T&T make mas with Antilles ...open World Cup journey with 5-0 victory at stadium
By SHAUN FUENTES
TRINIDAD and Tobago footballers got the result
they were hoping for to kick off their
2002 World Cup qualifying campaign when they outclassed the Netherlands Antilles 5-0
at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo yesterday.
Playing before an enthusiastic crowd of around
8,000, double strikes from Gold Cup "All
Star" Arnold Dwarika (63rd & 85th) and Angus Eve (42nd & 60th) and an opening item
from defender Marvin Andrews (19th minute) left new coach Ian Porterfield and his
fellow technical partners pleased.
The Soca Warriors however could have gone into
the away leg on March 18 with a goal
advantage in double figures.
Even Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke
was monitoring the action from England.
"I was very pleased with the performance even though there are still things we have to
improve on. In general I was very happy with the attitude of the players and their
approach to the game when you consider how much time I had to them to prepare.
"We scored five nice goals and we probably
could have scored five more. But that's not
a problem. It's a great start and I'm happy," said Porterfield after the match.
"The main thing was not getting complacent
after the Gold Cup. We did really well and
we deserved to win," said captain Anthony Rougier.
In the midst of the annual Carnival celebrations
and the presence of several soca artistes
including David Rudder, Superblue, Machel Montano, Chinese Laundry, Iwer George and
others, the red clad fans saw their team in command almost from the opening whistle of
Honduran referee Agillo Sabillos.
The Dutchmen survived a penalty appeal when
Eve went down in the 12th minute but six
minutes later, their misery began when his free kick from the left was headed into the left
corner past goalkeeper Marcello Pisas by Andrews.
Porterfield said that the first goal of the
qualifying tournament worldwide resulted from a
set play that was practised in Friday's training session.
Defenders Brent Sancho and Sherwyn Julien were
the only two starting members who
were not in the original World Cup roster and though there were instances of
misunderstanding among the team at times they never in trouble
Eve playing up front alongside Dwarika, saw his header go wide in the 20th minute and
chose to pass to the Joe Public striker in the 30th only for his shot to be deflected over
A few minutes the same combination followed
but the result was the same.
Eve then had the fans celebrating a second
time when he met a pass by midfielder
Russell Latapy before evading a challenge from the advancing 'keeper to bury into an
The Netherlands who were robust in their challenges,
hardly threatened the T&T goal
leaving goalkeeper Clayton Ince a spectator for much of the game.
Following two misses by Dwarika inside the
first five minutes after the break, Eve
notched his second item when Sancho found Mason wide on the left before his cross was
neatly headed home by the Chester City man.
After flying in from Portugal on Friday, Sancho,
who later received a rousing ovation
from the fans and a handshake from Porterfield on his exit near the end, almost put his
name on the scoresheet but Pisas held onto a close range attempt.
T&T were all over their opponents but Pisas
and his defenders were fortunate not to
concede much more.
Dwarika put T&T 4-0 ahead after captain
Rougier attempted to go forward and the ball
ran nicely for him to shake off a defender and rifle a right- footer past a stranded Pisas.
Bristol Rovers striker Nigel Pierre replaced
Eve and was left kicking his heels after
squandering at least four scoring opportunities.
In the 78th Pisas kept out his close range
attempt and he fired over bar soon after.
Dwarika got the fifth of the evening when he hit a low effort into the unprotected net
after shaking off Pisas.
Later Pierre's downward header would bounce
over bar and after Pisas failed to hold
Latapy's shot cleanly, the 20-year-old directed wide.
But five seemed to be enough and the fans were
all too happy dancing to the sounds of
soca and pan after as a mini steelband followed the team bus out of the stadium.
Trinidad and Tobago skipper Anthony Rougier
and his teammates got just the start they
wanted to this year's 2002 World Cup qualifying campaign yesterday evening at the
Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The men in red, white and black all but paved
their way to the second phase of the series
after steamrollering the Netherlands Antilles 5-0 in the first leg of their opening round
Defender Marvin Andrews started the ball rolling
in the 19th minute with the first goal of
the competition while midfielders Angus Eve and Arnold Dwarika each had doubles in
And unless the Netherlands can initiate a miraculous turnaround for the second leg on
March 18, they might as well pack up their World Cup gear now.
However, while the win was a big and historic
one, Rougier and his men should not be
too over enthusiastic about it for they are still far off from their ultimate goal.
They also cannot be too overly happy about their overall performance either.
Against an out-of-depth Dutch side, T&T
took at least a third of the first half to get into
When they finally sorted themselves out, they
overwhelmed their opponents. And had it
not been for poor finishing, especially towards the end of the game and in particular by
substitute striker Nigel Pierre, the estimated 8,500 fans could have had a lot more goals to
Still, having come through a chaotic week in
the wake of the Gold Cup in which they lost
former coach Bertille St Clair, Rougier and his side could not have asked for more.
Early on, newly-appointed coach Ian Porterfield's
decision to bring defender Brent
Sancho, who made his senior debut, Sherwyn Julien into the starting XI and use Eve up
front with Dwarika while putting Mason into the midfield, caused some teething
However, a set play would present them with
the opening opportunity. Andrews lined up
outside the six metre box as Eve swerved in a left side free kick and arrived unmarked
on the far side to head past Netherlands goalie Marcello Pisas.
Andrews thus had the honour of being the first
player to score a goal in the World Cup
qualifying tournament. The goal brought more spunk to T&T's step but it would not be
until three minutes from halftime that they got another goal through Eve.
The England-based midfielder collected a fine
looping ball over the defence from Russell
Latapy, who shrugged off the effects of a nagging groin injury to commandeer the
middle, then evaded a tackle from advancing goalie Pisas before shooting past defender
Raleigh Francisca on the line.
In the second half it was more of the same
as T&T searched for a hefty goal advantage.
Eve got another in the 57th minute before Dwarika increased the scoreline to 4-0 six
minutes later and, by then, the crowd was thirsty for another barrage of goals.
But it would not come as, of the many goals
created thereafter, only one was converted
by Dwarika four minutes from time.
T&T 5 (Marvin Andrews 19th, Angus Eve 42nd
& 57th, Arnold Dwarika 63rd & 86th) v
Netherlands Antilles 0
T&T-Clayton Ince, Shurland David, Marvin
Andrews, Brent Sancho (Avery John 86th),
Ansil Elcock (Mickey Trotman 75th), Sherwyn Julien, Anthony Rougier, Russell Latapy,
Stokely Mason, Arnold Dwarika, Angus Eve (Nigel Pierre 70th)
Netherlands-Marcello Pisas, Tayron Mongen,
Gerrison Hooi, Eugene Martha, Ellis
Orgena, Criston Brunkard, Simon Bonevacia, Michael Martina, Ingemar Soliana, Sharlon
Brazil, Jersley Troeman (Subs) Joshua Bicentini (60th), Manuel Rekondie (60th), Raleigh
By MARK POUCHET
There was no protest when Trinidad and Tobago
football squad took on the Netherlands
In fact, in the mood of the carnival season,
there was alot of celebration. From the
participants in the $ 150 all-inclusive lime to the VIPs in the Hasely Crawford Stadium
and to the red tee shirt-clad "Trini" supporters, all were in festive fettle.
An hour before the game started, Iwer George,
Tony Chin Lin On, Machel Montano,
Super Blue and David Rudder set the stage .And the fives times that Anthony Rougier's
team put the ball into the Netherlands' net, the fans proceeded to "take a jump up".
By the time the final whistle had blown George
returned to sing his hit song this season
"Carnival come back again" and responded to each instruction the much-adored soca
And so despite the perceived mishandling of
the Bertille St Clair sacking bythe TTFF,
T&T football was celebrated in the spirit of the season.