The Trinidad and Tobago National Football Team suffered their joint highest defeat under head coach Stephen Hart today as the “Soca Warriors” crashed to a 3-0 loss away to Jordan in international friendly action.
Jordan have already played nine outings this year, including three Asian Cup qualifiers and one World Cup qualifier, and their extra sharpness showed in the lopsided result, which did not flatter the host nation.
Jordan, who are ranked at 103 in the world by FIFA, scored twice in the first 24 minutes before notching a third in the second half and could have easily extended their advantage as the Warriors fell apart in the closing minutes.
Hamza Al Dardour, playmaker Abdallah Deeb and Odai Al Saifi got each for the Jordanians.
In contrast, Trinidad and Tobago, whose football president Raymond Tim Kee looked on from the VIP seats, have now gone 480 minutes without a goal after failing to score in their last five outings, including extra time of the Caribbean Cup final against Jamaica.
It was also their fourth straight defeat, which is their worst run of form since Hart took over in June 2013.
The Warriors, who were making their third outing of the year after narrow defeats to Panama and Curaçao, could not move the ball around fast enough to unsettle the Jordanian backline. And Slovakia-based winger Lester Peltier, Trinidad and Tobago’s most likely chance for penetration in the first half, was often crowded out.
There were early warning signs as right Aubrey David was forced into an awkward clearance for a corner in his own penalty area, after just six minutes. While, a minute later, Warriors defender Daneil Cyrus deflected an Al Dardour shot behind for another corner kick.
Jordan went ahead in the 16th minute as visiting captain Kenwyne Jones lost possession around the opposing penalty area and, on a swift and precise counter attack, Deeb threaded a pass for Al Dardour into the channel vacated by visiting left back Joevin Jones. The Jordanian responded with a calm finish around stranded Trinidad and Tobago custodian Jan-Michael Williams.
The Warriors might have equalised in the 21st minute as Peltier found Jones (K) in the box and the Cardiff City forward rounded the Jordan goalkeeper, only to be put off by the tight angle and retreating defenders.
And the hosts rubbed salt into Trinidad and Tobago’s wounds by doubling their advantage in the 24th minute. United States-based winger Cordell Cato pulled out of a tackle and Hart’s midfield anchors, Khaleem Hyland and Andre Boucaud, were both AWOL as Deeb carried the ball for about 30 yards before beating Williams with a fine right footed effort from the edge of the box.
The Warriors did have their chances to pull a goal back.
Cyrus and Jones (K) combined well in the 35th minute but Hyland’s left footed effort was too close to the opposing goalkeeper. And substitute Willis Plaza muffed a header from a left side Cato cross in the 54th minute and then, 15 minutes later, failed to squeeze home an effort after a good build up from Keron Cummings and Jones (K).
Jordan’s third item was tough one to swallow as Williams, in a rare misjudgment, pushed a speculative Al Saifi effort into his own net in the 70th minute—while presumably trying to tip the shot overbar.
And a raft of substitutions saw the Warriors lose control of the midfield for the closing minutes as Jordan lay siege to the visiting goal. But for a defensive block by Cyrus and two flying saves from Williams, Trinidad and Tobago might have been truly embarrassed.
Hart’s next outing is likely to be Trinidad and Tobago’s opening 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup group match against Guatemala on July 9, as the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) financial woes have hampered the team’s pre-tournament preparation.
Guatemala would have played seven matches by then including fixtures against Uruguay, Mexico and the United States. Worryingly, the Warriors’ performance on the field today more closely resembled the off-field mayhem of its administrators than the solid, combative ethos that characterised Hart’s tenure thus far.
And, just as important, Trinidad and Tobago cannot seem to buy a goal without injured playmaker and 2014 Player of the Year, Kevin Molino.
Trinidad and Tobago: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 2.Aubrey David, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 6.Daneil Cyrus, 3.Joevin Jones; 23.Lester Peltier (20.Keron Cummings 60), 8.Khaleem Hyland (7.Sean De Silva 82), 14.Andre Boucaud (5.Leston Paul), 13.Cordell Cato (16.Shahdon Winchester 78); 11.Ataulla Guerra (10.Willis Plaza 46); 9.Kenwyne Jones (Captain) (26.Devorn Jorsling 77).
Unused substitutes: Marvin Phillip (GK), Radanfah Abu Bakr, Kaydion Gabriel, Mekeil Williams.
Coach: Stephen Hart
(Tue Jun 16)
Jordan 3 (Hamza Al Dardour 16, Abdallah Deeb 24, Odai Al Saifi 70), Trinidad and Tobago 0 at Amman, Jordan.