By SHAUN FUENTES
A TWO-MINUTE burst which brought two goals
from Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and Arnold
Dwarika had the Hasely Crawford Stadium rocking.
But a late goal by Haitian Golman Pierre left
Trinidad and Tobago in a somewhat uneasy state after yesterday's
3-1 victory in a third round 2002 World Cup qualifying match.
Just as some of the 20,000 plus fans began exiting the Stadium with T&T up 3-0, Wilfrid Montilas saw an
attempted shot fall in the path of dangerman Pierre who ran past the flatfooted defence to hit past goalkeeper
New full time captain Russell Latapy and his
Soca Warriors will now have to ensure anything but a 2-0 loss in the
return leg on May 19.
Earlier on, T&T almost grabbed a fifth
minute lead when Latapy's left side cross found Yorke's head but the ball
grazed the crossbar on its way over.
T&T looked more likely to score , but the Haitians were in no mood to go down without a fight.
Marvin Andrews sent T&T ahead 1-0 in the
34th minute, his third World Cup goal to top off an exceptional
evening's work in defence as well.
He rose nicely above the Haitian defence to head home Latapy's left side corner past goalkeeper Geteau
The Haitians responded and forced goalkeeper
Clayton Ince into action soon after.
Jean Menelas saw his header pushed out by the Crewe Alexandra custodian and a minute later he grabbed
Roosevelt Desir's long range shot on the second attempt.
The local defence was shaky at times but stable
enough to hold off the Haitians.
Dwarika started alongside Yorke in place of Nottingham Forest striker Stern John, and made little impact in the
first 45 minutes.
Midfielder Dennis Lawrence made way for John
at halftime, with Dwarika dropping into the midfield and Anthony
Rougier going into defence.
The fans came to see John and Yorke up front
and were not disappointed.
The Haitians however enjoyed the better of the early second half.
Substitute Vladamir Edouard had a shot on the
run just wide of the right post.
T&T woke up and almost got their second in the 50th minute when John shot into the side netting from a difficult
angle on the right.
A combination of passes between Yorke, "Latas"
and John resulted in Angus Eve's shot being blocked by an
Then in the 72nd minute, Yorke, won a free
kick and sent one through for John who quickly turned a defender
before being brought down inside the 18-yard-box.
Dwarika comfortably converted the penalty awarded by Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast.
Popular local nuts vendor, Jumbo, led a Mexican
wave around the ground and two minutes after John broke the
offside trap to collect Dwarika's right side cross before his effort came off the left post.
Yorke who had been policed throughout by Bruny
Richard, had the simple task of tapping home the rebound, to
spark wild celebrations.
But Pierre caused some silence with his late strike
This was the chant from newly-appointed Trinidad and Tobago skipper Russell Latapy and his teammates after
they took care of Haiti 3-1 in the first leg of their 2002 third round World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford
Stadium yesterday evening.
The result means that Haiti will have to beat
T&T by two clear goals in the return leg on May 19 in
But while their first mission has been accomplished,
the men in red, white and black cannot rest easy after another
below par performance.
Indeed, had it not been for substitute Stern
John, T&T may well have not had a substantial cushion to talk about
Surprisingly, left out of the starting XI by
coach Ian Porterfield, John came on in the second half and created the
two goals which may eventually take T&T through to the semi-final round of the Football Confederation series.
The 23-year-old Nottingham Forest striker brought
an estimated 20,000 crowd to life in the 74th minute when he
induced Haitian defender Bruny Pierre Richard to bring him down in the box after collecting a through ball from
England-based teammate Dwight Yorke inside the penalty area.
Jamaican referee Peter Pendergast did not hesitate
once John, who had turned deftly on Pierre Richard, hit the
turf. And Arnold Dwarika made no mistake from the spot, beating keeper Geteau Ferdinand to his right to put the
home team up 2-0.
Three minutes later there was even more euphoria
when Yorke scored the goal that should have slammed the
door shut on Haiti.
Once again it was John who set up the chance.
Collecting a right-side cross from Dwarika inside the penalty box
after beating the off-side trap, John shot goalward as keeper Ferdinand rushed off his line for a block.
The keeper partially blocked the ball but could
only look on helplessly as it banged off the first post and
rebounded to Yorke who had the simple task of tapping into an empty net for his first goal of the campaign.
This was the signal the crowd needed to begin wild celebrations. Until then, they had to be coaxed into cheering
the team on by nutsman “Jumbo”.
In a 3-5-2 set, Porterfield’s decision to go
with both Anthony Rougier and Dennis Lawrence—both stronger
defensively—in the middle of the park with Latapy, left the brunt of the work to the Little Magician. Wingers
Stokely Mason (left) and Angus Eve (right) also failed to provide the impetus needed early on, especially with the
latter seeing very little of the ball and the former having an under par day.
Still, T&T managed to dominate most of
the play, but the Haitians—led by key midfielder Sebastien
Vorbe—were unable to crack the T&T defence commandeered by Man of the Match Marvin Andrews.
But, having seen the few chances his teammates
created go abegging, Andrews provided the initial spark T&T
needed in the 34th minute.
Taking up his position just inside the penalty
area as Latapy took a curling left-side corner, Andrews rushed into
the six metre box and rose above the defence to beat Ferdinand with a well placed header.
Then came John’s sterling entrance in the second half.
But even after they were down 3-0, the Haitians
refused to die. And that determination paid off on the stroke of
full time when striker Golman Pierre beat T&T keeper Clayton Ince, who until then had had a brilliant game, to
give his team a possible life line for the return leg.
T&T 3 (Marvin Andrews 34th, Arnold Dwarika
74th penalty, Dwight Yorke 77th) v Haiti 1 (Golman Pierre
T&T—Clayton Ince, Shurland David, Marvin
Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Stokely Mason, Anthony Rougier, Dennis
Lawrence (Stern John 46th), Angus Eve, Russell Latapy, Arnold Dwarika (Carlos Edwards 85th), Dwight Yorke
Haiti—Geteau Ferdinand, Jean Roland Dartiguenave,
Bruny Pierre Richard, Roosevelt Desir, Ernst Athis (Wilfrid
Montilas 78th), Franz Gilles, Sebastien Vorbe, Carlo Marcelin, Chrismonor Thelusma, Golman Pierre, Jean
Rebert Menalas (Vladimir Edouard 46th)
By Kevin Keeley
internetsoccer.com Coordinating Editor
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad (7 May 2000) -- A packed
Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, saw
Trinidad & Tobago come away with a thrilling 3-1 victory over Haiti in the first leg of a crucial World Cup
Perhaps the most talented squad that Trinidad
& Tobago has ever fielded put on an impressive offensive display,
and certainly could have come away with a larger margin of victory.
T&T's first shot on goal was nearly the
game's first goal, as Dwight Yorke headed a throw-in from the left side
just over the bar five minutes in.
In the eighth minute, Dennis Lawrence and Dwight
Yorke collided just inside the six-yard box, with both players
getting a head on the ball, but the shot off the combined effort trickled just wide of the left post. Lawrence looked
to have been injured on the play, but returned to action after spending just a few moments on the sideline.
Trinidad & Tobago struggled to find the
back of the net for much of the first half, despite a number of scoring
opportunities. The home side penetrated deep into Haitian territory throughout the half, but their crosses
continually ended up in the hands of Haiti keeper Geteau Ferdinand.
Russell Latapy created a dangerous chance in
the 17th minute, as he turned his corner kick from the left into a 1-2
with Stokely Mason and then sent a cross into the middle of the box, where Dwight Yorke was waiting.
Ferdinand managed a nice diving save, however, to keep the world-class striker from getting a touch on the ball.
Latapy and Yorke again nearly teamed up a few
minutes later, when Yorke played a ball to the Hibernian
midfielder in the center of the area. Latapy was knocked to the ground by a Haitian defender -- which had the
frenzied crowd screaming for a penalty -- but Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast called for a goal kick rather
than a penalty.
Haiti's Chrismonor Thelusma picked up a caution in the 18th minute coming in hard on a tackle in the midfield.
T&T's relentless attack finally produced
results in the 33rd minute, as Marvin Andrews sent a beautifully-placed
header into the left side of the net, off a corner from Russell Latapy. Andrews set up the scoring scenario
moments earlier, when his header on goal forced Ferdinand to tip the ball over the bar for the crucial corner kick.
Four minutes later, T&T midfielder Angus
Eve, with Yorke trailing, broke through on a one-on-one with the
Ferdinand, who tripped up Eve, but again the crowd's pleas for a PK fell on deaf ears. Haiti, who played a
respectable first half, nearly equalized two minutes short of halftime, when the aptly-named Golman Pierre sent a
header on goal that appeared headed into the left side of the net. However, Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper
Clayton Ince came up with a brilliant diving save to knock the ball wide left for a corner.
Just moments later, Ince was forced to put
forth another Herculean effort to keep Haiti off the board, as he turned
away a rocket of a shot from Jean Rebert Manelas, and then pounced on the rebound before Pierre could get to
Trinidad & Tobago continued to control
the majority of play after the break, and their second goal came in the
73rd minute, when Nottingham Forest striker Stern John was taken down in the box by Haitian defender Carlo
Marcelin. The foul resulted in a yellow card for Marcelin, as well as a T&T penalty kick, which Arnold Dwarika
drilled low into the right side of the net.
Dwight Yorke made it 3-0 just three minutes
later. Stern John created the play when he dribbled past Ferdinand
on the left side of the box and hit the left post with a shot from an awkward angle, and Yorke was all alone in
front of the net to knock home his first goal of the 2000 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Haiti refused to fold, however, and kept chipping away at the T&T defense in hopes of a crucial away goal.
They nearly got it in the 80th minute, when
Pierre sent a header on goal that Ince had no chance at getting to, but
the shot hit the left post and T&T survived Haiti's best scoring opportunity to that point. Moments later, Pierre had
another header in front of the goal, but it floated just over the bar.
The hard work from Pierre, undoubtedly the
most dangerous player in a white uniform, paid off in injury time, as
he beat the offside trap and then drilled a shot past Ince from just beyond the penalty spot for that critical away
Defender Marvin Andrews, who scored the opening
goal for Trinidad & Tobago and also turned in a strong
performance on the back line, was named American Airlines Man of the Match.
T&T and Haiti will meet again in two weeks'
time in Port-au-Prince, for the second leg of this World Cup
qualifying tie. The winner of the two-leg tie moves on to the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying, into a
difficult group that definitely will include Mexico, and likely will feature Canada and Honduras. The loser moves
into the Interregional qualifying group.