THE prolific goalscoring form of Stern John could not prevent
Trinidad and Tobago from going down 3-2 to Honduras in a friendly soccer
international at the Morazan Stadium in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday night.
John, who agreed to join English First Division side Nottingham Forest earlier this week, arrived in Honduras on Wednesday morning and was hardly a threat before finding the net in the 61st and 90th minutes. But that was not enough to save T&T from their first defeat in ten internationals for the year.
It was not the result T&T fans would be enjoying today which marks the tenth anniversary since T&T's hopes of qualifying for the 1990 World Cup in Italy were dashed in a 1-0 loss to the United States on November 19, 1989.
T&T moved a step up to 40th in the latest FIFA world rankings released on Wednesday.
T&T were never allowed to settle by the quick running Hondurans. A shot by Joe Public midfielder Arnold Dwarika which went straight to the Honduran goalkeeper was the closest they would get to scoring.
The homeside, backed by a 23,000 strong crowd, took a 42nd minute lead when a lapse by defender Shurland David allowed striker Wilmer Velasquez to turn defender Derek King before rifling home a right-footer past Hislop.
That would have appeared to be the wake up call, but T&T never woke up as John was policed throughout proceedings. Rougier was the most composed of the T&T players up to that point.
The pattern of the "Soca Warriors" play continued in the second half. Hislop was called into action at least five times before John spurned an equalising opportunity in the 63rd minute.
Marcelle, who took Angus Eve's place in midfield, threaded a ball wide to Nixon, whose cross fell for John, but luckily for the Hondurans, the striker's finishing skills deserted him as he shot over bar from inside the 18-yard box.
After John's effort forced the 'keeper to push out, Nixon swung a pass from the left for John to head home the equaliser from close range in the 71st.
Mickey Trotman and Gary Glasgow entered T&T's attack but the Hondurans would go for the kill and T&T were left hanging.
A foul by Shurland David on Ronald Clavesquin resulted in the same player banging a 81st minute penalty past substitute 'keeper Kelvin Jack.
Two minutes later , T&T lost possession in the opposition half and a quick break by the home side led to Hesler Philips clinically hitting a low right-footer home from the edge of the box.
John lived up to his reputation and notched his second two minutes into injury time when Trotman's shot came off the 'keeper for him to stab home.