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Soca Warriors lose 2-0 to World Cup-bound Iran in Brazil

The Trinidad and Tobago team national football completed its mini-South America tour this afternoon in Sao Paulo, Brazil with a 2-0 defeat against World Cup-bound Iran.

The result follows a 3-0 loss against Argentina on Wednesday in Buenos Aires. Argentina and Iran are both drawn in Group F of the Brazil 2014 World Cup alongside Nigeria and Bosnia.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr (right) challenges Iran forward Ashkan Dejagah for the ball. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr (right) challenges Iran forward Ashkan Dejagah for the ball.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Elsewhere, regional rival, Jamaica, was put to the sword away in France where the “Reggae Boyz” were routed 8-0 by the host team who shook off the absence of star player Franck Ribery, who will miss the World Cup due to a nagging back injury.

It was a more low keyed affair in Sao Paulo as the media was not allowed to cover Trinidad and Tobago’s clash with Iran although  live updates were relayed from the TTFA press officer through the Soca Warriors Facebook page. And, as in their friendly international with Argentina, the “Soca Warriors” contrived to concede goals late in the first half and soon after the resumption.

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart credited his players for their effort although he urged them to be more assertive and match the enterprise they showed in the final 20 minutes.

“It was not a bad performance but I thought we allowed (Iran) to take charge at some points of the game,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “We could have been stronger and not allowed them to get into certain positions.

“Again we conceded just at a point before the half and that changes the mindset in the dressing room before the team comes back out. That is something we’ll work on.”

Lester Peltier had a chance to put the Warriors ahead, early in the first half, but shot wide of the target.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams (centre) collides with Iran forward Ashkan Dejagah as he makes a punched clearance. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams (centre) collides with Iran forward Ashkan Dejagah as he makes a punched clearance.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA)

Iran made Trinidad and Tobago pay in the final kick of the first half as 24-year-old midfielder Ehsan Haji Safi drove past Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams following a right side corner.

Six minutes into the second half, Iran won a penalty kick after a foul by Trinidad and Tobago right back Justin Hoyte on striker Ashkan Dejagah. But Warriors custodian Jan-Michael Williams denied Javad Nekounam from the spot with a flying stop.

Three minutes later, Iran did double its lead though as Reza Ghoochannejad buried an opportunity on a counter attack.

Hart made six changes in the second half and the Pro League duo of Willis Plaza and Trevin Caesar made an immediate impact with the latter winning two free kicks in dangerous areas. But the Warriors could not end their tour with a goal.

Hart described the trip as a wonderful opportunity.

“We are trying to get to that level and our kind of preparation now is not where Iran or Argentina would be at this point in time,” he said. “Overall we had a wonderful opportunity for some of our less experienced players to play at a high level and on a stage where we want to be at on a consistent basis.

“We’ll look back at these matches and pick out what will serve us well going forward. We still have some way to go but it’s all part of the process to getting where we want to be at.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national defenders Radanfah Abu Bakr (centre) and Sheldon Bateau (right) try to clear the danger against Iran this afternoon in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national defenders Radanfah Abu Bakr (centre) and Sheldon Bateau (right) try to clear the danger against Iran this afternoon in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Defence Force utility player Curtis Gonzales and Caledonia AIA veteran playmaker Densill Theobald were the only members of the 22-man squad that did not feature in either game—apart from Point Fortin Civic custodian Marvin Phillip who left Brazil on Friday night after the tragic death of his 10-month-old son, Maitai Phillip.

The 2014 World Cup kicks off on Thursday in Sao Paulo where hosts Brazil face Croatia in a Group A contest while Argentina and Iran open their Group F campaigns on June 15 and 16 respectively.

Trinidad and Tobago’s next scheduled round of matches will take place in the 2014 Caribbean Cup semifinal qualifying phase from October 6 to 13.


Trinidad and Tobago: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 2.Justin Hoyte, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 12.Yohance Marshall 4.Sheldon Bateau (17.Gavin Hoyte 72); 8.Khaleem Hyland, 14.Andre Boucaud (5.Kevan George 63); 23.Lester Peltier (16.Marcus Joseph 83), 7.Ataulla Guerra (3.Joevin Jones 63), 10.Kevin Molino (20.Trevin Caesar 80); 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain) (11.Willis Plaza 76).

Unused substitutes: 13.Rundell Winchester, 15.Curtis Gonzales, 18.Densill Theobald, 19.Carlyle Mitchell.

Coach: Stephen Hart


International Friendly

Iran 2 (Ehsan Haji Safi 45, Reza Ghoochannejad 54), Trinidad and Tobago 0 in Sao Paulo

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  1. Kelvin since he is.your friend ent tell him for me that everytime that he plays.for.our sweet country eh and he.doesn’t score a.goal he should donate $ 10; 000 towards the top goalscorer of our Pro league nah hehehehehe

  2. The man is a shit hound upfront. Put him back where he belongs in the defense and if he can’t handle it there eh well the time has reached for him to come off the bench ent and please some body tell them to remove the captain arm band nah I have yet to see any captain that cannot handle himself on the field.Them really good yes

  3. Nah… You can see Stern isn’t all that lazy… But Jones? Jah know. And de man has plenty tremendous talent but there’s always a but…

  4. Stern john.. Is not lazy.. This a guy who trained with me from 5.30am in the morning growing up.. He ALWAYS stayed back to do extra training.. He is a hard worker..

  5. I guess this is where the rebuilding process begins. The boys can only be better for the experience, hopefully.

  6. Haa…one thing I’ve noticed in recent weeks in the world cup build up, is that international coaches have biases towards certain players & stand by them even if the national media fans may not favour them.

  7. Nah he Will be picked because he is a good motivator ent and Coach Hart said that he doesn’t understand why the public doesn’t favor Denzil eh, and he didn’t give him a little play in the both games ent. Coach Hart really good yes.

  8. “Defence Force utility player Curtis Gonzales and Caledonia AIA veteran playmaker Densill Theobald were the only members of the 22-man squad that did not feature in either game”

    Could this be a sign that Hart won’t be picking Theobald in future squads?

  9. Stren John is lazy ent well now I understand why he was never recruited to play in the EPL ent and the same for our little Magician Latters ent he to was to short and not big and robust ent but skills like dirt and another real goalscorer ent . The Don shudda bounce his head and played him against England in 2006 ent they wudda find out where barley grows . Them really good yes.

  10. Both players is lazy but John is a goal scorer I never heard a coach said nothing bad about him…… But Jones Harry ex Tottenham manager and Tony Pulis C-Palace manager says he’s the laziest Kelvin Jack respect….

  11. Look at my second sweet country eh the America eh they does develop their own professional players and where do they end up eh ah glad that alyuh ask, in real professional leagues nah making plenty monies ent when they are about to finish their careers ent they returns and play in the MLS and there will come a time.when they won’t have to go.abroad nah the big foreign base players will be coming to the MLS. ah mean to say if America ever want to win the World Cup ent that should be their plan.

  12. I have always said that we need to do like Greece and concentrate more on our Local programs and bring it to such a high level that when the so called foreign base players returns to play eh they have to really fight for their positions yes and also stop looking for every player abroad who have ah little Trini in them to represent our sweet country. TTFA really good yes.

  13. Kenneth he is not the best nah it seems as though once you playing for a real professional foreign base team ent you are always considered to be better than our Local professional players ent and that is really a bunch of crap it is like when the foreign base coaches who are also treated better than our Local coaches ent with better salaries house and car ent ah wonder who does have to prepare our players for the senior team and professional career abroad eh not our Local professional coaches ent Them really good yes

  14. I sure hope we gain some insight on how, what and whom we need to improve from playing these friendly games which are very valuable if we have a performance improvement game plan. I have always thought that Kenwyne Jones was playing in the wrong position. Plus, I think, his style of play is too ‘unhurried’, too calm and stuck in one gear. I simply don’t see the sense of urgency in his style of play. But, if he is the best we got then….

  15. Stern John like many other names that I can call in our sweet country are natural strikers but Kenwhyne Jones was. a defender that was recruited by the EPL for his height and strength he never had the skills for scoring goals and eventually when real goalscorers are recruited for the EPL teams he would be on the bench ent how many goals has he scored in his professional career in the EPL eh and the beautiful game of football was never invented to be played with the head only.

  16. So what happened Kelvin Jack Lasana Liburd? I am looking on and willing him on but something is lacking now. What happened.

  17. I will always remember one time Birmingham played at Stamford Bridge and Stern was playing upfront alone between Desailly, Gallas and Makelele.
    They physically battered him. But they couldn’t get the ball off him. He did a similar job against Sweden in the World Cup when he took pressure off with his hold up play.
    I never understand why people never credited that side of the game. God knows where Michael Owen might have reached if he could hold up the ball half as well as Stern. Because I saw Owen live a few times and his touch was crap.

  18. La Horquetta Xf what do u want to know about kenwyne jones? I have not played with kenwyne since 2006.. He was a young boy then still learning the intricacies of being a striker. Stern was top dog .. An intimidating figure for all pretenders to his throne as top striker. Kenwyne jones always had a good attitude and was a respectful boy. He worked hard.. What else can I say? He is obviously not as prolific as stern but no one was.. Kenwyne is a good guy and I’m not saying that because he is my friend.. He loves football..

  19. Jack will never talk about Jones to afraid that’s the problem in Trinidad & Tobago

  20. We need to see more assassins like Stern John rise up again in our sweet country yes

  21. Well tell us something about Kenwyne too na Kelvin Jack … okay, don’t want to hear, really don’t want to hear, lol

  22. There are many many players, strikers, midfielders, defenders, goalkeepers who have played for big clubs in the premier league.. A lot of these strikers were not better than stern john.. Stern john at his best was an assassin.. A serial murderer in striking terms.. He was a deadly finisher and his hold up play was of an excellent standard. He was a good footballer period. Some of the his finishing in training was scary, just scary.. Why he didn’t play for a big club? It’s just the luck of the draw sometimes.. Stern was world class at his peak.. Proper world class.. We need to be proud of his talent.. He is a Trinidadian.. Sorry Earl..

  23. Well SAID…….Bossman…..good target …..

  24. Mango, how yuh mean “if Stern John was such ah goalscoring machine”? Come better dan dat.

  25. And poor Curtis Gonzales he could scrub the bench ent, and did Denzil Theobold get ah little run in any of the games eh since Coach Hart speaks so highly of him eh.

  26. By the way and again our soca worries didn’t score a goal ent, well come next season in our Professional league eh, I am raising the most goals prize to $10, 000 yes but the amount of goals that meh top goalscorers must score 30 goals for the season and if they don’t score that amount well $ 5,000 dollars and a boots of their choice will be awarded. Them really good yes.

  27. If you could explain to me how Bebe get on a manchester united roster, then I might be able to answer your question, lol

  28. Tell me about it, and the U.S striker Brian Mc Bride, who Stern was light years better than was making EPL teams like nothing.

  29. But wait if Stern John was such ah goalscoring machine ent how come he never played for a big team like Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Arsenal or any other team in the EPL eh. Them really good yes.

  30. Mark you really in the dark yes and it seems that you is always defending that corrupted organization called the TTFA ent the next time you see Hudson Charles ask him if he and the other local coaches have yet to be paid.

  31. You know I was thinking these national coaches think the fans knows nothing about the sport fans pick better team in Trinidad football why Lazy Jones is sill leading our national team

  32. Srry ppl I know my comments sound harsh, like a mad man talking but if footballers, coaches, fans dont get rid of all who are presently there in d TTFA we will never get anywhere

  33. The TTFA needs to get off their ASS and find way & means to get finances instead of waiting for handout from d gov’t, then our football will rise. But wit this bunch of political administrators in d TTFA – boi somebody give me a gun & I will ensure we in d next wc

  34. Not forgetting the MLS where he destroyed all records in that leaguehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r42fSgsN4HE

  35. yuh asking the wrong question, is who have the most goals for our sweet country and even the pro league in England. hehehehe

  36. Stern John did the hardest work of all… Putting it in the back of the net!

  37. I wonder who has more work rate S-John or K-Jones….Hmmmmmmm

  38. …That not happening again…not anymore Uncle…the coaches themselves wouldn’t stand for that

  39. They did their best. Now time to regroup and forge ahead.

  40. Well once they stop exploiting our players and local coaches and stop always wanting them to play and coach for free while they continue to reap the benefits ent.

  41. …..I know they have a very long way to go Uncle…but i believe that exactly 1 year from now…this T&T team would have improved a lot….as a Soca Warriors fan i want that to happen and i believe that it will…i am not speaking just as a fan…but how i see how they respond to Stephen Hart

  42. hehehehehe yuh just know how to raise meh blood pressure when you mention that name ent.

  43. Mark so what are you disagreeing about eh, so our soca worries didn’t look scrappy the same man common and yuh sure right France wouldn’t have never missed those chances that Messi and the others players did lets be real nah or move the cobwebs from your eyes when you are looking at our team and really hoping for the best cause like you having flashbacks of the better days that have surely down gone a very long time ago ent. Mark really good yes.

  44. Brother that’s long time thing… We have K-Jones now

  45. ….I disagree….I looked at the game…Jamaica looked very scrappy…i rate France just under Argentina in terms of their strengths…but even though they would play based on the opposition…i don’t believe we would have lost that game so heavy….mind you….if you look at the first half-hour against Argentina…T&T was good for about 7 or 8 lol lol

  46. oh really like you didn’t read meh article about the Pan American games or what ent we got 8 from Brazil and our players were far much better than our players today. Them really good yes.

  47. and they wudda punish us the same if we had played them first instead of Argentina the way we played.

  48. I don’t believe Trinidad will ever ever ever get 8 goals in 1 game

  49. …France punish Jamaica Uncle…and you know France is is one of my teams…the other is the Orange Army…Holland

  50. oh really against France, dem wasn’t sticking like Argentina you know, imagine certain people football God didn’t even score ent. Them really good yes.

  51. If France had played against our soca worries eh the score might have been the same and it just shows that the Caribbean teams ain’t ready for the big times et all and will never be any time soon in the near future because the football officials agendas is always about exploiting the players.Them really good yes.

  52. …But you have to admit though…even if they are trailing in a game…at least they are still trying to keep possession….they are still playing to the system and not losing the plot…Hart definitely has gotten the team to improve…it may be in small doses…but i am sure we wouldn’t have lost 8-0 like Jamaica did today

  53. I just want this team to go from strength to strength.

  54. Terry, Shabazz, and Stuart Charles Fevrier, would have surely gave the younger players their chances in the both games because the time now is for them no matter the outcome and I dun talk. Them really good yes.

  55. More games like the last two are needed and the “process” needs to be continued ….# optimistic

  56. Thanks, they never become experienced unless you give experiences.
    My post was about the future, nothing to lose now but lots to gain if we had experimented more.

  57. …Mind you…i would have loved to have seen Winchester run at Iran’s defence…he is not the finished article…but he is the future…but i do agree with you Terry

  58. …Well said Terence William Fenwick…but coach Hart has to answer that…in addition as a coach yourself…you are aware that your decisions wouldn’t please everbody

  59. The results were not the most disappointing aspect of this tour, with 6 players available as substitutes we didn’t “blood” enough players.
    Why didn’t we give the younger inexperienced players more exposure to this level of football?
    With nothing to lose or gain, why worry about scores and reputations.
    An opportunity lost!

  60. Ah get real mess up. there I was watching an ESPN show on the media in World Cup and waiting to see Italy in its warm up match. They did a round up of the results of the friendlies and had 2 next to T&T and 0 next to Iran. Yuh girl start jumpin up an biggin up cuz. ….and then…. Still proud of the fellas though.

  61. Jam down played with a very young team hard luck Jamaica 8-0

  62. Move Tim kee and put who??…… Please !!!

  63. Vernal,please dont compare.When everybody else is getting some natural disaster we get governments that dont know their ass from their elbow…..

  64. The program needs to be more removed from government to be successful. As long as it isn’t it will always be subject to the influence of politics and politicians.

    When the U.S. plays abroad how many government dignitaries have you ever heard being members of the junket?

  65. Lets hope when Tim Kee and the rest of them return to our sweet country eh, they just resign and allow the right folks to run the program yes Like Brent Sancho, Shaka Hislop, and Kelvin Jack. Them really good yes.

  66. No, but there certainly in a state of turmoil now.
    That is indisputable.

  67. Vernal yuh think is only now the country and our team in ah state of turmoil. Them really good yes.

  68. It would be tough for T&T playing with all the distractions surrounding it. The Siparia rhythm section, permanent secretaries and various big wigs taking precedents over Soca Warrior interests and all.
    Not to mention the tragic death of the reserve goalkeepers infant son. The country and therefore the team is in a state of turmoil.

  69. Do you have any information on the Paraguay August friendly and European September friendlies mentioned by the express?