was a great result but, unfortunately, not a great performance.
one hand, it was a victory that came with a three-part package of benefits:
it was Trinidad and Tobago’s first ever win over Canada at senior level;
it came after a dismal run of form that saw three defeats in five internationals
and, most importantly, it gave this country a valuable haul of three
points, gained away from home. Surely one could not have asked for a
a thorough analysis would confirm that there was much in Trinidad and
Tobago’s performance in Edmonton, last Sunday, to indicate that the
national team still hasn’t quite sorted itself out as yet. There are
still too many deficiencies and, considering that Trinidad and Tobago’s
next opponents happen to be Mexico, this is not great news at all.
the defence looked too shaky for its own good. Panic seemed to be the
order of the day at times: for example, there was the instance when
the rearguard struggled to clear the ball, with a chance falling to
Canada’s Jason Bent, whose shot had to be tipped over the bar by Clayton
Ince. There were also occasions when Canadian attackers were allowed
way too much space on the flanks, particularly during the first half
– when Trinidad and Tobago was never allowed to get its game going.
to do with the fact that the midfield had a virtually non-existent first
45 minutes, with Trinidad and Tobago players rarely able to string more
than three passes together, and get the ball up front on a regular basis.
Hence, Canada was able to dominate in the middle of the park – even
though carrying the ball up through the middle is not really their game.
The hosts got several players forward and, as such, tremendous pressure
was placed on the visitors’ defence. In such circumstances, Trinidad
and Tobago needed a goal against the run of play: which is exactly what
Angus Eve provided in the 43rd minute.
in the second half was, certainly, much better. Trinidad and Tobago
played with more purpose and really took it to the Canadian defence.
However, the midfield was still prone to giving the ball away, allowing
the Canadians to continuously test Ince – who managed to come through
unscathed, in spite of an uncharacteristically poor performance. Trinidad
and Tobago even came within a foot of conceding a penalty in the 72nd
minute when Dennis Lawrence was goaded into handling a long ball, right
on the edge of the penalty box. As it was, the Canadian free kick led
to a counter attack from which Dwight Yorke was able to get Trinidad
and Tobago’s insurance goal.
a victory was gained away from home, against the Gold Cup champions
no less, with leadership of Group C being thrown into the bargain.
national team will be cruelly brought to earth unless improvements are
made to both the midfield and the defence. These are the exact weaknesses
that Mexico has taken advantage of, with 4-2 and 4-0 wins over Trinidad
and Tobago in the last two meetings between the sides. This country’s
team is now in a position to capitalize on home advantage. The question
is: Is this country’s team capable of capitalizing on home advantage?
Porterfield should be aware of what needs to be done over the next couple
of days. He will know that the sight of Trinidad and Tobago sitting
atop the standings with three points is partially a veneer, masking
the chinks that lie underneath it. Unless these cracks are closed somewhat,
the ever-dangerous Mexicans will surely open them up.
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