Home / Volley / Global Football / Hyland ends goal drought; Warriors open W/Cup campaign with win in Guatemala

Hyland ends goal drought; Warriors open W/Cup campaign with win in Guatemala

The last time that Khaleem Hyland scored for Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning was prime minister, Fay-Ann Lyons was Road March champion and JW and Blaze had not yet written “Palance.”

But the Belgium-based midfielder’s cool finish from outside the box was a welcome sight for “Soca Warriors” fans last night as the Trinidad and Tobago team started their Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win away to Guatemala.

Photo: Feeling it! Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (centre) roars during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action last night in Guatemala City. Hyland scored in a 2-1 win for the "Soca Warriors." (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Feeling it!
Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (centre) roars during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action last night in Guatemala City.
Hyland scored in a 2-1 win for the “Soca Warriors.”
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

You would have to go back even longer for Trinidad and Tobago’s last successful visit to the Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City. Hyland was just two months old when the “Land of the Hummingbird” last snatched a win in Guatemala.

Kerry Jamerson was the goal scorer then as the “Strike Squad” embarked on an unforgettable—although ultimately unsuccessful—push towards the Italy 1990 World Cup.

Can Hyland’s strike similarly inspire a fresh wave of belief in the “Red, White and Black?”

The Warriors’ performances at the 2015 Gold Cup have suggested that they might be capable of something memorable too and there will surely be a rush for tickets for next Tuesday’s home qualifier against the United States in Port of Spain.

US “soccer” has not seen anything like this current squad in Trinidad before, although that is a double-edged sword.

Traditionally, United States teams have come prepared to bully more lightweight T&T outfits stuffed with ball artists like Russell Latapy, Arnold Dwarika and David Nakhid.

Not these Warriors.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players (from left) Khaleem Hyland, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Mekeil Williams, Daneil Cyrus and Sheldon Bateau celebrate their 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players (from left) Khaleem Hyland, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Mekeil Williams, Daneil Cyrus and Sheldon Bateau celebrate their 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Guatemala.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“It was not pretty to watch at all,” Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart told Wired868. “The first half was littered with poor decisions in possession and a lack of movement. But we did better once (Kevan) George and (Cordell) Cato came on.”

Guatemala coach Ivan Sopegno, an Argentine native, might still be wondering what hit them.

At the July Gold Cup, Guatemala, who started with a 3-4-3 formation then, were exposed on the flanks and found themselves three goals down by the interval, after some rapid counterattacks.

Tonight, Sopegno made sure to squeeze space in the wide areas to protect against Trinidad and Tobago’s counter-attacking ability, while he often had two Guatemalans near to Joevin Jones.

Guatemala played two centre forwards too in an attempt to apply early pressure on the Warriors backline, which might have tickled Hart.

In their last friendly against Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago made a big show of playing the ball out from the back. But, Hart explained in private then, it was a decoy. And Sopegno’s tactical alteration left plenty of room for Andre Boucaud to operate in midfield.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Joevin Jones (centre) slips past Guatemala defenders Dennis Lopez (left) and Stefano Cincotta during World Cup qualifying action last night. The "Soca Warriors" won 2-1. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Joevin Jones (centre) slips past Guatemala defenders Dennis Lopez (left) and Stefano Cincotta during World Cup qualifying action last night.
The “Soca Warriors” won 2-1.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The problem was Jones (J) was kept under closer observation than Ruth Marchan at Walmart and Lester Peltier, not for the first time, would have been completely invisible if not for sporadic moans at the Canadian match official, Mathieu Bourdeau.

Elsewhere, Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings rarely got close to captain Kenwyne Jones and left back Mekeil Williams offered little offensive help to Joevin.

It meant gridlock and Guatemala created the better opportunities during that period, as striker Gerson Tinoco and machiavellian captain Carlos Ruiz threatened constantly.

Trinidad and Tobago custodian Jan-Michael Williams was fortunate to save one Tinoco effort with his legs in the 12th minute while he twice reacted quickly to punch away from Ruiz.

At halftime, the Warriors had not managed a single attempt on goal and, worse, seemed to have no idea how to engineer a chance.

If anything, Guatemala made an even better start to the second half. Between the 55th and the 58th minutes, the Central American nation won five straight corner kicks as the Warriors were pinned back.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart gives instructions during a 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup fixture against El Salvador. (Copyright AFP 2014/Rich Schultz)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart gives instructions during a 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup fixture against El Salvador.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Rich Schultz)

That was when the Guatemalans were really in trouble though.

The likes of Trinidad and Tobago defenders Sheldon Bateau, Daneil Cyrus and Radanfah Abu Bakr can defend set pieces all day long. And it is when opponents smell blood and press forward in their numbers that the Warriors are most dangerous.

But Hart still had not made that dramatic and decisive shuffle of his chess pieces.

In the 61st and 63rd minutes, he brought on midfield destroyer Kevan George and speed demon Cordell Cato at the expense of Cummings and Peltier respectively. And the barrel-chested Hyland was pushed into an advanced midfield role, as was the case for the final 25 minutes against Nicaragua.

“I wanted Andre (Boucaud) and Hyland to put earlier pressure on (Jose Contreras) and (Fredy Thompson),” said Hart. “We were not dealing well with their five man midfield.”

But Hart got more than he bargained before as, in the 67th minute, the 26 year old midfielder won possession about 25 yards away from the Guatemala goal and calmly stroked the ball past partially unsighted opposing goalkeeper Paulo Motta and into the far corner.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland points the way during last month's friendly international against Nicaragua. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland points the way during last month’s friendly international against Nicaragua.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

On the last occasion that Hyland celebrated an international goal, Everton assistant coach Dennis Lawrence was still wearing Trinidad and Tobago colours, Cristiano Ronaldo was still a Manchester United player and Calder Hart was the UDECOTT executive chairman.

Trinidad and Tobago have never lost a game under Hart once they nosed ahead. And Guatemala soon discovered why.

Sopegno was forced to gamble now and off went auxiliary right back Stefano Cincotta in the 74th minute as Guatemala went on the offensive. And, six minutes later, Joevin took full advantage of the space, as he shaped a beautiful, curving ball into the path of his namesake, Kenwyne.

And the giant Cardiff city forward responded with a superb side footed volley into the far corner. It was his 15th international goal in 26 outings under Hart.

Incidentally, Argentina striker Sergio Aguero has managed 16 goals in his last 28 international appearances.

Food for thought, perhaps, for fans who are still unconvinced about Jones’ ability to lead the line for Trinidad and Tobago’s 2018 World Cup charge.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (left) volleys home his country's second item despite the best efforts of Guatemala defender Dennis Lopez. The "Soca Warriors" won their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier 2-1 in Guatemala City. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones (left) volleys home his country’s second item despite the best efforts of Guatemala defender Dennis Lopez.
The “Soca Warriors” won their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier 2-1 in Guatemala City.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

There was a frustrating late blemish by the Warriors. Williams (JM) picked up a late caution for time wasting while, one minute into stoppage time, Trinidad and Tobago conceded a soft goal as Ruiz wriggled free in the penalty box and squared for substitute Carlos Mejia to convert.

But Guatemala could not get a second item and the final blast of Bourdeau’s whistle confirmed a successful three point haul for the Warriors.

The United States are next. Coach Klinsmann’s men will have to prepare themselves for a physical contest and an aerial battering while their tactics must be spot-on to resist Trinidad and Tobago’s quick offensive transition.

Oh how things have changed.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 5.Daneil Cyrus, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 17.Mekeil Williams; 8.Khaleem Hyland 14.Andre Boucaud; 23.Lester Peltier (13.Cordell Cato 63), 20.Keron Cummings (19.Kevan George 61), 3.Joevin Jones; 9.Kenwyne Jones (10.Willis Plaza 84).

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 7.Jonathan Glenn, 18.Yohance Marshall, 16.Justin Hoyte, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 15.Neveal Hackshaw, 11.Trevin Caesar.

Coach: Stephen Hart

 

Guatemala (3-4-1-2): 12.Paulo Motta (GK); 4.Hamilton Lopez, 3.Elias Vasquez (6.Carlos Mejia 54), 13.Dennis Lopez; 18.Stefano Cincotta (7.Henry Lopez 74), 15.Fredy Thompson, 10.Jose Contreras, 11.Moises Hernandez; 16.Marco Papa; 9.Gerson Tinoco (22.Mynor Lopez 83), 20.Carlos Ruiz (captain),

Coach: Ivan Sopegno

 

Referee: Mathieu Bourdeau (Canada)

Man of the match: Khaleem Hyland (Trinidad and Tobago)

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (right) tackles Guatemala captain Carlos Ruiz in 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup action. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (right) tackles Guatemala captain Carlos Ruiz in 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup action.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers

(Friday November 13)

Group C

Guatemala 1 (Carlos Mejia 90), Trinidad and Tobago 2 (Khaleem Hyland 67, Kenwyne Jones 80) at Guatemala City;

USA 6 (Bobby Wood 11, Fabian Johnson 29, Jozy Altidore 31, 74, Geoff Cameron 51, Gyasi Zardes 58), St Vincent and the Grenadines 1 (Oalex Anderson 5) at St Louis;

Group B

Jamaica 0, Panama 2 (Armando Cooper 43, Wes Morgan OG 52) at Kingston;

Costa Rica 1 (Christian Gamboa 29), Haiti 0 at San Jose

Group A

Mexico 3 (Andre Guardado 7, Hector Herrera 42, Carlos Vela 64), El Salvador 0 at Mexico City;

Canada 1 (Will Johnson 38), Honduras 0 at Vancouver.

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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72 comments

  1. Just a few observations: Count the number of passes TnT completed; number of shots at goal and on target; amount of ball possession in the last 5 minutes of the game; use (or lack thereof) of the width of the field in the dying minutes of a game when we are ahead as compared to the opponents. We may have gotten the win but this kind of play is not WC level football. On the Sergio Aguero comparison, what was Argentina’s opposition compared to TnT?

  2. Win, lose or draw I’m supporting the red white and black as I’ve always done before. This has been our best in terms of performance that I’ve seen for quite sometime #GoSocaWarriors

  3. Great shots by Allan V. Crane btw!!

  4. You should know I never give up Kendall… Here’s Coach Hart’s Post-match comments, I’d say his view on the 1st half pretty much sums up your POV :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TtViP7m5i8

  5. I agree with Kendall Tull in a lot of ways. But then again football can be a strange game, especially when you get into those minute technical aspects about whether a defender, mid-fielders, forward could have done X or Y better in a particular moment of a match.

    Seen so many football games like the game in Guatemala where you see a defense make mistakes and they were not finished off, which indeed leaves you worried about what a better attacking team can do to them.

    Yet next game team plays, those perceived faults are actually never exposed by new better opposition (in this case USA on tuesday) or the team (TT defenders) actually just defends better.

    • My p.o.v exactly. Sometimes you miss a dozen and go score 5 next game. I think your mindset and opposition are major factors in this

    • Ye and who knows after winning in Guatemala now – and the obvious tactical adjustment Hart will suggest to his defense after noticing those faults from 1st half – they could very well and be better in home conditions – with no additional pressure of HAVING to beat the USA in this game

  6. Don’t bother Brian. It seems that my comments are being misconstrued. I have no interest in continuing this discussion. Time will tell.

  7. All that you said above is true Prince Borde but I encourage you to look at the Guatemala game again, we def need to improve our defending as Guatemala squandered SEVERAL gilt-edged chances Friday night…all Kendall Tull is cautioning is that we dont allow the US THOSE type of opportunities…I too however feel we can and will win on Tuesday night, but we have a habit of conceding late that has me a bit concerned…Hart is a master tactician tho, so I Believe we will be on 6 points after Tuesday night!

  8. Jamaica beat the US with similar tactics. this current Trinidad team fits defending a US team better than the Central Americans. We are big, strong, fast and athletic. There is no Papa on the US team. They don’t keep the ball as well as Guatemala. Kendall under hart we finish first in our group. Beat a Guatemala in Guatemala for how many years. Even the great Argentina has flaws. We have to play to our strengths. I don’t like it but we have won games, so I applaud this team and the staff. If we get to the hex it will be another major accomplishment for this team. Remember we were written off by a lot of people eh.

  9. Step by step Kendall. We know our opponents. We have played every major nation in CONCACAF apart from Costa Rica and the US at the last two Gold Cups.
    So we will know exactly what we need to do.

  10. Success isn’t winning a game or two Lasana, it’s achieving your goal on a consistent basis. In this case, the goal is qualifying for the World Cup. That tactic will not work. Much tougher opponents lie ahead.

  11. Depends on your opponent though Kendall Tull

  12. That tactic has rarely been successful Lasana.

  13. ..That Guatemala goal in the dying minutes…our defense got limp in the box…but tremendous win by TNT…next is Uncle Sam…in our backyard…!

  14. I agree that we should do better in many aspects including that one Kendall Tull. I only mean that I’m not particularly afraid of the US regardless.
    I think we can make as many chances as we concede.

  15. Great news to wake up to…Go Soca Warriors!!!!!

  16. Why do I feel as though I am speaking Latin like a lone voice in the wilderness. Smh.

  17. Their performance was shaky at best though.

  18. I never said we had to fear anybody. I said we cannot afford to gift the US, or any other team for that matter, chances like we did yesterday.

    If we don’t understand that, then we have no hope of going anywhere.

  19. Fair enough Kendall Tull. But without Clint Dempsey, I can’t see US having a striker who I’m that wary of either.
    CONCACAF is open right now. Mexico have some quality attackers. Otherwise we don’t need to fear anyone. We just have to execute. I can just imagine what a midfield trio of David Nakhid, Reynold Carrington and Russell Latapy or Dwight Yorke, Aurtis Whitley and Chris Birchall might have done in this era.

  20. All I said was that we cannot afford to gift the US with those kinds of opportunities Lasana. Lack of finishing by Guatemala should not be mistaken for defensive strength or good goalkeeping.

    • No mistake, Kendall. Lack of finishing often gets the rewards it deserves because of good goalkeeping or, put another way, bad goalkeeping sometimes allows a team to escape with a win in spite of the poor finishing. So give JMW his just deserts but we can’t let it lull us into a sense false sense of security about the quality of the defending.

  21. Kendall Tull, I am not bowled over by the style of the team at all. But I give them credit for making the most of what collective abilities they have.
    I’m actually more optimistic about facing US now than any other time I can remember.

  22. We have two capable goalies but Jan has the edge for his organizational skills I think.

  23. Chabeth Haynes I’d put it a different way…each of our two main keepers have strengths in certain areas and depending on the opposition and who’s in form the #1 could change. Eg.To me Jan is better than Marvin in terms of cross balls but Marvin is the better shot-stopper

  24. So after last night’s game is the conclusion still that we don’t have a clear number one keeper and that our two keepers are pretty much interchangeable?

  25. Not easy on the eye. But hard to break down and we take full advantage of the few strengths we do have. I think USA will have a tough time.
    It will be really interesting to see if and how the nation warms to this team’s more workmanlike qualities.

  26. Scotty Ranking

    Am I seeing right? St Vincent OPENED the scoring against USA? AS in led them from the 5th minute until the 11th? Wonder what would happen if USA lapsed early like that against us …

  27. We played with Hyland up there against Nicaragua Kirwin Weston. It’s a Plan B. I think partly because we just have a real shortage of number 10s.

  28. Congratulations Socal Warriors!!! Well done!

  29. Stand firm your lady…tnt legend.

  30. hmmmm…really ??.. dont tell me more internal troubles ??..

  31. I wish I could say thanks but I did not play love not on the team doh

  32. hey Kennya Yaya Cordner…well done to the ladies also…vz St Lucia…6-0…keep going

  33. We were lucky not to be 2 or 3 goals down at half time.

  34. Ye I know i called it, but as i mentioned before Hart was hinting in press conferences in last few weeks that was something he was going to do

  35. money (pounds) well spent Brian Flynn…well done to the “Bairns” also…thanks for the belief..or the punt..haha

  36. Molino would be helpful …we’re well coached but lacking a lil artistry to open up tight defences 🙁

  37. Excellent! Had a drunken £100 on them and woke up to the result doubled up with Falkirk today. ?

  38. Yeah Colin, you really called Hyland higher up the midfield and George/Boucaud combo. Cummings and Peltier have some work to do. I never thought last night was for Pest at all though

  39. Good win away from home. Confidence ought to be high going into the next game

  40. Damn I like to watch my boy Boucaud play this game. He looks as fit as I’ve ever seen him which augurs well

  41. True – there certainly won’t be too many moment on Tuesday night from the warriors that will bring the crowd to its feet.

  42. I can’t wait to see what turnout we get on Tuesday.

  43. This is a big win ….two great goals but the defending we’re caught standing around ….we have got to tighten that up. …..too many gaps. Congrats to Stephen and the boys 🙂

  44. Imagine if we can add fluidity and vision to this team what we might accomplish. At the moment, I think we are limited on the ball. But hard to beat and taking full advantage of the weapons we do have.

  45. Its hard and obviously harsh to compare Trinidad to elite nations, but during the day, I watched the spain vs england games, brazil vs argentina, france vs germany (rip those folks) and USA vs Vincent.

    One thing that has become a trend since gold cup, is how poor on the eye TT tend to start games – compared to some of the best teams in the world.No mid-field fluency and much long balls into Kenwye. Don’t know if this an approach that’s a consequence of mid-fielder technicians Molino & Hector being absent – but is a notable trend.

    However as games progresses, the team eventually settles with some decent mid-field ball movement & you get some brilliant counter attack moves – with in recent times Joevin always being the man to provide that special quality.

    Hart is really a excellent tactical coach though, no question about it. I had great suspicion something about the idea of playing George/Boucaud in mid-field and Hylaand further forward – would play deep into how he structured the team last night – based on trying that mid-field trio in the dying stages of Nicaragua friendly.

    Hylaand scoring for the first time since Manning was president ha – is as perfect of tactical experiment could come off really. #inhartwetrust

    • Most likely the direct approach to Kenwyne early on is a safety measure. If we get something out of it then fine. It’s just to get us through the first 10-15 mins safely and also sends the wrong message to the opposition because they’ll think that’s our build-up. That could also unsettle or comfort some defenders

  46. It was a great result for T&T…what a match. If they continue to show the same grit and determination.
    Russia here we come. The true test for Stephen Hart and the boys will come against USA.
    If we get a result that would be great.
    I was streaming the match on my laptop listening to the Spanish feed and the commentators went on excitedly after Kenwyne Jones goal about,”Techniqua Fantastica !!”

  47. Beautiful goals, inspiring writing ….sweet sweet TnT. Ah definitely flying in for the match on Tuesday.

  48. Both goals were beauties and JMW did some serious saving. Looking forward to seeing them win on Tuesday!

  49. Well TnT. On to the next one. ?

  50. A win is a win. A great result. A courageous performance with a few moments of quality which turned out to be enough.

  51. Love this post u did well Khaleem Shaquille Hyland-bruce

  52. Lasana Liburd bold statement, “look how things changed” hahaha if we win this game Tuesday! Wow! I thought the chances by hart was spot on. With pace on both sides, it allowed the midfielders to join the attach better. Space was opening up! Why we scored the first. Dropped way to deep in the final 10 minutes. A win is a win!