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Six-shooters: Molino trebles Dominican Rep as Warriors record easy win

After a week punctuated with contract wrangling, infighting, strike threats and Twitter tantrums, depending on whether your focus is the West Indies cricket team, the national under-20 boys and the senior women footballers, it was nice to have something to savour for a change.

At kick off, that mirth might have been directed at Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino and his unseasonal experiment with peroxide ins his hair. By the final whistle, the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva was smiling with Molino, though, as his hattrick paced the “Soca Warriors” to a 6-1 demolition of the Dominican Republic in last night’s Caribbean Cup qualifying group affair.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago hattrick hero Kevin Molino (centre) flicks the ball around Dominican Republic midfielder Heinz Barmettler (left) during Caribbean Cup qualifying action last night. Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago hattrick hero Kevin Molino (centre) flicks the ball around Dominican Republic midfielder Heinz Barmettler (left) during Caribbean Cup qualifying action last night.
Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“I won’t say I was worried,” said Trinidad and Tobago national head team coach Stephen Hart, in the post-game press conference, “but I was interested in how the first 15 minutes would go.”

Last night was Hart’s first competitive match with the Warriors since the July 2013 Caribbean Cup, his first taste of action in the regional tournament and only his team’s third game of the year.

In an abundance of caution—almost certain linked to the abysmal preparation of all of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) national teams—Hart selected 14 foreign-based players in his 20-man squad, which led to a bizarre bit of history when an overseas-based professional, Millwall right back Justin Hoyte, could not even find a place on the substitutes’ bench.

All 10 of Trinidad and Tobago’s outfield players in the starting line-up earn their living abroad.

There was a time when the Caribbean competition was used primarily to blood new talent. But this is a new era.

The recent success of the women’s team and under-20 men has raised the level of expectation on this squad while there is also the tantalising first place prize for the Caribbean Cup champion of a berth in the 2016 Copa America, which could offer vital experience for T&T’s 2018 World Cup drive.

“I’ve never been able to play in this Cup before,” said national team captain Kenwyne Jones, “and I think the team we have now is good enough to get to the final and hopefully win. But we just want to focus on the next game.”

And who can argue that picking your strongest team—give or take a few enforced absences—is the best way to go about winning trophies?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Lester Peltier (second from left) prepares to fly past a trio of Dominican Republic defenders in last night's Caribbean Cup qualifier in Couva. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Lester Peltier (second from left) prepares to fly past a trio of Dominican Republic defenders in last night’s Caribbean Cup qualifier in Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

When the Warriors met the Dominican Republic at the 2012 Caribbean Cup, it took a late goal from Molino to eke out a vital 2-1 win. Yesterday, “Los Quisqueyanos”, as Dominicans refer to their football team, did not know what hit them.

The scoreline suggests a Molino mauling. In truth, winger Lester Peltier was just as dangerous; and by the time Peltier hobbled off the field in the 37th minute, the Dominican Republic was in tatters.

In the third minute, Peltier flew past Dominican left back Edward Acvedo and drove a cross into the area that a defender deflected off his own bar. Molino was on spot to nod the loose ball across the goal line.

A minute later, Peltier produced an encore; only this time his cross flew directly to Molino who finished with a neat diving header.

“We started well and I think that did two things,” said Hart. “One is that it put them under immediate pressure because I think they are a better team than what we saw tonight; and that allowed us to settle down a bit.”

In the 25th minute, Peltier created Trinidad and Tobago’s third as he spotted Molino’s forward run and lofted a pass perfectly in his stride. And the Orlando City playmaker, who was the US second-tier league’s MVP and is now MLS-bound, finished with a deft flick past ex-W Connection goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kevin Molino (right) flicks his third goal past Dominican Republic goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kevin Molino (right) flicks his third goal past Dominican Republic goalkeeper Miguel Lloyd.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Two years ago, Peltier and Molino bemused staff by referring to themselves as “Yorke and Latapy” during the Caribbean tournament. It is blindingly obvious that they are not nearly as successful yet. But Molino is about to have Brazil star and former FIFA Player of the Year Kaka as a club teammate while Peltier just played 90 minutes against Italian outfit, Napoli, in the Europa League.

They are young men on a forward trajectory and the Warriors benefitted from their telepathic understanding last night.

Jones should have got in on the act in the 35th minute but failed to control his sidefooted volley from a Peltier cross with a vacant goal in front of him. However, the Cardiff City forward got his first item in the 40th minute, a simple finish after a Molino pass, before completing his double in the 55th minute after a brilliant outside of foot cross from Hughtun Hector.

It was Jones’ eighth goal in 12 internationals under Hart and, although his tally shows 15 goals in 63 FIFA-recognised matches, the giant, dreadlocked forward played 15 times in orthodox midfield roles; so yesterday was his 48th game as an international striker

By the end of the Caribbean Cup, Jones might have the respectable goals per game ratio that he craves; and it is not as if record T&T goalscorer Stern John did not fill his boots in regional tournaments as well.

The crowd’s response to Jones remains mixed though.

Trinidad and Tobago does not idolise the men who get the job done without theatrics. John was never loved by the local public, Dwight Yorke was only cherished after he dropped into midfield in the twilight of his career while older fans tend to reminisce about Leroy De Leon, Warren Archibald and Everald “Gally” Cummings but, rarely, about the free-scoring Steve David.

Jones, who, incidentally, is a three-time Trinidad and Tobago Player of the Year, will just have to live with that.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward and captain Kenwyne Jones (right) drives past Dominican Republic left back Edward Acevedo in last night's Caribbean Cup qualifier in Couva. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward and captain Kenwyne Jones (right) drives past Dominican Republic left back Edward Acevedo in last night’s Caribbean Cup qualifier in Couva.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Hector engineered two more assists for either team later in the match. There was a measured pass for teammate and substitute Trevin Caesar to bang home his first senior international goal in the 76th minute; and a skewed one that Johnathan Fana capitalised on to grab the Dominican Republic’s consolation item in the 86th minute.

Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams would not have enjoyed losing his clean sheet in that fashion. But it is hard not to feel pleased for the clever and industrious Fana—a former fan favourite and teammate of Williams’ at Connection.

For much of the 90 minutes, the Dominican Republic team chased shadows as Andre Boucaud and Khaleem Hyland commanded central midfield while Peltier and Hector moved menacingly on the flanks and Molino and Jones traded places intelligently.

The back four, a mish-mash with midfielder Joevin Jones and central defender Daneil Cyrus asked to play at left back and right back respectively, was more tentative. Hart’s decision to use Cyrus at right back was especially curious since he already had two specialist right backs, Connection’s Alvin Jones and Hoyte, in his squad.

Overall, the Warriors were an appreciable combination of physical strength, athleticism and sound decision making. And the crowd cheered often during the 90 minutes.

“We still have to work a bit more on keeping the ball longer,” said the 25-year-old Hyland, a Racing Genk midfielder who sounds more like a coach each year. “But it is a long time we haven’t come together and it is a great start for us…

“The team worked hard and defensively tried to keep a block when we didn’t have a ball. The effort from us was great from the start.”

The Warriors can be better; and they intend to be on Friday night in Couva. It is very worrying news for their next opponent, St Lucia.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 6.Daneil Cyrus, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 3.Joevin Jones, 14.Andre Boucaud, 8.Khaleem Hyland (11.Ataulla Guerra 53), 23.Lester Peltier (13.Cordell Cato 37), 7.Hughtun Hector, 10.Kevin Molino (20.Trevin Caesar 62), 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain),

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 5.Kevan George, 17.Leston Paul, 18.Yohance Marshall.

Standbys: 16.Alvin Jones, Justin Hoyte.

Coach: Stephen Hart

 

Dominican Republic (4-2-3-1): 1.Miguel Lloyd (GK); 2.Luis Diaz, 18.Hansley Martinez, 4.Jose Israel, 20.Edward Acvedo; 5.Heinz Barmettler,13.Rafael Leonardo; 9.Domingo Peralto (17.Rony Beard 57), 14.Jean Lopez, (16.Edipo Rodriguez 56), 7.Kerbi Rodriguez (19.Samuel Elias 86); 10.Johnathan Fana,

Unused substitutes: 12.Wellinton Agramonte, 6.Richard Dabas, 23.Luis Taveras, 8.Inoel Navarro,

Coach: Clemente Domingo

 

Referee: Kevin Morrison (Jamaica)

 

Caribbean Cup qualifying fixtures

(Wed Oct 8)

Antigua and Barbuda 2 (Keiran Murtagh, Joshua Parker), St Lucia 1 (Kurt Fredericks) at Couva;

Trinidad and Tobago 6 (Kevin Molino 3, 4, 25, Kenwyne Jones 40, 55, Trevin Caesar 76), Dominican Republic 1 (Johnathan Fana 86) at Couva;

 

Upcoming fixtures

(Fri Oct 10)

Dominican Rep v Antigua and Barbuda, 6 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

T&T v St Lucia, 8.15 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

(Sun Oct 12)

Dominican Republic v St Lucia, 4 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

T&T v Antigua and Barbuda, 6.15 pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.

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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52 comments

  1. Roneil Walcott

    Cyrus may naturally be a CB but I think he is our best right-back at the moment.

  2. If K Jones work the way he worked vs St Lucia last night, he’ll be a world class striker. he real was in the game… That’s what I wanted to see all the time Jezzzzzz

  3. T’was a good game…. we could have scored more and it was a defensive blunder or/and a breakdown in concentration that lead to a goal being scored on us…..

  4. If this team can score that many goals with that formation, which was preferred last decade by sir alex when he had ruud, I can safely repeat that Coach Hart has all the firepower he needs. in the last 30 mins or so if his team is on top, maybe a newer 4-1-3-2 may literally demolish teams. I thought that the team would’ve played to a grinding 1,2 or 3 nil margin but this far outweighed my expectation. I think that player motivation is the key to the rest of the campaign. I’ll add, great go guys!

  5. Nice debate guys …loving it

  6. Well put Anthony and that’s exactly how i see it as well, take the German team for example its never really about the personnel that are selected its about fulfilling the role of the position as envisioned by the coach and who does it most sucessfully, to bring it back home players like Kenwyne Jones and Stern John before him may not have been the flashiest but they have the tactical discipline that the coach has envisioned for the role they play, hence they are always selected Khaleem Hyland is another such player he just does his job on the park he is not the flashiest but he is excellent in winning back the ball when its lost, is positionally sound and helps keep good defensive shape and provides good cover for the attacking players but of course we don’t appreciate those things in T&T

  7. By that definition, Kevin Molino is definitely a talented player. There was no showboating on Wednesday. It was a business like performance.

  8. Actually Lasana , my response has more to do with interpretation – your idea of a talented player may differ from my opinion…I think more in terms of effective players, here in T&T we are drawn to players who may posses flair and flash, in big football countries there is more emphasis on the end result produced. There is a young player who Arsenal officially signed recently, he made his first team debut for them at 16 against Coventry in the FA Cup – in the games he played with my U15s (in front of the Arsenal North American scout) he never attempted to go past 3 and 4 players from the opposing team, however, almost every pass he attempted in the final third of the field was executed with amazing weight and accuracy – his decision making in every area of the pitch was that of someone way beyond his years (13 at the time). He is an example of what I consider an amazingly talented player – he is now considered by Arsenal to be a hugely talented player – note the difference. So when people here in Trini talk about talented players, I sometimes hv a different view of what that means in the context of where talented players are typically playing their football professionally…

  9. La Horquetta Xf, Anthony Sherwood asked if we can consider our players talented because they are not playing for big clubs outside. And I point out players who were talented but never made it outside their home countries.
    It has nothing to do with Jones. Because Jones actually DID play in the top flight and in Europe as well.
    I’m not saying Peltier and Molino are great players eh. Just that them not playing for big clubs doesn’t necessarily close the debate either.

    • Yeah he come good here for real. Real International, like the pics! Kenwyne looked like if Robert Downey Jr was suited inside him being on the run. Need this autographed asap. I’ll rate with a 6-1 scoreline.

  10. That’s what ah talking about , beat people bad !!

  11. Playing with 1 striker against shit side like DR and the other 2 participants is an insult to tnt football. we don’t need a back 4 to cover 2 of those waste of time strikers. if a back 3 can’t handle those inferior players well they not supposed 2 be playing intl football

    • Understood, a bit unsportsmanlike words to the opponent though who maybe tried their best but were outmanned. Coach Hart might be trying to get the back four to click and understand each other so when tougher opponents come, it will be natural to afford no mistakes.

  12. Mr Lasana Liburd can’t believe your mentioning Jones name in the same sentence with Dwarika & Valderrama… de man can’t hold up a good ball his technical game is off. ok he can head the ball but that’s it… Harry Rednapp took a CB and made him a Forward. give the right people a chance

  13. He can be inconsistent. I agree with you there Leslie Noel. That might be his biggest problem. But he delivers more for Hart than I’ve seen him do with anyone else, including British clubs.
    There are some top players like Valderrama who failed overseas. So you can be a talented player without making a big team. Dwarika is another example.
    Lester Peltier troubled Marcos Rojo at times against Argentina. That has to be a decent benchmark of potential at least.

  14. great work guys , may god be with you guys always

  15. all that you have said James Saunders, only applies when kenwyn wants it to…………..outside of that it’s “nothing doing”

  16. I agree with Travis what Kenwyne brings to the table as the number 9 (Strength, height, power, aerial prowess and ability to hold up the ball) their is no one else that brings the same attributes to the table (same as Stern John) he may not be the greatest finisher but do not underestimate K Jones’s value to the team, for one Kenwyne’s presence alone creates so much room for the players around him. By the way I watch matches at all levels live regularly and even online for those abroad so i’m not just talking based on emotion or from my laptop and hearsay, so all the names that were suggested i watch them all. Clearly the way that coach Hart wants to play favours the attributes of K. Jones and if that is the case unless another player can clearly show that he can displace Jones in his current position, give the man a break!!!

  17. When we say talented attacking players, is there a specific benchmark that we’re referencing? When you consider where our top players are playing football today you’ve got to wonder if everyone else worldwide has a different view of what constitutes a “talented” player…

  18. Cyar believe Travis Mulraine coming from the era that he has , also thinks that we are overly harsh on kenwyn

  19. Great double assist from Lester Peltier as well

  20. Wey Lasana Liburd kenwyns problem is that he is not a hard worker…. We’ve seen it time and time again where he as the lone striker standing around and looking uninterested….. So I have to side with La Horquetta Xf

  21. Boy this country has so much talented attacking players look how they take to bring back Hector top player where’s Jamal Gay, Darryl Roberts, they made C Birchall retire and try to retire C Edwards…. Jorsling & Caeser is my strikers

  22. Stay horquetta who you rather at the 9?

  23. Yes man! This is what we like! One step closer to d days when dem blasted CFU nations (except Jamaica) used to collect 6+ from we B|

  24. Lol. Difference of opinions flavour the pot La Horquetta Xf

  25. Would love to see the highlights

  26. I know it boils down to tastes sometimes and I can understand not everyone will like a player for one reason or not. Jones is no Aguero or Dwight Yorke. But he has his strengths too that maybe those other guys didn’t have.
    So long as he is producing for the team, I can’t argue.

    • Totally agree with you Lasana and Travis.. Jones has qualities that are of huge benefit to the team. His size and presence as a striker is great, because he is never short of chances. Sometimes he spurns at least 2 or 3 before capitalising. So it’s not that he doesn’t find himself in goal scoring positions. He just needs to work on finishing the half chances as Travis said. As avid football fans and football critics alike Trinidadians believe that he should score all of his chances-forgetting what else he does for the team and that he does score.

  27. At the end of the day he has quality enough for the premiership. And at one time he was a highly sought after striker.

  28. Lasana as you rightly said Jones will have to live without being loved by the Trinidad public, because he doesn’t have the flair that Trinidadians crave for. He just has to work a bit more on his finishing and aggression in anticipating half chances and he will be cool. It’s funny how most of our supporters are so uneducated about what this game is really all about.

  29. Jones can make soft teams look like hard ones…just saying !

  30. Yes he has scored against top teams

  31. Jones scored against El Salvador, Honduras, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. It is not as if he was scoring for fun against Aruba. Aren’t those teams, apart from the Dominican Republic, generally on our level or even a bit higher?

  32. Yeah I believe you… You’ll do good in politics

  33. Come nah James, let’s be a little but realistic. There are some soft teams!

  34. There might be favourites but i maintain no easy teams

  35. Germany 7 Barbados 0 lol a real important match? Argentina 4 Trinidad 1

  36. James Saunders… At international level there are no soft teams Germany vs Barbados or this is a easy one Argentina vs Trinidad can you predict the score

  37. I loved that 4th goal. The interception by Bateau and capitalizing on the opportunity to move forward was good to see. St. Lucia, most likely is going to park the bus !

  38. That strong start is what propelled the game for us as Coach Hart highlighted. DR was up against it early on and didn’t readjust.

  39. Not a fan at jones style and work rate but of late he’s scoring for Cardiff and Trinidad. Molino is the future. If we intend on going to any cups, he’s the man to lead the charge. He is in some kind of form of late!

  40. Soft teams (Which their are none at International level) or not goals are goals

  41. That’s vs soft teams man come on put Kenwyne in his correct position CB or DM

  42. Plaza is 27 and still has some years left in him. But what about Kenwyne’s present strike rate? He has 8 goals from 12 games under Hart. And against good opposition too.

  43. Trinidad still need a good striker like Jorsling or Plaza but that will never happen…

  44. Yes. I’m interested to see what happens next as the team gets into stride. I almost feel sorry for St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda.

  45. It was an interesting combo at the back for sure. Nice to see goals in abundance from our national team against pretty decent opposition too..