Trinidad and Tobago pulled off an emphatic 4-1 victory over thier Haitian opponents at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Wednesday night to set up a dream final against World Cup qualifiers Jamaica, who scored a golden goal in their game against Antigua and Barbuda earlier in the evening.
Trinidad started off at an electrifying pace when Clint Marcelle raced
down the right flank but his cross struck a defender. Following the rebound
and in the space of a few seconds, there was the devastating Stern John
shooting powerfully from inside the six yard box, the shot deflected off
defender but had enough in it to enter the goal as the locals went ahead after only 48 seconds.
The defending champions were in charge of proceedings early on and John missed another opportunity later on when he turned and fired wide of the mark. This chance was even easier than the one he converted earlier. Goal number two soon followed in the 14 th minute when John practically stood with the ball, with no defender pressuring him, he had enough time to pick his spot and as easy as ABC, TT were ahead by two goals.
The Haitians were beginning to get into the game after but their forwards lacked the little bit extra to trouble the Trinidad defence. Irasto Knights muffed an easy chance folllowing anice lay off from John and form a quck freee kick, John saw his shot parried by the 'keeper and taken on the second grab.
The Haitians were beginning to create opportunities and Mackenzie came closest when he was positioned in the six yard box and with only INce to beat , he blasted the shot overbar. This was a timely remainder for the Trinidad players that the Haitians were not going to lay down and die.
Then in the 44th minute, the heart of the Haitian team was wounded when
Courts Caledonia player Irasto Knights headed home after the keeper poorly
punched out a cross. The first half was partly dominated by TT but theor
opponents were still putting up a fight despite being practically out of
Clayton Ince was forced to make a couple save within the first 15 minutes of the second half. The Haitians were playing well but poor finishing by their strikers were spoiling the good work of the midfielders.
At the quarter hour mark in the second half, John had a shot pushed
out for a corner and from the resulting corner he powerfully headed in
his 10th goal of the tournament and surely now had place himself on top
of the candidates list for the MVP award. The visitors were forced to play
ten men when goalkeeper Petit injured himself in a tossle. He had to be stretchered off and being the only recognised 'keeper on the team, defender Eddie Caesar had to fill the goalkeeping position. To make matters worst, they had already utilised thier three substitutes.
Improved performance by the Trinidad team but the defence still looked a bit fragile and they will have to be a little bit more solid against the Reggae Boys on Friday.
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