Marvin Phillip (C) takes the ball safely for Trinidad. Photo: Digicel
PIERRE ALIKER DILLON, Martinique — Trinidad and Tobago suffered their second defeat in a row in the Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals, losing 0-1 to Grenada and leaving themselves in real danger of being eliminated from the tournament.
It seems a far cry from the glory they achieved only four years ago, when they competed in the FIFA World Cup and contested the Digicel Caribbean Cup Final itself.
The Soca Warriors started the game with an almost completely new side from the one that competed against Cuba and with coach Latapy obviously in no humour to suffer any more setbacks the team started well.
After 6 minutes Molino headed the ball onto Jorsling, who controlled well on his chest on the edge of the box and smashed his first time volley toward goal, only for Baptiste to make a wonderful flying save for the Spice Boyz.
Both sides seemed to be more cautious than adventurous, knowing that a loss could cause irrevocable damage to their hopes for progression to the semi finals. While Trinidad looked the side more hopeful in combining passes and moving the ball forward, Grenada looked a threat in long balls over the top for the experienced duo of Bain and Facey, who looked as if their pace and strength might just get them a chance.
Grenada danger man Bain was through on 41 minutes but as he waited for the bouncing ball to strike on the volley, Jones had enough time to get back to make a last ditch tackle and stop the lethal front man.
Two minutes later, as Bubb raced through for a one on one, Wolfe somehow managed to get back and dispossess the Grenadian striker, despite the Spice Boyz appealing to referee Cruz for a spot kick.
The second half took much the same shape as the first but, when substitute Keon Daniel found himself with space on the left hand side, Trinidad looked as though they might score but, unfortunately, he drilled his shot wide when he had more time to approach the goal than he thought.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man, but in this instance cometh the 69th minute, when Kitson Bain scored what must have been the goal of the tournament. As he collected the ball on the far left of the pitch, he cut inside his marker and with four defenders in front of him, he just let fly from all of 25 yards and watched as the ball screamed into the top right corner of the Trinidad net, in off the post.
Trinidad were now up against it, facing two losses in two games and almost certain elimination. They responded well and threw caution to the wind and were unfortunate to have a goal disallowed on 73 minutes, when Julius James had his header ruled out after referee Cruz adjudged he unfairly challenged for the cross.
Latapy rang out the changes and brought in some experienced players, but even they could not forage any real opportunities and Grenada were able to soak up the few challenges that Trinidad tried to put their way.
In the end, the clock ran out and, as Cruz called time on the game, he may just have called time on the Soca Warriors’ involvement in the Digicel Caribbean Cup.
1 Andre Baptiste 2 David Cyrus 19 Patrick Modeste 11 Benedict Modeste (Captain) 6 Marc Marshall (4. Curt Rennie 53 mins) 9 Ricky Charles 10 Kitson Bain 16 Arkenson Neckles (3 Shanon Phillip 67 mins) 17 Craig Rocastle (5. Cassim Langaigne 75 mins) 12 Bradley Bubb 8 Delroy Facey
Coach: Franklyn Simpson
21 Marvin Phillip 11 Anthony Wolfe 6. Daniel Cyrus 12 Julius James 14 Joevin Jones (18 Densil Theobald 74 mins)16 Kendall Jagdeosingh (19. Keon Daniel 58 mins) 2 Clyde Leon (C) 8 Trent Noel 7. Hughton Hector (13 Cornell Glen 65mins) 9 Devorn Jorsling 10 Kevin Molino
Coach: Russell Latapy
Referee: Hugo Cruz (Costa Rica)
Assistant Referee 1: Steven Browne (Jamaica)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Morgan (Jamaica)
Match Commissioner: Colin Klass (Guyana)