Home / Volley / Global Football / Refereeing clanger leaves Warriors bottom of Hex, as Joevin denied in 1-0 loss to Mexico

Refereeing clanger leaves Warriors bottom of Hex, as Joevin denied in 1-0 loss to Mexico

Dennis Lawrence tasted his first defeat as a head coach tonight as Trinidad and Tobago were edged 1-0 by Mexico in Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

The result meant that the Soca Warriors dropped to the bottom of the CONCACAF Hex for the first time in this qualifying series with four matches played and six remaining. Mexico, on the other hand, are three points clear at the top now and sitting pretty with their next two fixtures at the formidable Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Joevin Jones (left) blasts the ball into the back of the net while Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo looks on during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017. Jones' item was incorrectly ruled out for offside as T&T lost 1-0 to Mexico. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Joevin Jones (left) blasts the ball into the back of the net while Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo looks on during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017.
Jones’ item was incorrectly ruled out for offside as T&T lost 1-0 to Mexico.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

By mid-June, “El Tricolor” could book their place for the next World Cup, which is some achievement considering that they needed a FIFA play-off tussle with New Zealand to sneak into the Brazil 2014 party.

Yet, the margin of victory was razor-thin tonight. One scandalous offside decision by Jamaican referee’s assistant, Richard Washington, and one instance of dozy defending  by the Warriors backline made the difference.

Joevin Jones’ 32nd minute rocket was not given for Trinidad and Tobago while Diego Reyes’ thumping header in the 57th minute stood for the North American visitors. And it meant the Warriors’ third defeat from four matches.

The roughly 19,000 spectators present could seek solace in the fact that Mexico knew they were in a game. Joevin terrorised either full-back while the local-based central defensive pairing of Daneil Cyrus and Curtis Gonzales again did not look out of place—ably protected once more by midfield destroyer Kevan George.

And record-chasing Mexico forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez had a barren night.

But it might have been better. Mexico had not won in Port-of-Spain for 12 years and their last two trips here ended in a defeat and a draw in 2005 and 2009 respectively.

Photo: A Mexico football fan (centre) poses with Trinidad and Tobago football fans before kick off of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying meeting at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 28 March 2017. Mexico won 1-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: A Mexico football fan (centre) poses with Trinidad and Tobago football fans before kick off of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying meeting at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 28 March 2017.
Mexico won 1-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Tonight, Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio made five changes to the starting team that downed Costa Rica 2-0 in Mexico City last Friday, with only veteran defender Juan Marquez’s absence down to injury.

The pair of holding midfielders, Jesus Molina and Reyes, were arguably introduced to provide more height to defend against Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones and company from set pieces. Presumably, the other adjustments were meant to offer fresh legs for the visitors.

In contrast, Trinidad and Tobago made just one adjustment with Aubrey David replacing 38-year-old veteran Carlos Edwards at right-back.

Lawrence’s decision to leave Sheldon Bateau, Levi Garcia, Andre Boucaud and Radanfah Abu Bakr on the substitutes’ bench—all four of them are active for their respective clubs—was all the more surprising giving that six of the Warriors’ starting XI, including goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams and three of the back four, are either in pre-season or post-season.

Of course, thanks to GPS technology, Lawrence doesn’t have to guess as to the precise physical condition of his players—unlike his predecessor Stephen Hart—and there was little sign that his faith in Cyrus and Gonzales was misplaced.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Daneil Cyrus (centre) advances with the ball while Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera looks on during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017. Mexico won 1-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Daneil Cyrus (centre) advances with the ball while Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera looks on during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017.
Mexico won 1-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The first half-hour was fairly even with Mexico captain Hector Moreno threatening with a header following a set piece while Hector Herrera hit a free shot wide from 20 yards. And, at the other end, Joevin tested opposing goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera with one teasing cross while Kevin Molino offered the Mexican custodian some catching practice with a low, angled effort straight at him.

Then, in the 32nd minute, came the first flashpoint. Molino picked up the ball on the counter and slipped it into Joevin’s stride to his left. And the Seattle Sounders wing-back sent a spanking left-footed effort past Talavera.

Jamaican referee’s assistant Richard Washington had his flag up early, though, and his compatriot, Valdin Legister, disallowed the item for offside. It was a terrible decision by the Jamaican pair. So much for the benefits of Caribbean free movement.

Goalless at the end of the half, the Warriors took some time to settle in after the resumption.

Just one minute into the second half, Herrera rapped the far post with a low effort from a ridiculous angle. And, in the 55th minute, Molino was incensed by a comment from Hernandez and got himself booked as players from both teams squared off angrily in the middle of the field.

Photo: Mexico forward Javier Hernandez (right) tries unsuccessfully to evade a tackle from Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevan George during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 28 March 2017. (Copyright AFP 2017/Alfredo Estrella)
Photo: Mexico forward Javier Hernandez (right) tries unsuccessfully to evade a tackle from Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevan George during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 28 March 2017.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Alfredo Estrella)

The mood was still tetchy as Mexico won a corner kick, in the 57th minute and Osorio took the opportunity to introduce former Arsenal attacker Carlos Vela.

For an instant, Trinidad and Tobago minds might have wandered off. And the damage was done. Gonzales spotted the danger in Reyes’ run too late, as the defensive midfielder met Miguel Layun’s corner kick with a powerful header that flew past Williams at his near post.

It was the first goal conceded by Lawrence’s team in 237 minutes of football.

The Warriors tried to claw their way back as Joevin stepped on the accelerator. Mexican right-back Carlos Salcedo was booked for a desperate grab on the former W Connection attacker in the 61st minute while, 10 minutes later, left back Luis Reyes also saw yellow for hauling down the Trinidad and Tobago winger.

But Trinidad and Tobago were not making up much ground otherwise. Molino was crowded out and forced to the fringes of the action while substitute Jamille Boatswain, who replaced Kenwyne Jones in the 65th minute, was totally ineffective.

Forward Willis Plaza, who entered the fray in the 80th minute, did add some bite. But Lawrence’s substitutions thus far have not worked well nearly as well as his starting teams.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino (left) eludes Mexico left back Luis Reyes during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017. Mexico won 1-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino (left) eludes Mexico left back Luis Reyes during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017.
Mexico won 1-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Encouragingly, the Warriors fought to the last whistle. But it was not enough, as they slumped to the bottom of the Hex.

Trinidad and Tobago’s next two outings are away as they travel to the United States on 8 June and then to Costa Rica on 13 June. Neither nation holds good memories for the Warriors as visitors. But failure to pick up a point or two would be disastrous.

Even if Trinidad and Tobago contrived to win their remaining home fixtures against Honduras and the United States, it would not be enough to get to Russia unless they can also snatch three to six points on the road.

From here on in, it is do or die.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 2.Aubrey David, 25.Curtis Gonzales, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 17.Mekeil Williams; 19.Kevan George, 8.Khaleem Hyland (14.Andre Boucaud 65); 7.Cordell Cato (15.Willis Plaza 80), 10.Kevin Molino, 3.Joevin Jones; 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain) (20.Jamille Boatswain 65).

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 22.Glenroy Samuel (GK), 4.Sheldon Bateau, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 11.Carlos Edwards, 12.Hashim Arcia, 13.Hughtun Hector, 16.Levi Garcia, 23.Leston Paul.

Coach: Dennis Lawrence

Mexico (4-2-3-1): 12.Alfredo Talavera (GK); 3.Carlos Salcedo (17.Jesus Gallardo 66), 2.Nestor Araujo, 15.Hector Moreno (captain), 22.Luis Reyes; 5.Diego Reyes (21.Orbelin Pineda 74), 23.Jesus Molina; 9.Raul Jimenez (11.Carlos Vela 56), 16.Hector Herrera, 7.Miguel Layun; 14.Javier Hernandez.

Unused substitutes: 1.Jesus Corona (GK), 13.Guillermo Ochoa (GK), 6.Oswaldo Alanis, 8.Jonathan Dos Santos, 10.Luis Nontes, 18.Elias Hernandez, 19.Oribe Peralta, 20.Jesus Duenas.

Coach: Juan Carlos Osorio

Referee: Valdin Legister (Jamaica)

Photo: Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio (left) complains to the fourth official while Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence (right) follows the action during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017. Mexico won 1-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio (left) complains to the fourth official while Trinidad and Tobago coach Dennis Lawrence (right) follows the action during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 28 March 2017.
Mexico won 1-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

CONCACAF Hex results

(Tuesday 28 March 2017)

Honduras 1, Costa Rica 1 in San Pedro Sula;

Trinidad and Tobago 0, Mexico 1 in Port of Spain;

Panama 1, USA 1 in Panama City

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans enjoy the show during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 24 March 2017. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans enjoy the show during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 24 March 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

CONCACAF Hex Standings

(Tabulated as Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

Mexico              4-3-1-0-5-1-10

Costa Rica       4-2-1-1-7-3-7

Panama            4-1-2-1-2-2-5

United States 4-1-1-2-8-7-4

Honduras        4-1-1-2-4-9-4

T&T                    4-1-0-3-2-6-3

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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189 comments

  1. After 3 days that 1-0 defeat to Mexico is a bitter pill to even consider swallowing. A win/draw would have been much sweeter because in June we facing USA and Costa Rica both away. Not even in 2005 under the great Leo Benhakker did we gain a single away point against any of these 2 teams. at least USA not looking so good of late, we may pull off an away victory. Fingers crossed.

  2. hmm such a clearly biased decision , jealousy against the T&T team , vex because they ain’t there.

  3. Yuh really think Jamaica want any Trini tuh rise?

  4. Please fifa officials don’t use no refs from the Caribbean for our games thanks in advance..

  5. Send back all jamaicans home now plz

  6. that official just paid back TT for all the Jamaicans who got turned back by immigration in Piarco…so he tryna turn we back from Russia

  7. The Jahmaican linesman put up the flag BEFOREJones blasted the ball in the upper deck of the net..
    LOTS of play acting from the Ticos..
    Pressure for TNT to get the ball moving from the back..
    Joevin needed Sheldon Bateau..to run down the Mexicans…
    Very physical game…

  8. We can’t gangster the referee. But we can make visitors more nervous about doing wrong by us.

  9. I remember well the sport reporter at the time who passed on Elcock’s cell number too! Lol

  10. You’ll remember Ancil Elcock clobbering Cuatemoc Blanco in a tackle. Can we also remember the subsequent death treats he received.
    Infer what yuh want but ah wish ah was a gangster now to inject some needles into that assistant referee.

  11. I guarantee you if this game was played in Mexico he would allowing that play to go on.
    We just too damn passive for we own good. That mudda arse official should be skipping out of town if yuh ask me.
    Yes I said it Lasana, I’m promotion violence against a referee and I’m not even apologetic about it.

  12. Diidnt notice but I say when he received the ball he could have been in line but was he coming back from an offside position?

  13. don’t blame the linesman for one bad call yes it’s hurt but look at the overall game itself we could lost by 4.5 goals Mexico create all the chance

  14. they don’t us to be on top because they don’t like trinis when will you all understand they like us to support them in times of their struggle , but the bottom line is they just DON’T AH TRINI for what is the reason, HAT’S off to the team and their coach .

  15. How FIFA could put a Jamaican to ref a match involving TT, esp as they are not in the hex, is beyond me. It’s like a US ref doing a game with Mexico. The geopolitics needs to be considered

  16. Well when we brace some nationalities at the border there is protest and talk of banning Trini products… Might sound petty, but I say we make an international scene and start a FB petition to blacklist…..

    • hahahahahahah Meh Jamaican people he talking about nah. Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre I know that you know that makes no sense. A referee made a bad decision – so what? Get over it !

    • Of course it doesn’t and as it was said that is when they decided to give some of the bootleg Caribbean refeerees their chances now eh and look what happened steeuuppss. Them really good yes.

    • Brian Harry And I got over it a very long time eh because my Jamaican family refeeree bad call wasn’t the problem steeeuppsss I really doesn’t understand what Coach Dennis and his assisstants are seeing eh because the two games that our Soca Worries played eh they started with both Mr Bound not to score and Cato eh who isn’t playing any foot ball for any real professional team rght now eh and of course they both didn’t score nor even assisted in the goal against Panama eh, they started them again in the game VS Mexico eh and there are real bound to score prolific goal scorers on the bench Levi, Plaza, and Boatswain eh, and I am postively certain that they will not even send for our other real prolific goal scorer Jerrel Bru Britto and even Shahdon Winchester eh, they are not realy serious about qualifying for the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Steeuuppss. Them really good yes

    • Because he had a decision against us he’s bootleg? Guys we need to back off this stuff.

  17. Like Dr Watson want to blame me.

  18. Jamaicans doh like Trinis talk done

  19. Who is the top prospect born in 1999 now? Visited with AC Milan Academy last week. Want to present a prospect to the U19 side for season 2017-18. Lasana Liburd

  20. What happened to the bostock guy? Lasana Liburd

  21. It is time Fifa allow camera replays. This is not the first T&T were cheated and I guess it would not be the last.

  22. How Are They Even Qualified Refs Is Amazing Apart From Using A Jamaican Ref In A T&T Game

  23. For 75 mins that was a decent performance. But what the heck was that in the final 19 mins? Where was the urgency? T&T seemed content with playing keep ball instead of trying to get players forward and putting the ball in dangerous areas. One goal down and we are playing a free kick square instead of flooding the box and trying to get a header or win a second ball.
    What’s the point of Kenwyne Jones if you aren’t going to test the defence with two or three crosses in the box?
    In the end it was a competent performance but this team won’t get more than 6 points from the hex. Hopefully Lawrence can continue to grow and the FA can provide regular competent opposition the next two years.

  24. How on Earth the ref called Joevin’s goal as offside? That ref now come out the drug rehab? Them really good yes..lol

  25. That was really messed up what the game officials did

  26. how dey will choose jamaican refs to referee a T&T game?…that making sense?