Home / Volley / Global Football / Sub Campbell makes the difference as C/Rica down tentative T&T 2-0 in front of 13,345 fans

Sub Campbell makes the difference as C/Rica down tentative T&T 2-0 in front of 13,345 fans

The Trinidad and Tobago Senior National Team’s CONCACAF Hex campaign started with a home defeat tonight as the Soca Warriors failed to make home advantage count with a 2-0 loss to Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

In the Nacion’s match preview, the Central America nation suggested that Trinidad and Tobago was a second home for “Los Ticos.” And although the visitors didn’t exactly traipse around in their bathroom slippers, they certainly knew where all the furniture was in tonight’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Photo: Costa Rica forward Marcos Ureña (second from left) and Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) vie for the ball during their 2018 World Cup qualifier football match in Port of Spain, on 11 November 2016. (Copyright AFP 2016/Alva Viarruel)
Photo: Costa Rica forward Marcos Ureña (second from left) and Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) vie for the ball during their 2018 World Cup qualifier football match in Port of Spain, on 11 November 2016.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Alva Viarruel)

It was a classic display of game management from the tourists. True, Warriors winger Joevin Jones was a thorn in their sides. But celebrated Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas had just one save to make over 90 minutes, after a low speculative effort from Trinidad and Tobago defender Carlyle Mitchell in the 68th minute.

Jan-Michael Williams was not especially busy in goal for the hosts either. But Costa Rica bided their time well.

After a first half with little to report save for a Kendall Waston header—which was batted away by Williams—Costa Rica waited until the second half to switch gears.

In the 57th minute, Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez sent on enigmatic striker Joel Campbell to replace Marcos Ureña and, within seven minutes, Los Ticos were ahead.

Campbell exchanged passes with right full back Christian Gamboa and midfielder Celso Borges before Borges slid a ball down the right flank. And Gamboa got around the back of Warriors left back Aubrey David before delivering a precise low cross at the far post, which found Christian Bolanos so criminally unmarked by opposing defender Daneil Cyrus that the MLS player was able to take a touch before tapping into an empty net.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) is tackled by two Costa Rican players during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) is tackled by two Costa Rican players during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“We tried to take advantage of [Trinidad and Tobago] being tired in the second half,” said Ramirez, whose team have scored all six of their 2018 World Cup qualifying away goals after the interval. “And Campbell was introduced to help [our] combination play.”

Warriors coach Stephen Hart’s response was to immediately replace the ineffective Jomal Williams with deep-lying ball handler, Andre Boucaud, and push the spiky Khaleem Hyland further upfield. Jomal stuck close to captain Kenwyne Jones throughout, presumably in anticipation of flick ons that he could chase.

But Kenwyne barely got any competent aerial service—and, in any case, Costa Rica’s six foot five defender Kendall Waston was certainly not intimidated by the height of the Warriors talisman—while Jomal rarely gave his midfielders a passing option on the ground.

Hyland as a ‘number 10’ was hardly the sort of change that would strike fear into the visitors.

There were cheers when Netherlands-based teenaged starlet, Levi Garcia, was finally introduced in place of the industrious Cordell Cato in the 74th minute. And the loudest cheer of the match was reserved for the final change, as Willis Plaza replaced Kenwyne upfront.

Photo: Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas (top) punches the ball away from Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas (top) punches the ball away from Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Yet, in the end, Boucaud was the only substitute to make an impact. Composed and cocky in possession, his confidence was contagious. And, for the closing 10 minutes, Trinidad and Tobago finally looked capable of passing the ball through the midfield rather than a one-dimensional attacking unit, completely reliant on Joevin’s pace and trickery.

But the game belonged to Costa Rica’s super sub.

A minute and a half into second half stoppage time, Campbell flicked the ball to Bolanos into space and the tricky attacker stepped inside Boucaud and teed up left wing back Ronald Matarrita for a close ranged finish.

Campbell, incidentally, is yet to score after seven games in this World Cup qualifying campaign. But there was no doubting his contribution.

“[The loss is] disappointing [because] I thought we were in control for very long periods,” said Hart. “The second goal I didn’t really care about because we were trying to get back into the game.”

Matarrita’s strike sparked a rush to the exits for the locals while the Costa Rica supporters went into a flag waving frenzy.

“Ole, ole, ole, ole… Ticos! Ticos!”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Senior National Team coach Stephen Hart (right) gestures during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago winger Cordell Cato. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Senior National Team coach Stephen Hart (right) gestures during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
Looking on is Trinidad and Tobago winger Cordell Cato.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The Costa Rican fans were on the receiving end of some thumbs up and slaps on the back at the final whistle. And, for the most part, their players again enjoyed the hospitality of the two island republic.

Trinidad and Tobago have never defeated Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying competition while the last time the Warriors managed a draw—some 11 years ago—Patrick Manning was still prime minister.

Tonight, 13,345 spectators turned out to see the action, which was near 7,000 less than the number who watched the Warriors play Guatemala here in the earlier round—two months ago.

It is uncertain whether the price hike, the behaviour and/or suspension of playmaker Kevin Molino or the team’s dip in form was the main factor in the diminished turnout. Or perhaps it was the inhumane treatment meted out to fans as they tried to get into the ground to see the Warriors play Guatemala.

Thankfully, the fans had a more straightforward time in getting to their seats tonight while the supporters who did show up were certainly appreciative of their team’s efforts.

The Warriors leave tomorrow evening for what should be a dogfight in San Pedro Sula against Honduras. Honduras lost at 1-0 at home to Panama tonight and cannot afford a second straight defeat in their own backyard.

Photo: Soca Warriors fans enjoy the action during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Soca Warriors fans enjoy the action during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Hart might at least feel reassured by his team’s ability to generally keep up with their illustrious guests, who were quarterfinalists at the 2014 World Cup. Hopefully, they have something left in the tank for Tuesday’s away fixture.

Boat parties, one would hope, are out.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-1-3-2): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 5.Daneil Cyrus, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 2.Aubrey David; 19.Kevan George; 7.Cordell Cato (16.Levi Garcia 74), 8.Khaleem Hyland, 3.Joevin Jones; 23.Jomal Williams (14.Andre Boucaud 66), 9.Kenwyne Jones (captain) (13.Willis Plaza 78).

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 10.Marcus Joseph, 11.Ataulla Guerra, 15.Neveal Hackshaw, 17.Jelani Peters, 18.Yohance Marshall, 20.Trevin Caesar.

Coach: Stephen Hart

Costa Rica (3-4-3): 1.Keylor Navas (GK); 19.Kendall Waston, 2.Johnny Acosta, 15.Francisco Calvo (4.Michael Umaña 42); 16.Christian Gamboa, 5.Celso Borges, 14.Randall Azofeifa, 22.Ronald Matarrita; 10.Bryan Ruiz (captain) (11.Johan Venegas 77), 21.Marcos Ureña (12.Joel Campbell 57), 7.Christian Bolanos.

Unused substitutes: 18.Patrick Pemberton (GK), 23.Leonel Moreira (GK), 3.Jose Salvatierra, 6.Pablo Salazar, 8.Bryan Oviedo, 9.Ariel Rodriguez, 13.Rodney Wallace, 17.Yeltsin Tejeda, 20.Davis Guzman.

Coach: Oscar Ramirez

Referee: Oscar Moncada (Honduras)

Man of the Match: Christian Bolanos (Costa Rica)

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) dashes past Costa Rica right wing back Christian Gamboa during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) dashes past Costa Rica right wing back Christian Gamboa during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 11 November 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier

Trinidad and Tobago 0, Costa Rica 2 (Christian Bolanos 64, Ronald Matarrita 90) at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Honduras 0, Panama 1 (Fidel Escobar 22) at Estadio Olimpico, San Pedro Sula;

United States 1 (Bobby Wood 49), Mexico 2 (Miguel Layun 20, Rafael Marquez 89) at Columbus.

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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337 comments

  1. Stacy Hazel is long time now ah telling everybody that we Soca Worries is ah Fete Match team eh yuh remember when the three musketeers was fined for breaking camp eh, and then one of the musketeer said that he eh business with Coach Hart and broke Camp again eh and although he apologized eh he was banned for the two very important games eh, and he is our prolific/ playmaker goalscorer eh, well as I said because of the madness that he did he is the reason why our Soca Worries isn’t going to the World cup 2018 eh and yuh eh notice that one of the other musketeer is no longer on the squad because it is said that he was their leader to always break camp eh and he really wudda do a better job in the right back position better than Cyrus eh steeuuppss Them really good yes.

  2. If de coach is not picking de right team, what allyuh expect? Allyuh who apologizing for KJ. Why was Cyrus picked? Why was Plaza on de bench? Why is Cornell Glen a forgotten stepchild in this team? Why did the team not train in higher altitudes? Why was their fitness level so poor? Plenty whys? Few goals. We sticking bad

  3. look let me pin my WC participation and hopes on me Great Argie team oui……TNT will never be ready, cause in a 100 or 500 yrs we will still be doing the same shit we doing now……….we destined to be mediocre,!!! sad to say…..you tell me these guys playing away in professional leagues and yet the kick ball like they in a seven side mini sweat, the touches was bad, the defending was sigh……..no kind of tracking back……cato losing the bawl like he getting constant horn!! look this team haven’t even set goals or even set a standard they need to be in to compete in this hex’s…………..sad to say Hart needs to dump some of dem seriously…and change formation!! and KJ needs to go.. cause he eh doing nothing!!!

  4. hahahahahahah I is ah Soca Worries till ah dead eh Kenneth H. Ransome Jr. Them really good yes.

    • LOL, I hear yuh Earl Mango Pierre but… At the moment, I support the name Soca Warriors ‘only’… not the current coaching staff, players, and football association TTFA. We have major problems with no solutions on the horizon which means we will have a horrible season. The coach and some players all need to be fired. TTFA leadership is a farce. People need to be objective and make major changes. We need to reset because at the moment we love football a lot but football does not care about us.

  5. Well I guess Coach Hart was repaid for the game in the Gold Cup when the Soca Worries beat up Honduras third string team eh, and he was right when he said that it is a very different time now in his interview in Honduras. Them really good yes.

  6. All yuh have belly to watch that game, boy. All yuh rooting for Honduras oh what.

  7. Just look at their Samba touches nah

  8. Just look at the touches eh before the third goal was scored eh, our Soca Worries can play like that eh and as soon as Plaza my prolific goalscorer came on eh he almost scored a goal eh so why Coach Hart didn’t start with him eh Them really good yes steeuppsss

  9. .The through ball for the cross passed through his zone while he was ball watching again..

  10. They have abused that right side smh

  11. ..Look at CYRUS! Again! Lawddd!..

  12. Bye bye. I cyah watch any more. TT making Honduras look like Barcelona

  13. Look at Plaza. De man causing problems. Why was he on de bench

  14. If we lose this one … pretty much think that’s a wrap

  15. Joevin looks vexed he is being substituted

  16. That man just chest the ball back to the keeper yes

  17. hahahahaha the set play finally worked eh Good goal Mr Live Wire player Clyde Mittchell…..BOOM

  18. Goal, hmm now if they actually make me eat crow ill get all d corbeau now to eat lol just score goal ‘

  19. And they are only feeding Trevin Caesar ah set a high balls eh. Them really good yes steuuppss

  20. And Alyuh eh see meh Coach Hart finally changed the long sleeve grey shirt that he is always wearing for luck eh. hahahaha

  21. Somebody call Beenhakker. And bring back Jack

  22. Thanks fellas. I can’t watch the game right now. Cud only take ah quick peek at the score now and again.

  23. Malcolm Jack you get the link meh bredda David Gintoki Aguillera just posted it here enjoy the rest of the game eh

  24. these guys ha no shame na!! really and truly no shame!! i think KJ should be charged for waste of talent, and the rest of Guys, sigh its not serious to them ..in my book!!! in My Book Hart has lost the plot when he allowed all kind of distractions to seep in and cause these kind of performance..first half was like d walking dead for them….i hope the score back to or 3 goals and really kick start this campaign….other wise you cant be no blasted professional and playing this kinda shit in a Big WC qualifier where most ah dem screaming for breathe sigh

  25. I sorry for dem boy and dem who spend their money to go Honduras. Licks on de field and picong off from Honduran fans

  26. hahahahaha like if Lattas will make a difference eh Shawn Babooram because the Soca Worries problems is our play pool eh Them really good yes

    • That is what I think is going to happen but I do not think it will make a difference

    • Now lets be Honest my Coach Hart came from a real professional country the same as my second sweetest country where everything is in place for him or any other good Coach to succeed eh, with respect to the developmental soccer programs, the football facilities, and most importantly the crowd support and of course getting paid on time eh, not the problems that our Local Coaches does have to go thru down here in our sweet country well unless that you is a white man like Leo Benhakker and Terry Fenwick eh when he was the Coach of San Juan Jabolteh so unless Lattas or which ever Local Coaches will get the job eh the madness will just continue in our sweet country. Them really good yes.

  27. A man now say Latas warming up to take Hart place.

  28. David Gintoki Aguillera could you send the link to meh friend Malcolm Jack I don’t know how to do it and thanks again for sending it to me eh

  29. Folks I’m not seeing the game, but seeing the score online. Is Kevin Jones doing the mannequin challenge on the pitch again?

  30. And the black fellas on their team really knows the subject to eh oooooooogooodddd hahahaha

  31. Alyuh notice how them Honduras playing the Samba football eh with them touches hahaha

  32. Daniel Cyrus isn’t any good. Marvin Philips not good. Kevan George ain’t ready. Aubrey David looking outclassed.

    Not certain as to why Andre Boucaud not starting smh.

  33. James is the Darren Sammy of TT football. Playing with him, u always look one player short

  34. Playing behind Caesar in formation..

  35. hahahaha As I said Coach hart is going down dying with him eh. Them really good yes.

  36. Is Mr Bound not to score on the starting team eh ?

  37. hahahaha They running and showing how the game suppose to be played in these times eh Them really good yes

  38. Honduras running like they are on steroids.

  39. Buh wah trouble is this and I am not surprised eh because our Soca Worries isn’t ready for the fast space football eh Them really good yes.