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Hyland and Molino ruled out of Mexico clash

The “Soca Warriors” will have to do without the services of ace midfielders Khaleem Hyland and Kevin Molino for their quarterfinal clash against Mexico on Saturday July 20 for differing reasons.

Molino, who scored the second item in last night’s 2-0 win over Honduras, is suspended after being cautioned in both outings this tournament against Haiti and Honduras.

Photo: Kevin Molino (centre) reacts after scoring Trinidad and Tobago's second goal against Honduras last night. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Kevin Molino (centre) reacts after scoring Trinidad and Tobago’s second goal against Honduras last night.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Hyland’s absence is more controversial as he heads for Belgium to represent his employers, Racing Genk, in a fixture against Anderlecht on Sunday July 21 as a result of a verbal agreement between the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and Genk.

It is, arguably, is another example of the mismanagement that has plagued the Warriors this year and it will leave coach Stephen Hart without his most dependable central midfielder for their toughest assignment so far.

The TTFA was late in requesting the services of its Belgium-based duo of Hyland and versatile defender Sheldon Bateau for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup while the local football body did not get a visa for Finland-based playmaker Ataullah Guerra in time.

SV Mechelen turned down the TTFA’s late application for Bateau outright. However, Genk allowed Hyland to join the Warriors on the assurance that he would be returned to play on  July 21.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (centre) has been a combination of strength and composure for the "Soca Warriors" at the 2013 Gold Cup.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (centre) has been a combination of strength and composure for the “Soca Warriors” at the 2013 Gold Cup.

It means Hart must replace him with either the workmanlike Chris Birchall against Mexico or return to his former captain Densill Theobald, who lost his place to Andre Boucaud in last night’s 2-0 win over Honduras. Ipswich Town winger Carlos Edwards is expected to stand-in for Molino.

There is precedent for such club-versus-country squabbles in mid-tournament.

At the 2000 Gold Cup, then Trinidad and Tobago coach Bertille St Clair was forced to play Costa Rica in the country’s first ever quarterfinal appearance without team star Dwight Yorke, who was recalled by Manchester United in similar circumstances. The late Mickey Trotman saved the day with an extra time golden goal as the Warriors edged Costa Rica 2-1 to advance to the semi-final.

Still, Hart was happy to focus on last night’s triumph for now and his first win as Trinidad and Tobago coach.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart.

“It was a victory we wanted badly and one which we worked hard for tonight,” Hart told the TTFA Media, “and I’m pleased more than anything else for the players.

“We made some changes to the team and the players on the field and the ones on the bench knew what the task was and they executed well.”

The former Canada coach said he hopes the result augurs well for the future development of the squad.

“We took our goals well and I thought we were disciplined when we needed to be and we got the desired result,” he said. “It’s a significant victory for all of us and hopefully be a post to the process of change and development that the football is undergoing at this time.”

The Warriors’ stand-in captain, Kenwyne Jones, said their win showed the level possible by the present team as well as their ability to perform under pressure.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones (right) tries to control the ball under pressure from El Salvador defender Steven Purdy. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones (right) tries to control the ball under pressure from El Salvador defender Steven Purdy.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

“It was fantastic win for us tonight,” Jones added.  “We worked hard and we played well as a team. What we showed tonight is that we could lift ourselves up when the chips seemed down and this team can definitely become a force with more consistency at this level.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to come out of the group stage for the first time in thirteen years.”

Their next assignment will be a bit trickier without former Mucurapo schoolboys and teammates, Hyland and Molino.

 

Editor’s Note: Original story updated to include suspension of Kevin Molino.

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13 comments

  1. Mr Hart, please encourage Carlos to make the runs down the wing. He has the ability, skill and class to create the goals by getting the ball in the area.
    Also, try to work with Theobald to give him the confidence he need to control the midfield. Little mistakes can be made, that could cost us the game. All the best guys, may the football gods be with us.

  2. The back 4 did really well last game except for the defense of the offside goal.Not having Hyland is a really huge blow for the team. However if we play the formation from the first game with 2 defensive midfielders ( Birchall and Boucaud) in front the back four and play Edwards on the right and push Joevin Jones up the left hand side of the pitch and let Aubrey David hold his spot we should have a solidish team. Love the long throw from Cyrus and we need to dominate on set pieces so we need Birchall to bend the ball. If Roberts gets a sweat he really needs to finish i would probably play Carter instead of him even though he had a horrible first game. But we need to be really tactical in possession since whenever we play them we always chase the ball for most of the match.

    • Not a bad team. I like the idea of Joevin playing higher up the pitch too. Although with all these missing central midfielders, I would love to see him play in his best role at central midfield.

  3. not shocking on the TTFA’s part!!

  4. anyone but Denzil Theobald in the center of mid field…Birchall would have to do

  5. I feel TTFA did argue for Khaleem because they thought the team wouldn’t have actually qualified into the knock out part of the tournament.

    • This is a FIFA-recognised tournament so the TTFA didn’t have to argue or debate for its players. All it had to do was apply for them within the stipulated time. And the TTFA failed to do so.

      • Ye that’s what i was thinking. Will be interesting to see how president Kee and General Sec Phillips, defends this one ha…

  6. Damn that’s messed up, potential mismanagement indeed. What about playing Daniel next to Boucaud instead of reverting back to Theobald or using Birchall?

    • R.Walcott

      not a bad idea Colin

    • Bear in mind that the T&T midfield might have its fair share of tracking to do against Mexico. And Keon Daniel can be a bit of a free spirit…

      • Ha ye that’s true. Not underrating Mexico or trying to put misplaced optimism about trini’s chances when i say this, but observing their full-strength Mexico this year in world cup qualifying & the confederations cup – i don’t think their mid-field is working well.

        Which could possibly mean the expected tracking Trini would be expected to do, could be less than expected, especially with this Mexican Gold Cup squad being their second XI sort of.