed by a pointless Netherlands Antilles.

Canada boot out T&T


     THEY won.

     They drew.

     Then they lost.

     Now the Trinidad and Tobago under-23 team's Olympic campaign is over. With their
     2-0 defeat at the hands of Canada Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, the T&T
     team finished third in Group A behind the visitors from North America and Guatemala.

     The Latin Americans, greatly assisted by striker Fredd Carrera's six goal effort, had
     earlier demolished the Netherland Antilles 9-1 in the first game. And that means that
     both Canada and Guatemala now move through to the final stage of the Confederation
     qualification series to be held in the US in May.

     Going into the game, coach Anton Corneal's squad led the four-team table with four
     points from two matches.

     And needing a single point to secure a berth to the final leg, captain Travis Mulraine
     and his teammates were denied a point by strikes from Steven Kindel (33rd) and Paul
     Stalteri (89).

     But as had happened to the senior squad in their Gold Cup semi-final game versus
     Canada, they had only themselves to blame.

     Forward Hector Sam was guilty of wasting a chance, overpushing when Carlos
     Edwards released him through the middle of the Canadian defence. And keeper Mike
     Franks collected with no problem.

     But soon after the Canadians made the breakthrough.

     An errant pass from T&T in midfield allowed Jeffrey Clarke to run down the right flank
     and deliver a curling cross to Kindel whose diving header beat keeper Ryan Edwards
     at the near post.

     The second half saw T&T pressing desperately for the all essential equaliser. That's
     when Keyeno Thomas committed a grave error.

     His intended backheel to Derek King was underweighted, allowing Kindel to cross to
     an unmarked Stalteri who sidefooted home from close range.

     In time added on Brent Sancho was given marching orders for dissent. But by that time
     it mattered no longer.

     The T&T Olympic dream was not to be realised.