Boyz better Warriors; Lawrence’s win-less streak stretches to five after 2-1 loss to Jamaica

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Trinidad and Tobago failed to make home advantage count against Jamaica tonight as they lost 2-1 in the friendly international contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

The Soca Warriors never led and, although they came close to a late equaliser, the reality is coach Dennis Lawrence has now gone six successive matches without a win.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Hashim Arcia (left) tries unsuccessfully to round Jamaica goalkeeper Shaven Paul during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 24 August 2017.
(Courtesy Matthew Lee Kong/CA-images/Wired868)

Next up is a pivotal Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Honduras on 1 September. Fail to win then and it is curtains for Trinidad and Tobago’s lingering qualifying hopes.

Jamaica are still riding on a high from their second placed finish at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup although only one starter from that final, defender Ladel Richie, featured tonight along with five substitutes from the marquee event.

Jamaica coach Theodore “Tappa” Whitmore even gave a debut to 16-year-old attacker Kaheem Parris in the second half, who is believed to now be his country’s youngest senior international.

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In contrast, Lawrence used six players who have already featured in Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup qualifying campaign and another three with competitive senior international experience.

There could be no faulting their effort and Lawrence might argue, with some justification, that his team deserved a draw. But, collectively, it was not good enough from the hosts who lacked personality and tempo when it mattered most.

Photo: Jamaica winger Marvin Morgan (left) tries to keep the ball from Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 24 August 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Jamaica enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and were rewarded with the opener in the sixth minute. Alvin Jones charged down an attempted cross by opposing striker Shamar Nicholson but the Trinidad and Tobago defence failed to push forward or put pressure on the ball.

Jamaica left back Ricardo Morris collected the loose ball and played a deep cross towards to the last post where Jamiel Hardware collected in space and stepped inside Warriors left back Kevon Villaroel to slap into the far corner.

It was a shabby start to Villaroel’s home debut and his second senior international overall—after he made his bow in a 3-1 loss to Ecuador in Guayaquil last month.

Villaroel’s next contribution to the match was much more promising though.

This time, it was the Trinidad and Tobago left back who received time and space—albeit from a far less likely position down the flank. North East Stars fans know he can strike them from there, though, and Jamaica goalkeeper Shaven Paul learned as much the hard way, as Villaroel beat him with a superb lobbed effort that went in off the underside of the bar.

The Warriors had two opportunities to go ahead before the interval. Midfielder Hughtun Hector hit wide from 12 yards off a Jones cross while Jared London failed to hit the target from on top of the opposing box, after a pass from Marcus Joseph found him with time and space.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Hughtun Hector (left) tries to drive the ball past Jamaica captain Michael Binns during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 24 August 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

But it was largely a slap-dash affair, as the 2,800 fans had to put up with a prodding tempo and wayward touches from both sides.

Guyanese referee Sherwin Moore, a regular choice for friendly internationals here, hardly covered himself in glory either. Moore failed to spot when the Jamaican goalkeeper clumsily handled a back pass in the 32nd minute. And the T&T players were adamant that his eyesight cheated them again when a 25-yard free kick from Jamaican midfielder Ewan Grandison deflected—supposedly off an opposing arm—to beat Warriors goalkeeper and stand-in custodian Marvin Phillip in the 56th minute.

It was Grandison’s first international goal on the occasion of his 10th cap.

The Warriors should have equalised again in the 66th minute, as a sweeping attacking move ended at the feet of substitute Hashim Arcia with only the opposing goalkeeper to beat. But Arcia tried to go around Paul, who made a low save, and the chance was gone.

Still, in stoppage time, it looked as though Trinidad and Tobago might save face as versatile defender Aubrey David got on the end of a Cato cross and headed towards the vacant far corner.

David was already sprinting towards the corner flag with arms in the air to celebrate when Jones, who was standing alone at the far post in an offside position, instinctively flicked his boot at the goalbound effort to hurry it over the line.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Aubrey David (centre) tries to elude Jamaica forward Shamar Nicholson (left) while his captain and goalkeeper Marvin Phillip looks on during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 24 August 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

The flag of the referee’s assistant went up promptly and and the ‘goal’ was disallowed.

It meant the fifth loss of Lawrence’s tenure, which started with wins over Barbados and Panama but since saw the Warriors fail to triumph against Mexico, Grenada, USA, Costa Rica, Ecuador and now Jamaica as well.


Trinidad and Tobago (4-1-2-3): 1.Marvin Phillip (captain); 16.Alvin Jones, 2.Aubrey David, 18.Triston Hodge, 3.Kevon Villaroel; 15.Curtis Gonzales (12.Neil Benjamin Jr 80); 13.Hughtun Hector (10.Hashim Arcia 46), 19.Jared London; 7.Cordell Cato, 9.Marcus Joseph, 8.Nathan Lewis (11.Tyrone Charles 61).

Unused substitutes: 22.Adrian Foncette (GK), 4.Taryk Sampson, 5.Julio Noel, 6.Akeem Benjamin, 14.Nathaniel Garcia, 17.Maurice Ford, 20.Rundell Winchester.

Coach: Dennis Lawrence

Jamaica (4-4-1-1): 23.Shaven Paul (GK); 3.Javain Brown, 2.Rosario Harriott, 4.Ladale Richie, 19.Ricardo Morris; 7.Jamiel Hardware (6.Kaheem Parris 80), 9.Ewan Grandison, 12.Michael Binns (captain), 18.Marvin Morgan (8.Alex Marshall 69); 20.Fabian Reid (15.Rondee Smith 85); 10.Shamar Nicholson (16.Jermaine Johnson 71).

Unused substitutes: 13.Amal Knight (GK), 11.Vishinul Harris, 14.Leonard Rankine.

Coach: Theodore Whitmore

Referee: Sherwin Johnson (Guyana)

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at 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. Warning: Undefined variable $userid in /www/wired868_759/public/wp-content/plugins/user-photo/user-photo.php on line 114

    Thas why you should have kept your post in Europe.

  2. Mr. Lawrence, it pains me to say this, cannot deliver. So what do we do now? Russia 2018 seems more rec room than reality. But, hey, fyah bun meh…cuz I’m a hater. We need to stop lying to ourselves.

  3. Tallest has them playing a very boring and unimaginative brand of football

  4. Malik you are a gooner fan allyuh wicked yes

  5. I dunno why ah man have to bring Arsenal into dis …. when they’ve had RVP, Henry and Wright …not in that order. Try to use ah better reference lol

  6. Goal scoring is not really something that can be taught at this level. You can get them into positions to score but that final finishing touch is innate or instinctive, imo. Look at Arsenal whole team more or less.:-)

  7. And I won’t understand in a million years why my Foreign Base Coach Hart was axed eh and they hired a rookie Coach Dennis to coach the Soca Worries, who doesn’t have any stats for being a head Coach eh he and the Jamaican haven’t even won a game since coming on the scene eh Coach Dennis should have been the Assistant to Coach Hart or another top of the line real professional Coach eh until he was really ready to stare the sinking ship eh . Them really good yes.

  8. JD Williams called on Hutson Charles and Derick King ability as Assistant coaches what wbout S.John ability ?

  9. The bootleg players are getting chances and they just cannot score and I still don’t know what Cato does be trying on the field eh just running up and down and not scoring any goals. steeuppss. Them really good yes

  10. Doh try dat eh Roland Clarke because as you and I know and I have said this before that players are developed at the youth level to play the beautiful game eh and when they are nominated to represent our sweet country and the real professional teams eh they are selected for what they can do eh, they not suppose to be learning nuttten from the bootleg Coach Stern John ehThem really good yes.

  11. Well the head coach said S.John was a top goal scorer and thats why he hired him to help with shoiting and finishing training so if our finishing is poor his ability as Assistant coach will be called into account .

  12. Look at the stands.. if i playing home and the stands empty.. i walkin off d field yes..

  13. TTFA is doing shit
    The best teams to warm up against is teams from South America

  14. Six straight losses…….
    Nothing to smile about before a wc qualify…..

  15. So can somebody tell me what is the real problem in scoring of the goals against our opponents eh, and maybe I should start offering plenty monies when goals are scored on the game night and also for assist to eh, since my players are not being paid the real professional monies, and doesn’t get nutten from the gate receipts after the games, I am certain that they will surely go for that eh. Them really good yes.

  16. Ok…i understand we want to blame the coach, the players etc…we even questioning why Sol Campbell is not here permanent.
    I understand all of that.
    But many of you don’t know the back room stories and the poor condensation the TTFA is facing and the nun financial support from the government to our teams.
    Mr editor could you please educate your people here on the issues facing the TTFA, because I know you have the information. But for some reason you choose to not let the people know what is going on. Smh.
    Anyway, let me just say it as it is, we can’t expect our sports here in Trinidad and Tobago to produce good results without the proper support from corporate and government.
    I could say more but I’ll leave it up to the editor to be fear and address the hidden issues that most people will not be preve to.

  17. Vex when the last coach lost one game. Lawrence cant win one yet…. Where the call to fire him?

  18. Lawrence probably fuming. I went the practice twice this week and he was drilling them on that cut back from the byline to penalty spot. We had about three of those in the first half and none even forced a save

  19. We still spinning top in mud. Can’t put a style or system in place from the top need to start with the youth teams. We always look for a quick fix

  20. Leave the ref out of the game , could you discern which teams p,a years were looking for a place in a World Cup qualifier?
    Could you tell from the intensity of play which team has a World Cup qualifier in a few dats?
    Which team lost their structure as the match went on ?

  21. So we cyah beat Jamaica 2nd team @ home? ……….

  22. What was the point in fielding THIS team?? Let’s be honest…only 2 or 3 guys have any chance of making it to the WC Roster. So we played Jamaica tonight, and changing about 20 players for Honduras. That makes any sense? And we lost….so that’s not even giving us any momentum to build on *sighs*

  23. Didn’t see it of course – but it sounds like another game where pro league locals likely didn’t do enough to make a case to play in front of first XI regulars

  24. Why is it that TTFA is paying Sol Campbell as an Assistant Coach who is never here. He only comes in one week before the WCQ….this is utter bull sh*t

    • Has it occurred to you that, given what is already in the public domain about the TTFA and its salaried staff, that Sol Campbell may NOT be getting paid. If you read Wired868 regularly, (Corneal, Latapy, Morace to name only three) the thought ought at least to have crossed your mind…

    • Not making excuses, but there are things going on behind the scenes you may not know…
      1 such thing is lack of founding and the promes commitments by the sport company and the government is just not there. So they ha e to work with what they have. The conditions is not perfect, and the issues are deep…
      Many people don’t k ow what is taking place behind the scenes but quick to point out the problems. Away, I hope the editor highlights some of the issues because he knows what they are. But I can only guess he willfully play ignorant to them for what reason I don’t know..

  25. What I saw tonight Damm we at our lowest level I’ve never seen our football played like that sorry but no it’s not working Mr Lawrence

  26. 2800 fans at a national team game????? Don’t say it was just a friendly!! 2800 – that’s a performance metric

  27. Mr Liburd, But why you on Lawrence case so? You want to bring back Saintfiet or what? Stephen not coming back for sure so we looking at plenty more heartbreak, I think.

    Do you have a prediction for Honduras you want to share with us? Is that when the winless streak will end? Remember that everything else is practice, rehearsal. September 1 and Honduras are the real McCoy!

    • Hannibal Najjar

      EB, practice rehearsal? You think that such is a legitimate excuse – you remember your playing days, we practice harder than we play the game. I wished that we had played well even in a loss; I wish we won and did not play well; but I ABSOLUTELY wised we played well and won. We had all the advantages lined up to do both. Now, as for home games, even under DL’s predecessors, we have little to shout about. For DL, he is 1 win and 3 losses at home and 2 goals for and 5 against. In the HEX, we 1 win and 5 losses (3 home and 3 away games) with 3 -10 goals for- against. The problem is plaguing throughout the entire national team programs – unable to score and unable to stop the opposition from scoring. What are we to say? Demolish, overhaul, reconstruct – people who are selfless and fit for the tasks at hand – teach and coach holistically, from the nursery bed level, right up adding to what has been structured, taught, and tested to have been learnt – use the CAPS formula for starters and build with it, a rear sense of NATIONAL PRIDE, else, forget the ride.

  28. The U17 girls were more fun to watch last night…

  29. Where was the ref from ? Absolute horror show . Result very harsh , Jamaica well organized but I thought on the balance of play at least a draw would be fair

    • He was really poor in truth. I’d agree that a draw would have been fair. But I don’t think T&T played particularly well eh.

    • Steeuups My Jamaica family team on the first attack scored the first goal eh and as usual our Soca Worries are still struggling to put the ball in the back of the nets I don’t know why my baller for life Hassim Acia didn’t buried his chance eh instead he want to beat the goalkeeper before scoring the goal and I agree it should have been a draw game if that player who was in the off side position didn’t score the goal, he should have left the ball because it was going straight in the goal eh. Them really good yes.

  30. Steups.. pls, pls stop losing. At least win friendlies nah man. Especially against rivals.

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