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Molino destroys Dominican Rep—again; Warriors romp while Kenwyne spells out his worth

If the Dominican Republic has the equivalent of a terrorist watch list, Trinidad and Tobago playmaker Kevin Molino is surely on that bulletin board.

The Orlando City midfielder extended his hot streak against the Spanish speaking islanders last night with a hattrick as the Soca Warriors kicked off their 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying campaign with a straightforward 4-0 win over the Dominican Republic at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (left) tries to escape from Dominican Republic right back Carlos Martínez during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (left) tries to escape from Dominican Republic right back Carlos Martínez during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago play Martinique away next on 11 October in the round robin competition, which sees the winner advance to the 2017 Caribbean Cup semifinals and Gold Cup. The second place team will have a last shot through a Gold Cup play off.

Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart expects a tougher contest in Martinique.

“[Martinique] are littered with players from the French league,” said Hart. “They are very technical. Upfront, they have a player who was at Real Madrid…

“They can be a very difficult side to play especially in their comfort zone, which will be at [their] home.”

Thirty-three year old winger Julien Faubert, who was born in Le Havre, France and was once nicknamed “The Express Train” for his exploits in the top French league, made two appearances for Real Madrid in 2009. His top flight career, which included spells at Bordeaux and West Ham, has been on the wane of late and he was released by Scotland Premier League team, Kilmarnock, earlier this year.

Still, he will surely help Martinique put up more of a fight than the hapless Dominican Republic team did.

The most ambition that the visitors showed on the night came, midway through the first half, when their pint-sized captain Jonathan Faña squared up to giant Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones after the latter player had won a free kick.

Photo: Dominican Republic captain Jonathan Faña (centre) tries to hold off Trinidad and Tobago players Sheldon Bateau (left) and Kevan George during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Dominican Republic captain Jonathan Faña (centre) tries to hold off Trinidad and Tobago players Sheldon Bateau (left) and Kevan George during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Let’s just say it was a badly drawn square. Faña would have needed a step ladder to look Jones in the eye.

Similarly, his team came up woefully short in Couva.

There were precious few fans who even turned up to see the contest. Less than 2,000 patrons came out to support a Soca Warriors team that are preparing for the CONCACAF Hex and, arguably, represent the nation’s best chance of getting to a senior World Cup in a decade.

To put that into context, there was a larger turnout last week to watch Naparima College play Presentation College in the Secondary Schools Football League.

Was it simply a case of local fans not caring to see Trinidad and Tobago’s sparring partner on the night?

Molino certainly didn’t mind. Yesterday was the third time he played against the Dominican Republic and he has seven goals—with back to back hattricks—against the Caribbean minnows, which is almost half his international tally of 16 goals from 34 caps.

“If you look at the goals he scored with the exception of the first goal, it was from just being active in the box,” said Hart. “And that’s a trait that I think is coming back because he used to be that way before… I am really happy for him.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kevin Molino (left) tries to escape from Dominican Republic midfielder Rafael Flores during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kevin Molino (left) tries to escape from Dominican Republic midfielder Rafael Flores during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Molino certainly looked closer to his old self in the first 20 minutes, as he split the Dominican Republic’s defence at will with threaded passes and was as elusive as a butterfly in an open field.

His first goal came in the 14th minute as he hooked home first time from inside the opposing six yard box after defender Radanfah Abu Bakr headed down a Joevin Jones corner kick.

Four minutes later, Molino doubled the hosts’ advantage with an even easier finish, as he nodded across the goal line after Kenwyne had headed on a Daneil Cyrus cross.

Cordell Cato played the most notable role in that item as he flicked up the ball on the edge of the area and sent Cyrus clear into space with a clever half volley.

Let’s just say it isn’t often that Cato can pass himself off as a midfield architect on the international stage.

Dominican Republic Roberto Diaz turned to the coach after just 20 minutes, as left back Ernesto Trinidad was replaced after coming out second best from a collision with Kenwyne.

Did Trinidad have split loyalties? Had Diaz found his problem?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defensive midfielder Kevan George (centre) challenges Dominican Republic midfielder Rafael Flores (right) in the air during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defensive midfielder Kevan George (centre) challenges Dominican Republic midfielder Rafael Flores (right) in the air during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

No such luck. The goals kept coming as, in the 30th minute, Cato bagged his second international item on the occasion of his 17th cap, after opposing defender César Garcia inexplicably flicked the ball away from his goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd and into the path of the San Jose Earthquakes flanker who knocked into an empty net.

On came AZ Alkmaar winger Levi Garcia, who replaced Joevin in the 51st minute and created one goal, almost scored one himself and then was replaced as a precautionary measure with a tweaked hamstring in the 71st minute.

By then, Molino had finished off his hattrick with another close ranged tap in, after a thumping Kenwyne header was pushed on to the bar by Lloyd in the 55th minute.

Hart seemed relatively satisfied with the result. He explained that he asked his squad to pay particular attention to their defensive transition last night in terms of delaying counter-attacks and recovering their defensive shape quickly after losing possession.

A vocal minority of the patrons present seemed to have their eyes on something else as, with the result assured, they spent much of the second half cheering on Kenwyne’s every contribution with more than a trace of sarcasm.

It was Kenwyne’s birthday yesterday, and, despite his tetchy relationship with some Warriors supporters, he was in good spirits in the post-match press conference.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (right) holds off Dominican Republic defender César Garcia during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (right) holds off Dominican Republic defender César Garcia during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

“I am happy with my performance [although] maybe unhappy that I didn’t get one [goal] myself on such a special day for me,” said the Warriors captain. “For every game that we play, I will be heavily marked because of my status, which is going to free up players in the team.”

On top of contributing to three goals last night, Kenwyne pointed out that he had a hand in both strikes against Guatemala too in a 2-2 draw last month, which assured the Warriors of a place in the Hex.

“If I am continuously being a target [for opposing defenders] and providing for the team then I will continue to be there,” said Kenwyne. “[…] The outside noise totally doesn’t affect the team. We know what we have to do, we know what we are lacking and we know what we are strong at.”

It was delivered in more of a matter-of-fact tone than as a statement of defiance.

Molino also faced the press to coo about his hattrick. Did he also care to say something to his local fans about his infamous boat cruise with Joevin and Mekeil Williams, three nights before the Guatemala match?

“It was a mistake,” said Molino, who momentarily broke eye contact and looked appropriately crestfallen though his brief apology. “The coach disciplined us and we have to move forward.”

He was not nearly as sorry as the Dominican Republic team were, though.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago left back Tristan Hodge advances during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action against the Dominican Republic at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago left back Tristan Hodge advances during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action against the Dominican Republic at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Central FC custodian Jan-Michael Williams made his first international appearance for Trinidad and Tobago since 8 January 2016, due to a shoulder injury. He had such little work to do with his glove that Hart might easily have started goalkeeper coach Michael Maurice instead.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 1.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 5.Daneil Cyrus, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 18.Tristan Hodge; 19.Kevan George, 8.Khaleem Hyland (14.Andre Boucaud 57); 7.Cordell Cato, 10.Kevin Molino, 3.Joevin Jones (16.Levi Garcia 51 [11.Shahdon Winchester 72]); 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain).

Unused substitutes: 20.Adrian Foncette (GK), 2.Aubrey David, 12.Trevin Caesar, 17.Mekeil Williams.

Coach: Stephen Hart

 

Dominican Republic (4-1-3-2): 1.Miguel Lloyd (GK); 23.Carlos Martínez, 3.César Garcia, 4.Cayetano Bonnín, 2.Ernesto Trinidad (15.Luís Ismael Díaz 20); 21.Rafael Flores; 8.Rony Beard (14.Jean Carlos López 42), 22.Wilman Modesta, 10.Eddipo Rodriguez (11.Domingo Peralta 62); 9.Jonathan Faña, 7.Darly Batista.

Unused substitutes: 13.Odalis Báez (GK), 20.Luís Espinal.

Coach: Robert Diaz

 

Referee: Kimbell Ward (St Kitts and Nevis)

Man of the Match: Kevin Molino

 

Caribbean Cup qualifier

(Wednesday 5 October 2016)

Trinidad and Tobago 4 (Kevin Molino 14, 18, 55, Cordell Cato 30), Dominican Republic 0 at Couva.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 15 years experience at several local and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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117 comments

  1. Any comments on how Kevon played in the def mid role??

  2. what happen to guerra and peltier

  3. Deh can only beat up dem small team in the Caribbean. Ah go see when deh meet up big team…smh.

  4. Party time 😂😂😂 bird you wrong for that Lasana

  5. No mention of the sending off of the Dom Rep coach?

  6. Dominican Republic
    Hmmmmmm
    That name doesn’t come up when talking about football

  7. we were to play defensive vs a team that obviously came here to defend for their life…:-)

  8. Mymy!Mr Hart asked the players to work on their defensive transition last night Lasana,against Who?was he expecting that team to give us a hard run so that we could have transition quickly and you agree?Well,Well park the bus at home is next☹️️judging from comments it’s same ole same ole performance,I think I need to see what you guys see🙁

  9. There comes a time in everyone’s life where you “Have to let your star shine”..we need to remember this going into the hex round…we must show the world what the Warriors and T&T is all about and that we can play ball and we do have ability and talent…our T&T Team needs to let their star shine…and this just doesnt come by us playing defensive football…

  10. Am I the only one who thinks Joevin underperformed?

  11. look at the US…their players have to put out 200% and more if they even want to have a chance of making the team…do our players give us that…

  12. Players are not playing for their places…simple as that…

  13. You feel players have gotten comfortable?

    • I felt that way since the Haiti game. There is only so much the coach can do when he has a relatively small pool and players who are not trying to win the Balon D’Or or play for the biggest clubs in the world.

  14. I agree we lacked intensity at times. We have to be mindful of that.

  15. T&T’s work rate….jus not good enough..players are not working hard…we are not getting a 100%….just not acceptable…we have to step up…the other teams in d hex will run us 90 mins hard…

  16. Savitri, Joann and Kirwin, where were allyuh after all that applause for playing the game in Couva? :-/

  17. Dem fellas better raise de intensity vs Martinique. At times dey were literally strolling. On another note, dat Ato Boldon Stadium playing surface need a lot of work.

    • We are in a bad state. Because I don’t think the government has any intention of putting lights at the Larry Gomes Stadium or Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, which have the best surfaces.
      Yet, they have a huge budget for the Brian Lara Stadium. Sigh. We have dark days ahead. Because the Hasely Crawford Stadium will go down eventually.

  18. we keep playing 3grade teams and bumping we gum after do like ..JAM

  19. untill this team beat some of d best i will say diffrent

    • While Trinidad and Tobago remains the smallest country ever to reach the World Cup finals, our footballers’ statistics progress to representing us per capita as the most successful football team in the history of the sport. A glorious benefit to being born a Trinidadian. Mike, I find you’re hard.

  20. The Cyrus & Cato connection on the right looked good!

  21. Cant make them ato boldon stadium games during the week…cant handle the traffic

  22. I would really like to see someone like Nathaniel Garcia in this team.

  23. Exactly Tony. Hart said he challenged the players to use the game to work on our defensive transition. What’s wrong with that? We aren’t going to give Costa Rica six. So let’s play with them in mind.

  24. At this late stage, after a few years with this team – it’s safe to say that no ones knows this group better than coach Hart. Coaches at this level are sometimes forced to adopt a more pragmatic approach to football based on what’s available to them. I’m sure we would all like to see an “all out” attacking style of play, however, such an approach could be viewed as being tactically naive going into the HEX. These games are an opportunity to begin preparation for the first game in the HEX – they may not be all about how many goals we score against these Caribbean teams…

    • we are playing this formation…and looked what we got from d US…at home d best defence is offense…we also need to practise an all out attack as it will come to that in parts of the matches to come…and we just dont have that…these other teams have it…if they know T&T have and is capable of such…they will then play us differently…but when they see we cannt hit Do replublic …then we are looking like d red carpet team in d hex..we needed to use the 2 matches to instill fear in our opposition…we didnt even roar….

    • Vijai Ramsawak against usa we didn’t play this formation watch football please and stop talking rubbish

    • Regrdless of wht we played…the US rang rings all around us…a lil 17yr old played all over us…so we were playing away…obviously we play a more defensive game on d road…and we got that licking…go play moral and hide and seek brother…face the reality…

    • I wonder if we played our offensive formation then…

  25. Yet they couldn’t do that against the U.S. steups…..

  26. Well done but thats what your supposed to do against soft opposition, its what they do against a more well oiled, talented side that counts in the up coming mths

  27. Coach Hart needs help…the technical team …lacking ideas…did the tea look at the matches we played against Mexico when we dreww both matches…use these matches to psy up d team so they will go out and play like that…if we play like that against any tea in d hex we can win….let the team look at these matches as part of our psychlogica training….get them in that zone…get them to believe in themselves….let them run at teams…Hart is too defensive…our teams plays better when we are running hard at teams…and we have players who want to run and can run at teams…Hart needs to let this team run hard at the opposition…this goin back across the field passing getting us no where…time we go forward….

  28. T&T workrate is still too low…players still not workinh hard…still too much slow…lazy football…pllayers still not playing for their places…not giving 100%….we didnt run at Dom Republic for 90mins…playing at home we are supposed to run that team to the ground…still not seeing that commitment…that fight…that attitide is not there…the eye of the tiger is missing…T&T needs a Sports Psychologist…not a local one…T&T players needs to believe in themselves and needs to feel they aare in that war zone…still in a Carnival mentality…

  29. T&T doesnt take advantage of playing at home…we are always playing defensive…we have no all out attacking plan…no set plays…we are supposed to be beating Carribbean teams no less than than 9-0….Hart not utilising our players in an attcking formation….with this formation we will never be penetrative in d hex round….Garcia needs to be starting on dat team…T&T needs a playmaker in midfield…we do not have that…team not playing fluent attacking football…still fightng up with a very weak team last nite…not good at all…not loooking good for hex …

  30. T&T needs to be beating these Caribbean teams 9 – 0 …anything less should be considered a loss…

    Look at how the USA defeats the Caribbean teams…if we are serious…we need to step up…

    Time to stop all the excuses…

  31. Earl Best

    Not sure why you didn’t ask Kenwyne if he would have preferred the crowd to be bigger. But he seems to have handled that question about the negativity particularly well…if you believe him. I’m not so sure it’s easy to keep the “noise” out. And I really feel the crowd ought to get off his back.

    Does Wired868 have a view on that which you are willing to share with your readership?

    • Lasana Liburd

      I think we have mentioned that in passing although we have not dedicated an article to it. I guess I have mixed feelings. I think it is counter-productive to jeer your own player, especially when he has been more useful than people give him credit.
      Although I sometimes share their frustrations.
      There have been so many explanations from coach Stephen Hart as to why Kenwyne Jones is important to the team that I don’t think another piece could offer much fresh perspective.

  32. I did not see the game but did we play with 6 defensive players against them?

  33. From your report I gathered D.R. didn’t present much of an attacking threat but how did Tristan Hodge play Lasana?

  34. No one can deny that Kenwyn Jones made his presence felt last night. I hope that was not a birthday celebration but a sign of things to come.