Home / Volley / Global Football / More than a Sample; Kenwyne nets on debut but Central custodian keeps C/League hopes alive

More than a Sample; Kenwyne nets on debut but Central custodian keeps C/League hopes alive

Caribbean club champions Central FC battled to an entertaining 2-2 draw with Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit, Sporting Kansas City, in 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva last night.

And although Soca Warriors skipper Kenwyne Jones scored a clinical debut goal in the second half, the “Couva Sharks” had to thank their stand-in custodian Javon Sample for ensuring that they came away with a point last night.

Photo: Central FC custodian Javon Sample (centre) dives in vain to try to deny Sporting Kansas City attacker Kevin Ellis (left) while defender Elton John looks on during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC custodian Javon Sample (centre) dives in vain to try to deny Sporting Kansas City attacker Kevin Ellis (left) while defender Elton John looks on during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“We were good on the flanks and we had some good services into the box,” said Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, at the post-game conference. “I have to credit their goalkeeper because he made some very, very good saves.”

Even the usually buoyant “Abasali brothers” would not have been able to make a case for Central’s prospects of progressing from the group stage with zero points from a possible six after two home games.

However, 21 year-old Sample, who was deputizing for the injured Jan-Michael Williams, pulled off a bevy of saves in the final ten minutes of the game to give Central a fighting chance in Group C with two road games still to come.

Perhaps most spectacularly, Sample stopped Diego Kostner from point-blank range in the 86th minute when it looked harder for the striker to miss the target.

Sporting KC, who fielded just one starter—right back Saad Abdul-Salaam—from their 2-2 draw away to MLS Western Conference leaders FC Dallas on Saturday, threw the kitchen sink and more at Central in the latter stages of the game. But Sample was solid like a rock between the uprights.

Photo: Central FC defender Keion Goodridge (right) tries to hold off Sporting Kansas City attacker Roger Espinoza during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC defender Keion Goodridge (right) tries to hold off Sporting Kansas City attacker Roger Espinoza during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“The inspiration and pushing from my coaches, including goalkeeper coach James Baird, put the confidence in me to go out and perform in a big game like this,” said Sample.

The start of the contest was not as problematic for Sample and his back line, and the home team should have taken the lead inside the first two minutes. However, the newly acquired Jones sent a tame left-footed shot at opposing goalkeeper Jon Kempin after strike partner Marcus Joseph telepathically flicked on a long ball by centre back Andre Ettienne.

Jones, who is currently on loan from MLS expansion franchise Atlanta United, was playing his first competitive fixture since last turning out for Al Jazira in May. And although he may lacked some match sharpness, the Sporting KC defence was made aware of his presence from the jump.

“Kenwyne Jones came in and really gave us much punch up front so credit must go to him as well (…) we had Kenwyne on the park so I think we were good for two goals,” said Central coach Dale Saunders.

Central’s strategy was uncomplicated and direct, as they sought out Jones from set pieces and open play. On the other hand, Sporting KC took a liking to the flanks, particularly the left, as they built patiently before playing through passes beyond the Central defence.

Photo: Central FC star forward Kenwyne Jones (left) tries to motor past Sporting Kansas City midfielder Soni Mustivar during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC star forward Kenwyne Jones (left) tries to motor past Sporting Kansas City midfielder Soni Mustivar during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“A lot of teams tend to play centrally, not just here but in our league,” Vermes said. “It seems that when you open the game up on teams it’s a lot of ground to cover.”

Ettienne was working especially hard as he tried to provide cover for right-back Elton John, who often had passes played inside him. The aggressive defender made a timely interception in the ninth minute as he thwarted a slick attack down the left by Seth Sinovic and Connor Hallisey.

Sporting KC’s left-sided pair continued to combine sweetly and, in the 28th minute, Hallisey carved through the Central midfield before finding skipper Roger Espinoza, who saw his nicely shaped left-footer well saved by a diving Sample.

Sporting’s aggressive pressing did push Central back somewhat in the first half, but the Sharks still managed a few sniffs on the counter attack. Jones and Joseph don’t quite motor around like Justin Gatlin and Usain Bolt but their synchronised movement caused Kevin Ellis and Amer Dedic a few problems in central defence.

Joseph shot just wide after a lovely feed from Jones in the 39th minute, while the duo were left cursing their luck on the stroke of half time as the speedy Darren Mitchell opted for a shot instead of a pass in a favourable three-on-two situation on the edge of the area.

Photo: Central FC captain Leston Paul (right) tries to hold off a Sporting Kansas City opponent during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016. Both teams played to a 2-2 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC captain Leston Paul (right) tries to hold off a Sporting Kansas City opponent during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016.
Both teams played to a 2-2 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Jones also had a headed item disallowed in the 41st minute for a foul on Kempin.

But Central’s strike duo were back in business shortly after the restart as they scored within two minutes of each other to give Central a 2-1 lead, after Sinovic opened the scoring for Sporting KC six minutes after the interval.

Jones’ 56th minute item was particularly pleasing on the eye as Joseph caught the opposing defenders napping with a well-disguised reverse ball into the big man’s path. And the former Sunderland striker did the rest with a smart finish at the near post.

But just as Central seemed to be seizing the initiative in the encounter, they opened the door for Sporting KC to get right back in. Substitute Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings tried to be cheeky by passing his way out of the back following an opposing set piece and the Sporting players duly obliged by taking away possession.

A few short passes later, Brad Davis sent Ellis through on goal to round Sample and score in the 70th minute to make it 2-2.

“As one person now said, we are still in preseason so we really try to get the team to full fitness,” said Saunders. “You will get little lapses in concentration and little lapses in discipline. And that’s what went on tonight. We conceded two soft goals but all in all we didn’t do badly…

“I thought we were supposed to win the game in the first half. The saying always goes goals win matches, if you muff your chances they will come back to haunt you.”

Photo: Central FC forward Kenwyne Jones (centre) heads a free kick past Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jon Kempin during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016. However, the effort was controversially ruled out by the match referee. Jones did score in the match, which ended 2-2. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Central FC forward Kenwyne Jones (centre) heads a free kick past Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jon Kempin during CONCACAF Champions League action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 16 August 2016.
However, the effort was controversially ruled out by the match referee. Jones did score in the match, which ended 2-2.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Saunders and the 2,000-plus home crowd were very nearly haunted in the final stages of the game, as a Sporting barrage ensued…

It was Kostner, it was Davis, it was substitute Nuno Coelho; they all had a go. Central defender Keion Goodridge came off in the 81st minute with a suspected rib injury and his absence did not help as Sporting KC just cued up in and around the penalty box.

“I thought the game was interesting (…) but we had a million chances,” Vermes said. “I think we are a bit unlucky to be coming out here with just a point. At the end leaving here with a point is not a bad thing. They still have to travel to us, and we will have to take care of Vancouver at some point.”

Sporting KC will now face group leaders Vancouver Whitecaps twice in the space of seven as they will host the “Caps” on Saturday in MLS action before traveling to Vancouver for a pivotal Champions League match next Tuesday.

Both MLS clubs will be gunning for the Group C lead when they clash on Tuesday. And, luckily for Central, a flying Javon Sample has kept them in with a chance; even though it’s an outside one.

(Teams)

Central FC (4-2-2-2): 1.Javon Sample (GK); 12.Elton John, 4.Andre Ettienne,  3.Keion Goodridge (15.Kaydion Gabriel 81), 24.Kevon Villaroel; 19.Nathaniel Garcia, 6.Leston Paul (captain); 8.Sean De Silva (7.Jason Marcano 76), 11.Darren Mitchell (10.Keron Cummings 53); 9.Kenwyne Jones, 99.Marcus Joseph.

Unused Substitutes: 30.Akel Clarke (GK), 14.Nicholas Dillon, 17.Johan Peltier, 26.Mickaeel Jem Gordon.

Coach: Dale Saunders

 

Sporting Kansas City (4-2-3-1): 1.Jon Kempin (GK); 17.Saad Abdul-Salaam, 55.Amer Didic, 4.Kevin Ellis, 15.Seth Sinovic (24.Ever Alvarado 66); 93.Soni Mustivar, 27.Roger Espinoza (captain); 11.Brad Davis, 6.Paulo Nagamura (12.Nuno Coelho 67), 22.Connor Hallisey (39.Cameron Porter 81); 9.Diego Kostner.

Unused Substitutes: 25.Alec Kann (GK), 16.Lawrence Olum, 23.Emmanuel Appiah, 77.Tyler Pasher.

Coach: Peter Vermes

 

Referee: Henry Bejarano (Costa Rica)

Man of the Match: Javon Sample (Central FC)

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-23 goalkeeper Javon Sample (right) denies Uruguay attacker Junior Arias during the Pan American Games in Hamilton, Canada, on 13 July 2015.  (Copyright AFP 2016/Omar Torres)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-23 goalkeeper Javon Sample (right) denies Uruguay attacker Junior Arias during the Pan American Games in Hamilton, Canada, on 13 July 2015.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Omar Torres)

CONCACAF Champions League Result

(16 August 2016)

Central FC 2 (Marcus Joseph 54, Kenwyne Jones 56), Sporting Kansas City 2 (Seth Sinovic 51, Kevin Ellis 70), Ato Boldon Stadium.

 

About Roneil Walcott

Roneil Walcott
Roneil Walcott is an avid sports fan and freelance reporter with a BA in Mass Communication from COSTAATT. Roneil is a former Harvard and St Mary's College cricketer who once had lofty aspirations of bringing joy to sport fans with the West Indies team. Now, his mission is to keep them on the edge of their seats with sharp commentary from off the playing field.

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14 comments

  1. best goal keeping i have seen since barthez in 98 ….. JMW ….Sample is the new number 1 #FIGHTBACK

  2. Lack of concentration is what led to those Kansas City goals. De playing surface was not that great, but there were a lot of bad passes made by Central even with no pressure. Central’s defence was also not proactive, and that is a result of not reading the game well. On the positive side, CFC created quite a few decent scoring opportunities, and should have had at least four on the night.

  3. Too easy a game for Central not to grab 3 points.
    Kansas City ain’t knock a good piece of football yet, but they scored first.
    As usual Trini team being reactive.
    Kansas should’ve easily taken 4 or 5 last night

  4. Is that the same Sample who’s mother is a police officer eh, and was a member of the Army and then represented Wasa F. C. and now he is really proving himself that he belongs on a real professional team eh, well I am hoping that he remains focus eh, because I have seen him in action for WASA and he really have great potential eh, he just need a very good mentor at his side to keep him focus and away from going down the wrong road eh.

  5. Agreed! Sample pulled off some top notch saves!!! Man of the Match for me

  6. Decent effort from Central . Sample was brilliant !

    Crazy tactics from Central though using Garcia and Chucky so narrow allowing the Kansas full backs to overload and create chances . Especially Garcia , his positioning and awareness was very poor off the ball . The Kansas left back was their chief creator as he was given lots of space to attack . Their first goal was down to him being left by Garcia and he punished them even though the Central defender tackled him and unluckily scored an own goal .

    Also in attack you would expect wide play to provide Kenwyne Jones with crosses to attack

    The Kansas equalizer was sloppy from Central trying to play it out the back causally . Kenwyne gave the guy a lecture on clearing the ball after that . Good lesson for the younger guys in the team . Hopefully they learn from their mistakes .

    I thought Marcus Joseph was sharp and lively and Leston Paul set the tempo nicely from CM

    • Roneil might have to hold that discussion with you as I wasn’t live this time. Something has to have gone wrong somewhere if our full backs were not getting support.
      But I’m not sure who should have been helping out there.

    • Buh A A bound not to score KJ scored a goal eh, he should have scored another goal and bring home the victory eh, anyway well done Central F. C. Keep the flag flying very high eh.

    • Good observations Cheyenne… With Garcia and Paul being the holding midfielders I thought they were both culpable for not offering enough support to the defenders or closing down spaces. Also, Elton John didn’t do the best job of tracking his runners at RB and was caught ball watching a few times in the first half. Ettienne did a rescue act on a few occasions but was unfortunate to see his last ditch clearance come off the opposing player and go past Sample for that first goal….

      With all that being said, it was an improved performance from Central.

    • When I saw Elton John the first time when my foreign base team played against a youth team eh I was so impress seeing him in the midfield eh, as the play maker/ goalscorer eh I said to Dion Sosa that young fella is going to be awesome in the future representing our sweet country eh, the next thing when I hear the shout eh, I was told that Coach Terry Fenwick decided that he was better of playing the right back yes. I said to myself but this Coach is ah madman or what eh, so I am not surprised by your observations about him eh Roneil K Walcott. Them really good yes.

    • Central could’ve won that match easily. They had about 5 shots at goal

  7. Nice reporting and top shooting from Roneil and Chevaughn! 😉

  8. These teams keep coming here and disrespecting our clubs. And the results justify their decisions in doing so.