Moore gets memorable goal, as Trinidad and Tobago defeat Jamaica for first time in a decade

The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team upset Jamaica 1-0 in an international friendly today at the Catherine Hall Sport Complex in Montego Bay, for their first win over the Reggae Boyz in a decade.

Flanker Reon Moore made an immediate impact off the substitutes bench to grab the winner, with a sharp finish that beat Jamaica custodian Kemar Foster at his near post.

Trinidad and Tobago attacker Reon Moore (right) in action against El Salvador during the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
(via TTFA Media)

And, despite enjoying healthy possession in the attacking third for the last half hour, Jamaica rarely troubled their guests.

The two nations meet again from 7pm (TT time) in Kingston on Tuesday for another warm-up affair before they head to their respective Concacaf Nations League assignments later this month.

The Soca Warriors are away to The Bahamas on 23 March and then host Nicaragua four days later in Bacolet, Tobago. Coach Angus Eve needs successive wins to seal promotion to the top tier of the Concacaf competition as well as earn qualification for the July Gold Cup tournament.

Jamaica are already in League A of the Nations League and, at present, top their group. However, they are away to Mexico and need a win to become the first Caribbean team to advance to the competition’s semifinals.

The disparity in the current fortunes of the two Caribbean nation was reflected in the fact that Jamaica coach Heimir Hallgrimsson could bring in a new Chelsea FC signing, homegrown 17-year-old striker Dujuan “Whisper” Richards, from off the bench to play alongside Omari Hutchinson, who has a Premier League cap for the Stamford Bridge team in the current season.

Jamaica 17-year-old striker Dujuan “Whisper” Richards signs for Chelsea FC after being courted by fellow England Premier League outfit, Newcastle United.
(via Fabrizio Romano)

In contrast, Eve started with three unattached players—including captain Joevin Jones—while not a single member of his party is attached to a top-flight overseas-based team.

Hallgrimsson, in his first game on the island, was unable to create an effective unit from his gifted call-ups though. Jamaica were unconvincing on and off the ball and were lucky to be level at the break, as Trinidad and Tobago attackers Jomoul Francois and John-Paul Rochford both produced fine saves from the opposing goalkeeper.

The Icelandic coach seemed to shift tactical gears at the resumption, as Jamaica largely abandoned their ineffective long ball game. The wily Hutchinson, in particular, looked smooth whenever he was in possession, which was often enough.

But there was no end product from the hosts and Moore showed them how it is done with an incisive finish from his first contribution in the 67th minute, after an assist by Jones.

It was Moore’s fifth goal from 15 international appearances under Eve, who has used the Defence Force attacker in all but one match since taking over. It seems like a lifetime ago when Eve’s predecessor, Terry Fenwick, routinely omitted Moore from travelling squads that included Gary Griffith Jr instead.

Trinidad and Tobago flanker Reon Moore (right) dribbles Montserrat defender Dean Mason out of his boots, en route to his maiden international goal at the Drv Pnk Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
Moore has played 15 from 16 internationals under current head coach Angus Eve.
(via Concacaf)

W Connection custodian Denzil Smith was one of four debutantes tonight including left back Andre Raymond, flanker Kailé Auvray and teenaged substitute forward Nathaniel James. All acquitted themselves well, although Smith was injured while making a save in the first half and was replaced by Adrian Foncette before the interval.

Francois, whose last cap came in a 4-0 loss away to Honduras under Dennis Lawrence on 17 November 2019, also acquitted himself well in his return to national colours. Defender Josiah Trimmingham, who got his last cap under Fenwick, would be pleased with his comeback too while tidy midfielder Michel Poon-Angeron built on his substitute appearance against Saint Martin in January.

Trinidad and Tobago were solid out of possession and generally composed on the ball, as they waited for opportunities to strike in transition. Jamaica played right into Eve’s hands.

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Angus Eve gestures from the sidelines during a CNL clash with the Bahamas at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 6 June 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Hallgrimsson has three days to come up with something more convincing.

Ten years ago, then Warriors coach Stephen Hart led the red, black and white to successive friendly wins over Jamaica—as they triumphed 1-0 in Montego Bay and then 2-0 in Port of Spain. Ataullah Guerra scored in both legs while Kenwyne Jones got the insurance item from the penalty spot.

Jones is the only survivor from Hart’s team, which became the first Trinidad and Tobago side to register a win on Jamaican soil in 61 years.

Eve now has a result to savour himself.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Michel Poon-Angeron (centre) tries to initiate an attack during friendly international action against Saint Martin at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 29 January 2023.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Incidentally, it is now 22 years since Trinidad and Tobago defeated Jamaica in a competitive match. That happened in a Caribbean Cup group fixture at Port of Spain on 17 March 2001.

Serbian Zoran Vranes ran the Warriors technical area in place of the suspended Ian Porterfield, midfielder Brent Rahim got the second half winner; and Eve scored the opening goal.

The Trinidad and Tobago team on that day was captained by Glasgow Rangers defender Marvin Andrews and included record goal scorer Stern John, who went on to play England Premier League football for Birmingham City and Sunderland.

The Warriors are not on level footing with Jamaica these days. But, in Montego Bay tonight, they showed they could still compete on their day.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Denzil Smith (GK) (22.Adrian Foncette (GK) 44); 16.Alvin Jones, 4.Josiah Trimmingham, 17.Justin Garcia, 5.Andre Raymond (12.Jameel Neptune 52); 8.Michel Poon-Angeron, 23.Jesse Williams (6.Kareem Riley 86); 14.John-Paul Rochford (20.Jomal Williams 62), 3.Joevin Jones (captain) (18.Matthew Woo Ling 86), 15.Kailé Auvray (13.Reon Moore 62); 11.Jomoul Francois (9.Nathaniel James 62).

Unused substitutes: 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 2.Jelani Felix, 7.Noah Powder, 10.Kadeem Corbin, 19.Quesi Weston, 24.Justin Sadoo.

Coach: Angus Eve

Jamaica (4-4-1-1): 1.Kemar Foster (GK); 2.Alwayne Harvey (15.Oshana Staple 46), 6.Richard King, 19.Adrian Mariappa (captain), 20.Dexter Lembikisa; 18.Omari Hutchinson, 10.Ravel Morrison, 14.Sue-Lae McCalla (21.Delano McCoy-Splatt 46), 3.Dwayne Atkinson (7.Lamar Walker); 11.Jourdaine Fletcher (12.Dujuan Richards 46); 9.Trivante Stewart (25.Collin Anderson)

Unused substitutes: 13.Akeem Benjamin (GK), 23.Asher Hutchinson (GK), 4.Tyler Roberts, 5.Ricardo Thomas, 8.Demario Phillips, 17.Jahshaun Anglin, 22.Fitzroy Cummings, 24.Jamoi Topey.

Coach: Heimir Hallgrimsson

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