TT stay ahead in World Cup campaign
J'OUVERT morning was played out in the streets of Port-of-Spain and other areas of the country late yesterday evening, as Trinidad and Tobago celebrated a 6-0 victory over Panama in the Concacaf football semifinals at the Queen's Park Oval.
T&T moved to a maximum nine points from three games and now needs two points from its remaining three to assure a spot in the final round of six.
World-renowned striker Dwight Yorke, leading the team for the first time, scored two goals to add to further strikes by Anthony Rougier, Angus Eve, Nigel Pierre and an own goal, to rock the Panamanians on an evening of rhythm and rain. "Panama look out, T&T coming to get yuh!" a group of T&T supporters chanted, minutes before kick-off.
At the final blow of Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast's whistle, another posse was chanting "Panama we sorry, now all yuh could leave in a hurry.
This one is for Russell Latapy and the party ain't stopping in T&T. We will never be showing mercy." Scores of supporters of all class and race turned out in their numbers to make the Oval a virtual sea of red.
Prime Minister Basdeo Panday and Cabinet colleagues were present, and similar to the 1-0 victory over Mexico, they were all smiles, along with FIFA vice president Jack Warner.
The game kicked off on a wet outfield and under rain, but it took just over two minutes before the first set of celebrations began.
Eve's right side free kick was well headed into the left corner of the net by Rougier, leaving goalkeeper Ricardo James without a chance. At this stage, DJ Geone's music truck was circling the Oval as T&T continued to pile on the pressure.
Eve saw a right foot free kick flash past the left post and Yorke and Jerron Nixon were creating problems for the Panamanian defenders. T&T went 2-0 ahead in the 25th minute, thanks to an own goal by Jorge Dely, twin brother of Panamanian striker Julio Dely.
Eve crossed from the left and Nixon allowed the ball to run to Yorke whose effort was blocked, before Dely turned the ball into his own net from close up. Rougier threaded a pass through for Yorke eight minutes later, but luckily for the visitors, the skipper shot wide of the left post.
The Panamanians never looked likely to trouble T&T's defence of Rougier, Ansil Elcock, Dennis Lawrence and Marvin Andrews, who all deserved credit for doing the job required.
Hibernian Lyndon Andrews took Russell Latapy's spot in the middle alongside Eve, Stokely Mason and Reynold Carrington. Goalkeeper Clayton Ince was never really tested in goal.
The scoreline read 3-0 in the 37th minute when, after Yorke was short of meeting Eve's pass, Mason won possession on the left before sending a nice cross for Yorke to control and fire a left-footer past James in goal.
The atmosphere was now electrifying as the voices rose in crescendo as half time approached. From then, there was the feeling that nothing would stop the party.
Nigel Pierre replaced Nixon in the 44th minute as the Switzerland-based striker suffered a groin strain.
On the restart, Yorke muffed a sitter after Rougier did the bulk of the work before the United hitman had his effort blocked. Then Pierre would squander two chances.
Rougier and Eve combined neatly and the latter would turn nicely catching the defence off guard before shooting home in the 60th minute.
Rougier then started a play at the back which ended with Eve flicking the ball over a defender's head and crossing for Yorke to convert. Pierre made up for his earlier misses with a delightful chip from just inside the 18-yard box to send T&T 6-0 up in the 78th minute.
Yorke, Elcock and second half substitute Carlos Edwards should have increased the scoreline but already T&T was celebrating the demolition of the Panamanians.
6 good reasons to party in rain
By IRVING WARD
NOT even heavy torrential showers could stop football fans from celebrating down Tragarete Road well into last night.
And they had a lot of reasons to get happy.
Actually, they had six of them.
Stand-in skipper Dwight Yorke and his teammates pounded six goals past a hapless Panama in their crucial Football Confederation 2002 World Cup semi-final qualifier at the Queen’s Park Oval.
The emphatic victory pushed T&T to the top of Group C with a maximum nine points from their three matches.
Mexico, who stopped Canada 2-0 on Tuesday and were tied with T&T, are now second with six points.
Canada and Panama have one point each and face a huge task to get back into the race.
That means T&T have just one more match to win or draw to make it into the next round of World Cup qualifiers.
That match is on September 3 against Canada when skipper Russell Latapy will rejoin the side.
The Oval wore red yesterday. A music truck was circling outside blaring soca and rallying 17,000 supporters.
Yorke, in his first game as captain, led by example with a double in the 36th and 62nd minutes.
Former skipper Anthony Rougier, Angus Eve and substitute Nigel Pierre scored the other three goals.
But Panamanian Jorge Dely Valdes also put the ball past his own keeper, Ricardo James, to complete a miserable day for the conquered Spanish-speaking country.
Spirits soared soon after the first whistle. People became believers right from the beginning when Rougier gave the men in red, white and black a dream start after just two minutes.
The 29-year-old utility player, given a start by coach Ian Porterfield ahead of defender Shurland David, arrived unmarked inside the six-metre box and outjumped the Panama defence to head in a right-side free kick from Eve.
Panama’s shaky defence, marshalled by Reinaldo Lewis, would prove to be their downfall. Lewis and company panicked almost every time Yorke touched the ball in the penalty area.
And so the door was opened up for other T&T players to storm in and get shots on the goal.
Still, despite the pressure applied from the T&T midfield, which included Lyndon Andrews—the suspended Latapy’s replacement—Reynold Carrington, Eve and Mason—the second goal would not come until the 26th minute.
Both Yorke and defender Dennis Lawrence were lurking inside the six-metre box when Eve delivered a left-side cross.
And when Lawrence dummied the ball, Yorke hit towards goal. Keeper James managed to block the shot but the loose ball was inadvertently put back into the net by Dely Valdes.
Ten minutes later, the 28-year-old Yorke got his first goal, trapping a left-side cross from Mason in between two defenders inside the six-metre box and hitting a right-footer into the roof of James’s net.
Porterfield was forced to replace Switzerland-based Jerren Nixon with Nigel Pierre just before the interval. And after the break, it was more of the same.
Eve was next to get his name on the scoresheet on the hour mark, running onto a through ball from Andrews (L) and rifling a shot in off the right upright of keeper James’s goalpost.
Yorke then got his second, curling a first-time right-footer around James from just inside the penalty area, off a right-side feed from Eve.
And then came Pierre. He put the ball over the head of an advancing James after Yorke sent him on a clear path to goal number six.
T&T 6 (Anthony Rougier 2nd; OG 26th; Dwight Yorke 36th & 62nd; Angus Eve 60th; Nigel Pierre 78th) v Panama 0
Trinidad beats Panama 6-0 in hometown qualifier
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Aug 16 (Reuters)(DS) - A dominant Trinidad and Tobago beat Panama 6-0 on a slippery hometown pitch Wednesday, to beat their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier group.
Anthony Rougier powered through Panama's defence to score the first goal after two minutes of play, the second coming in a confused rebound off unlucky Panama striker Jorge Dely Valdes in the 26th minute.
Manchester United player Dwight Yorke closed a strong first half for
the Caribbean side with a third goal nine minutes
A sure-footed Angus Eve found his range on a rain-swept pitch to knock
home a fourth goal against a demoralised Panama
in the 59th minute, followed two minutes later by a second goal from Yorke.
Panama, playing a man short after defender Franklin Delgado was sent
off for a foul 16 minutes before full time, let in a
last goal to substitute Nigel Pierre in the 77th minute.
Trinidad and Tobago moved to the top of CONCACAF group C with nine points
in three matches, leading rivals Mexico with
six. Two teams qualify for the final stage of the CONCACAF qualifying competition.