The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team will leave the Far East empty-handed after a 1-0 loss to Thailand today in international friendly action in Bangkok.
Trinidad and Tobago are 32 places higher than Thailand in the FIFA rankings—90 to 122—but there was little sign of such superiority at the Suphan Buri Municipality Stadium, as the “Soca Warriors” rarely looked like breaking down their hosts.
Head coach Dennis Lawrence was short of attacking power as Joevin Jones and Ataulla Guerra both withdrew from his squad late while playmaker Kevin Molino is still recovering from injury. And it showed in a largely blunt display at the offensive end.
Although ball possession was almost even with 51 percent to Thailand and 49 to Trinidad and Tobago, the host team—a tidy, technical outfit—were far more dangerous with 16 shots at goal to six from the Warriors.
Early in the second half, the visitors might have gone ahead as Nathan Lewis used his electric pace to good effect down the left flank and his cross was headed inches over the roof of the net by Shahdon Winchester.
However, there was little sight of the Thailand goal area again in the second half and the hosts got their winner on a counter attack in the 66th minute.
Trinidad and Tobago central defender Sheldon Bateau was caught in possession, just in the opposing half of the field, and Thai midfielder Tanaboon Kesarat strode 30 yards with the ball before releasing Thitipan Puangchan—his club teammate with Bangkok Glass—with a clever scooped pass. And Puangchan stroked cooly past Warriors custodian Marvin Phillip and retreating defender Daneil Cyrus.
It was not as sickening as a late injury to Club Sando midfielder Akeem Humphrey, who landed awkwardly on his head after going over Puangchan to contest a header.
Humphey was stretchered over the field with his neck in a brace. However, team manager Richard Piper confirmed subsequently that the former National Under-20 player suffered only soft tissue bruising and is moving about without a neck bruise—albeit still with some pain.
Lawrence’s Warriors have now lost twice from five outings in 2018. Trinidad and Tobago, who defeated the United Arab Emirates 2-0 last month, do not have another scheduled international before the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup and rely on the TTFA finding them sparring partners whenever possible.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-3-2-1): 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 2.Aubrey David (16.Alvin Jones 75), 4.Sheldon Bateau, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 18.Triston Hodge; 23.Leston Paul, 19.Kevan George (Ricardo John 75), 9.Khaleem Hyland (captain); 7.Nathan Lewis, 20.Jomal Williams (14.Akeem Humphrey 70 [6.Keston Julien 92]); 10.Shahdon Winchester.
Unused substitutes: Adrian Foncette (GK), Curtis Gonzales, Duane Muckette.
Coach: Dennis Lawrence