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T&T fall 3-1 to Ecuador amid general apathy; local tv stations snub game

Trinidad and Tobago were well beaten but not disgraced in Guayaquil tonight as the Soca Warriors were undone by two late strikes in a 3-1 loss to South American hosts Ecuador.

Ecuador scored first through forward Juan Luis Anangonó in the 21st minute only for Carlyle Mitchell to equalise with a brilliant header in the 41st minute. Midfielder Fernando Gaibor put the home nation back in the driver’s seat with a successful penalty kick in the 73rd minute before substitute Jacob Murillo settled the friendly contest with a stoppage-time insurance item.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Hughtun Hector (centre) executes a volleyed pass during international friendly action against Barbados at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 March 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

It was the third straight loss and fifth successive outing without a win for Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence although he is likely to see the bright side of a loss away to a nation ranked 31st in the world by FIFA—47 places higher than the two-island republic.

Both teams were not at full strength as the exhibition game was played outside the FIFA international match window although Ecuador used four players from their last Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying match.

The Ecuadorians are sixth in CONMEBOL at present and two points shy of a FIFA Play-off berth. They next travel to Brazil on 31 August before hosting Peru on 5 September.

The Warriors host Honduras on 1 September and then head to Panama on 5 September—although Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams suggested there might be two more friendlies before then.

John-Williams has already confirmed that their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Honduras will be played at the smaller Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva and pointed to diminishing enthusiasm from local fans as the main reason for ditching the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.

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)

The local football body might find further justification for the venue change in the local television stations’ apparent lack of interest in broadcasting tonight’s match even at an alleged cut-price deal that would have seen them only concede airtime—rather than cash—to the TTFA.

In Trincity Mall, for instance, the Bootleggers Sports Bar management refused to allow even one screen to show the Trinidad and Tobago contest, all five of their television sets instead beaming a pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Barcelona.

DirecTV did offer the game on its own channel 617 after it turned out that—despite an earlier Wired868 report—Flow Sports had not committed to broadcast the friendly.

The Warriors had their own problems as they fell behind after just 21 minutes, Mitchell failing to decisively deal with a cross and Anangonó pouncing on his loose touch to open the scoring.

Unsurprisingly, Trinidad and Tobago spent long periods chasing the ball but midfielders Jomal Williams and Nathan Lewis did offer an attacking threat in the first half and the former player almost conjured up an equaliser with an outrageous curling effort in the 27th minute after eluding one defender.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Jomal Williams (left) takes the ball past Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira during friendly international action at the Centenario Stadium in Montevideo on 27 May 2016.
Uruguay won 3-1.
(Copyright Miguel Rojo/AFP 2016)

Mitchell, who was also booked in the first half, then atoned for his earlier error with a splendid flicked header off a Hughtun Hector free-kick that zipped into the corner for the equaliser.

The India-bound defender was replaced at half-time—and it is worth remembering that tonight’s affair in Guayaquil was his first high-level game since a muscular injury five months ago.

The young men in red, white and black gear might have conjured up an unlikely go-ahead item in the 66th minute, when striker Keron Clarke reacted smartly to latch on to a clever Hector pass only to be denied by the legs of Ecuador custodian Esteban Dreer.

A full-time employee at WASA and lower-league player with FC Santa Rosa, Clarke has already caught the attention of the football public after his assertion that, as a Seventh Day Adventist, he would rule himself out of the Honduras qualifier which it is carded to be played on the Sabbath.

Clarke struggled at times tonight—as did most of the squad with the possible exceptions of Hector, utility player Curtis Gonzales and defender Triston Hodge—but there were some glimpses of the sharpness of body and mind that earned him a starting place ahead of India-based striker Willis Plaza.

Photo: FC Santa Rosa captain Keron Clarke (left) looks to escape from a WASA FC opponent during TTSL One action in St Joseph on 9 July 2017.
Clarke scored twice as Rosa won 3-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

At 1-1, though, the scoreline did flatter Trinidad and Tobago as Ecuador created at least two clear scoring opportunities before they were offered a late penalty kick. Right-back Alvin Jones complained bitterly that he had got the ball but he took a piece of opposing attacker Ayrton Preciado as well.

And Phillip, who was not blameless in the sequence that led to the spot kick, was well beaten by Gaibor.

Lawrence made four late changes to give his bench a taste of the atmosphere but Ecuador benefitted as Murillo blasted home from inside the area after a dizzying exchange of passes.

The friendly affair was followed by the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, which pitted T&T’s Caribbean rivals Jamaica against tournament hosts the United States. Jamaica eventually succumbed 2-1 after a 88th minute winner by US midfielder Jordan Morris.

Trinidad and Tobago did not even qualify for the competition. But then it is the Warriors and not Jamaica who are four games away from a possible World Cup place—even though the ‘bandwagonists’ might have already averted their attention.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football fans enjoy the show during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 24 March 2017.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)


Trinidad and Tobago (4-1-4-1): 1.Marvin Phillip (GK) (captain); 15.Alvin Jones, 5.Carlyle Mitchell (8.Nathaniel Garcia 46), 3.Triston Hodge, 2.Kevon Villaroel; 6.Curtis Gonzales; 7.Nathan Lewis (20.Tyrone Charles 84), 23.Leston Paul (17.Jared London 83), 13.Hughtun Hector (14.Hashim Arcia 83), 10.Jomal Williams (11.Sean De Silva 64); 9.Keron Clarke (19.Willis Plaza 71).

Unused substitutes: 22.Andre Marchan (GK), 18.Maurice Ford, 12.Neil Benjamin Jr.

Coach: Dennis Lawrence

Ecuador (4-1-3-2): 12.Esteban Dreer (GK), (22.Hamilton Piedra [GK] 81); 6.Pedro Velasco, 14.Darío Aimar, 5.Fernando León, 4.Christian Cruz; 15.Pedro Quiñónez (captain) (16.Francisco Cevallos 63); 8.Fernando Gaibor (20.Jordan Sierra 80), 10.Gabriel Cortéz (11.Matías Oyola 46), 7.Ayrton Preciado (9.Jacob Murillo 80); 19.Erick Castillo, 13.Juan Luis Anangonó.

Unused substitutes: 1.Máximo Banguera (GK), 2.Luis Cangá, 3.Luis Segovia, 8.Luis Ayala, 17.Romario Caicedo.

Coach: Gustavo Quinteros

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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  1. Lasana you never didn’t know what you were doing, but yet somehow did it right?
    Any ass hole can accidentally do a thing right thing, but none can do so consistently.

  2. The Jamaican coach beat quite a few non-Caribbean teams to get to the final, including Mexico. I hope you know that Roland Clarke. How does that fit your theory that Caribbean coaches don’t know what they are doing?

  3. A squard of half inxperience players and when the quilfiers comes around most will not be playing what is really his objective insult on the fiotball bigger stage new boy clarkie and most may not be selected what is the objective ????

  4. Well we was going good with Hart as coach and Raymond Tim Kee as President but then it had TTFA election they find that was not good enough David John Williams he was elected we started to get bad results Hart was fired everything started to go down hill the old ppl say when you on good house bad house does call u

  5. Waste of time. Management footballers….no brains not even muscles. Put on a jacket and tie and feel yuh is a coach. Ball boy

    • What you know. You must be never ever even kick a marble but you want to talk about our players and coaches. Look go and do what you’re kind do best.

  6. Fenwick you need a chill pill. You are no way near a national team head coach level. The only reason you are here in Trinidad is because it’s easy money. If you could of gotten a job somewhere else or at a better level lg you would of gone long time. But every where you have coach outside of Trinidad have been a failure. You Sir may be able to coach 12 and under kids. That’s you high point. So stop fooling your self into thinking your a great coach. Get off that high horse and be real. We all know this site is your play ground and the editor is your lad who lobby for you to get the job. A job you been running down for years. But no player in their right mind wants to play for you as a national coach. Be more constructive and stick to flow commentary and leave our coaches alone. Rome was not built in a day and yes, we will see our teams improved.

  7. Most Caribbean coaches coaching philosophy poor the game u s a vs Jamaica almost the same just fast and aggressive no posession no pressure to win back posession poor quality

  8. Jose Mourinho made his name conceding possession, counter attack football and granite like defense.
    Leicester City won the Premier League Title with stats suggesting they only had 37% possession in most of their games.
    T&T population is approximately 1.3m, with some outstanding sportsmen and women. Why do we think we can pass the opposition to death and out play other international teams? We have not got the pool of players to compete with most if not all of the teams in the Hex.

    We fire Stephen Hart, ridicule Saintfeit, embarrass Morace and appoint Dennis over the phone. What did we end up with?

    Inexperienced, uninformed, naive, novice with little if any support. Smh

    • Yo Mr know it all. You should be the last to speak about anything football. Other than Pro lg football you haven’t been able to do nun better in your to many years of saying your a couch to speak on other coaches. Your time in Belgium ?? was horrible. You did not last long in England and took a said 15th to last sending them down. I think you was sent Packing just after 3 months on the job. And has to come back to Trinidad.

  9. What he just said

    We cannot traditionally play long ball, that is not our football DNA, we play well with possession.

  10. When the players start to act like they want to represent T&T, I’ll support. Even if they lose all I want to see is that effort. That passion! Firing Hart was our latest mistake!

  11. Check the similarity between one Dave Cameron and West Indies Cricket and John Williams and Trinidad Football. All yuh see a picture. Okay, nuff talk.

  12. Sure right not equipped to the morden game transition to slow

  13. Huh look J A take pattern playing with Hart an soul .

  14. Meanwhile, Jamaica are losing finalist at the Gold Cup for second time. T&T only firing coaches even de women’s coach.

  15. We don’t have much luck scheduling important international matches on July 27th.

  16. And we don’t play offensively.
    You ever see Soca Warriors string 10 passes together?

  17. We are weak defensively wich is strange since we are under the care of 3 FOMER DEFENDERS

  18. I saw better posession and build up in some of Hearts game however at present we seems to want to hit off the counter so is a more direct passing an runing with the ball.

  19. Football is a technical game eh, but we should at least have grasped the concept by now that in order to win a team must have the ball.
    Regardless of who the Soca Warriors play they are content to allow their opponents to possess the ball, seemingly believing that if thet wish hard enough the ball will magically roll into their opponent’s net for them.

    This strategy has yet to yield consistently positive results …. buh we sticking with it doh!

  20. Set aside our goal and a few glimpes at goal Ecuador dominate the game more posession and patient build up . Wheb we had posession we gave it away easy .

  21. And one commentator said it was a series of bad calls by the referees that caused us to lose–or maybe, just maybe, our team is just not that good? Congrats to Jamaica, though. They almost pulled it off. They have a TEAM. We don’t.

  22. Number 15 is a ball watcher and these guys have no stamina dem f…ing too much hoes

  23. Dear expatriated local arm chair critics.
    As is typical of the hundreds of thousands of migrated Trinis you speak with such authority almost as if ur pronouncements are the gospel.
    What can or have you offered to the development of the local game other than the cesspool of stupor about what is done in ur adopted country?
    How many players, cousins, neighbors, nieces/nephews, teams, clubs, tournaments or leagues have you worked with or administrated that gives you the moral or otherwise authority to damn the local game players, coaches and administrators.
    You live in developed countries so all the encumbrances locals have shouldn’t affect you specifically lack of money, facilities, equipment, diets etc. So exactly what ur excuse for not putting up? Except you sit in the comforts of ur living rooms or offices eager and ready to condemn locals as incompetent and out of touch when in fact you are just an expatriated, incompetent and out of touch arm chair local.

    • I have worked with 5 different national teams, men and women, as Trainer.

      And I can say, we are spinning top in mud here. We have to get it right from the top in Administration, and from the bottom with a real Youth program.

    • What makes you think someone has the work directly with football administration to voice one’s opinion on local football?

      The stagnation of the game in T&T is evident and right before everyone’s eyes.

      Just in case you’re not aware, people living both in and outside of T&T are not too thrilled about the regression of the national team over the years. We might still be vying for a place in Russia, but the quality of our game is lacking.

      One doesn’t have to be able to kick a lime to see that.

    • Yes but Malcolm Jack don’t you think criticism should be proffered with relevant suggestions an/or solutions to our football? Albeit constructive criticism.

    • Yes. My solution is get a new football administration that is serious and capable of creating a plan for T&T to prepare and quality for Qatar 2022.

    • That is not a solution, that is the absolute obvious. Hahaha.

    • Ohhh absolute rubbish. This is the same type of thinking as the 3 US resident individuals that appeared at the Guaya vs Queens Park game on Sunday and after approximately 2 minutes of looking at the game started to refer to the players as horrible, that both coaches should be fired, “wey the QP coach come from, he is a just come coach” and when we used to play the standard was better. Similar to your solution Malcolm Jack theirs was to fire the coaches.

    • Hey, unless the absolutely obvious solution is implemented, we’ll be having this same conversation at every World Cup qualifier stage.

    • That is exactly what was being said of the Tim Kee/Sheldon Phillips run administration and the sentiment may or may not be correct, my point is however, there is a constituent of Trinis living abroad particularly whose only contribution to the game is to call for the removal coaches, administrators and players.

    • And Kester and Malcolm the solution is not who to hire or change…it is who do they suggest we put or what should be implemented. And they certainly can’t sit on their couch abroad and see the situation as we see it here.

    • Kester there are local people who share the same sentiments. What disqualifies someone living outside of T&T without vision problems from giving the same opinion someone within T&T has of the team?

    • It doesn’t take a genius to watch a team play on television and think critically to assess whether the team has improved or regressed over time.

    • couldnt have said it better if i tried.

    • But there is a difference in saying…’this team playing real shit’ …as compared to…’this team is capable of playing much better than they are playing now’

  24. Why after every match its the same shit people wake up and realise this team is garbage and save the 80 plus comments

  25. When last all yuh see Soca Warriors string 10 passes together?

  26. Yeah … vaps is not a dependable strategy for success.

    • it isnt.
      but these things happen.
      lets go back to EL Classico last year.
      the game is at 2-2, its the 90th minute, Marcelo allows Sergi Roberto to run past him, he goes straight up the field, lays off to Messi who scores the game winner.
      Lapses of concentrations happen at every level.
      it may piss us the couch coaches off but we arent in the moment and as someone who picked up many a card back in my day for bad tackles, in a split second one mistake is punished.

    • We depend almost entirely on vaps.

  27. lol ….. Nah! We stand ah chance in 2022; but only if we get rid of the culture of achieving accomplishments by vaps.

  28. It might be wiser they put that money into economic diversification, we playing shitty ball and Europe looking like dey done with oil by 2040.

  29. Actually, it would be wise that they put that money away to prepare for Qatar 2022

  30. Ammm …. why the Trinidadian taxpayer still funding the complete and utter failure that is Trinidad international football in true?
    Take that money and give it to the Reggae Boys if we eh have no better use fuh it …. at least dem more serious bout sports.

  31. WATCH: Extended highlights of Trinidad and Tobago’s 3-1 loss to Ecuador

  32. WATCH: Goal highlights from Trinidad and Tobago’s 3-1 loss to Ecuador

  33. I mean we played Barbados..Barbados as a warm up..in football…if was netball…great

  34. I wabt to know why we wait till its almost impossible to qualify to start playing real opponents as a warm up

  35. Ecuador are miles better than us especially technically.. conceded stupid stupid goals.. not much else to say

  36. The problem with the game is much bigger than we care to admit. It’s more a problem with us not supporting anything local; be it music, (calypso, pan) foods, arts, culture, etc. Anyone seen “limbo” recently? We used to be known for “steelband, calypso, and limbo.” Limbo has fallen off the list. We know more about foreign fruits than local and could care less….

  37. Start to support in a Big Way. They need the energy.No part time loving.

  38. Forget bout cricket an football concentrate on education

  39. They expected something different

  40. Had much more better football on.
    T&T can’t even make it to the Gold Cup where teams like Curaçao and French Guiana could make it, how they want to make it to the World Cup.
    T&T should’ve saved their money and played the T&T women’s team, since they give better results – Just being Real

  41. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, what is T&T’s plan to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar?

  42. 3 shots on goal 3 goals conceded.
    Why are we sticking with this Goalie? There aren’t any others? On Earth?

  43. Unsurprising about the TV stations tbh. Average person could probably name more players on ManU or Barcelona.
    But people don’t support and then expect success. The irony.

    • But do people even watch the local stations outside of the News? Were they showing wrestling? Lol.
      Don’t get why they would turn down an international game.
      As for Bootleggers, that’s another story. Lol.

    • Lasana Liburd could it be that people have no faith in the product being served? Cable tv has created a marketing nightmare for poor administrations because people have choices. Mr Bootleggers probably felt that most of his patrons would have preferred to see the other game. It’s a shame but I’m not surprised. Fix the product!

    • Brian fair point. The consumer is never wrong in the end.

    • The thing is there were people who were interested in the game… I saw people asking for streams on fb. I don’t know if but I feel someone on the inside has to push the product… They were showing regularly scheduled programs on all stations… the uninteresting ones at that… This was a good time for a Carib/bMobile even KFC or whoever to buy a 2hr slot and get the game on a channel while running ads recklessly during the interval… I maybe be looking at this from a simplistic point of view but that hot and spicy chicken would have gotten some mileage there! Corporate TT are bandwagonist yes… you’re gonna advertise anyways… do it with a cause nuh! As for the bootleg trinis at Trincity… well… thats what they are…

    • On this subject of bringing the game FLOW did a 180..
      WHY??? And don’t tell me Gold Cup Final…they could have delayed that and put T&T FIRST…You think JAMAICA would dare put a GC Final between USA vs T&T ahead of a FRIENDLY between Ja. & Ecuador??? NEVER!!! Thank goodness for people like Nigel Myers and socawarriors.net who provide links to genuine die-hard Supporters of T&T football… Bootleggers are aptly named indeed.

    • Brian, I spoke to an employee at Flow who said they were bringing the game. But that proved to be incorrect. The station was never bringing it.
      Was just human error inadvertently made by an employee.

    • Ok Lasana thanks for that info…then my question changes to why didn’t they bring it? They are one of the Team sponsors no?

    • Not to absolve TV stations and maybe local stations didn’t bring it cause they just think it’s a thing FLOW will be doing… idk… but truth be told, TTFA should have checked the international calendar before either suggesting or agreeing to this date. If you have a ManU/Barca match and the Gold Cup final, you really should try for an alternate night for a friendly. Especially when you have such a fickle public. Who would go into a match with Ecuador with the mentality that we’re going to lose anyway.

    • But who has the broadcast rights for the next WC? They should be the ones airing these matches.

    • Oh. Well that would be why local stations wouldn’t broadcast friendlies.

  44. Ah wonder what de “boo boys” woulda say if it was KJ instead of Keron Clarke who failed to score that opportunity?

  45. The weird thing is this game could have easily been 5-2 or 6-2 in favor of Ecuador. Ah waiting to see de stats. It look like dem was having corner, after corner, after corner.

  46. Ecuador was quicker and more physical than us, but you could see their defence wasn’t all that either. Communication between Marvin Phillip and his defenders was poor, but ah guess daiz what does happen when yuh doh play together enough.

  47. Good test match and defeat! Ecuador isn’t Brazil or Argentina but still ranked 40+ places higher than T&T

  48. We had a couple of nice forays in attack, but our defence was carved open quite regularly, and we gave them lots of space to operate in.

  49. Team didnt play too bad in my opinion. Unlucky