Woodley, Poon-Angeron strike as T&T down Guyana 2-0 in closing friendly

The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team completed their preparation for the opening round of their Fifa 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign last night with a 2-0 friendly win over Guyana at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Once more, 37-year-old forward Kevon “Showtime” Woodley played a key role despite featuring for just 45 minutes. The veteran forward started the play that led to midfielder Michel Poon-Angeron’s opening goal in the 53rd minute, before he got his second item in as many matches in the 76th minute.

Guyana defender Curtez Kellman (right) uses desperate measure to keep Trinidad and Tobago forward Kevon Woodley in check during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

It would be difficult for head coach Angus Eve to omit Woodley from his match day squad on 5 June when the Soca Warriors kick off their World Cup qualifying adventure against Grenada.

Whatever happens from here on, Woodley will always have memories of Guyana.

Predictable on the ball and slow to apply pressure off it, the Golden Jaguars were begging to be picked off. Inexplicably, Trinidad and Tobago failed to capitalize in the opening 45 minutes.

Twice, forward Brent Sam failed to put away dangerous right side crosses from Jabari Mitchell in the opening 20 minutes—as the joint patrol from the soldier and police officer respectively did not produce the required result in the capital.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Jabari Mitchell started brightly against Guyana during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Guyana goalkeeper Jamine Cumberbatch was at least called upon to make a save in the 22nd minute, after Mitchell teed up playmaker Duane Muckette on the edge of the penalty area.

Unfortunately, the Warriors were creating goal scoring chances at the other end too.

A loose back pass from Muckette created a golden opportunity for Guyana forward Kelsey Benjamin in the 25th minute, only for the tricky forward to snatch at his shot and miskick the ball.

Two minutes later, the host team were caught dozing at the back as Benjamin stepped inside defender Josiah Trimmingham before slipping to Guyana midfielder Darron Niles.

Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Aaron Enill (far right) uses his right boot to keep out Guyana midfielder Darron Niles (second from right) during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

On this occasion, Trinidad and Tobago’s debutant goalkeeper Aaron Enill was alert to the danger and made a fine reflex stop.

Goalless at the half, Eve made two changes for the resumption as Woodley replaced Sam while attacker Isaiah Lee replaced full back Shervohnez Hamilton who started in an offensive midfield role.

Lee lasted roughly half hour before being substituted, after failing to shake off a powerful Ryan Hackett free kick that struck him flush in the head.

Trinidad and Tobago forward Kevon Woodley (centre) tries to burst clear of Guyana defenders Kevin Layne (right) and Nicholai Andrews during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Woodley had a far more enjoyable outing.

In the 53rd minute, Woodley released Mitchell in the right inside channel and his low cross produced a shambolic response from the Guyana defence that culminated in a free shot for midfielder Michel Poon-Angeron.

Poon-Angeron sidefooted home his first international goal from close range with his weaker foot. Cumberbatch did not move.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Michel Poon-Angeron (second from left) celebrates his maiden international goal with teammates during international friendly action against Guyana at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

The scrappy goal arguably epitomized the underwhelming contest between the two Caribbean nations, which played out before roughly 2,000 fans last night.

Woodley was not about to let this defence return to Georgetown unscathed.

In the 55th minute, the gangly forward produced a neat swivel and shot at the edge of the area, which just cleared the bar—but ensured that his threat on Monday was no flash in the pan.

Trinidad and Tobago left back Andre Raymond (background) runs at a Guyana defender during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Twenty minutes later, Woodley had his goal. Fellow substitute Ezekiel Kesar stripped Guyana left wing back Terique Mohammed of the ball and advanced unchecked into the box before unselfishly squaring for Woodley.

And the Caledonia AIA forward graciously accepted the gift. In just under 100 minutes of international football, Woodley had two goals and Kesar had one goal and two assists.

If ever there were two players who were keen on improved football relations between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, it would be those two international rookies.

Trinidad and Tobago forward Kevon Woodley (centre) prepares to tap his second international goal past Guyana goalkeeper Jamine Cumberbatch during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Woodley’s goal was teed up by teammate Ezekiel Kesar (left).
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Still, Guyana had another good scoring opportunity in the 89th minute as Matthew Woo Ling conceded possession and, on the counter, forward Simeon Moore forced a fine save from substitute Trinidad and Tobago custodian Denzil Smith.

The Warriors finished the two-match mini-series with two wins, a clean sheet and a host of personal milestones. And Eve started the press conference singing the chorus to Mical Teja’s Road March hit song, DNA.

“No place like home…”

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Angus Eve (standing) minds his business during an international friendly against Guyana at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Grenada are next at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and Trinidad and Tobago’s recent record in Port of Spain against regional teams would comfort the head coach.

But, in truth, there remains some distance to go for the Soca Warriors to recapture the verve, fluidity and ingenuity that made National Senior Team outings must-see events.

It is not in our DNA at present. Eve, now with a renewed contract, is entrusted with restoring it.

The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team pose for the camera before kickoff against Guyana in international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

(Squads)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 21.Aaron Enill (GK) (22.Denzil Smith [GK] 46); 2.Isaiah Garcia, 5.Josiah Trimmingham, 17.Justin Garcia (captain), 6.Andre Raymond; 18.Kevon Goddard (15.Simeon Bailey 86), 8.Michel Poon-Angeron (16.Matthew Woo Ling 74); 14.Jabari Mitchell (9.Ezekiel Kesar 74), 10.Duane Muckette (13.Daniel David 74), 4.Shervohnez Hamilton (7.Isaiah Lee 46 [20.Lindell Sween 80]); 19.Brent Sam (23.Kevon Woodley 46).

Unused substitutes: 3.Ross Russell Jr, 11.Adriel George, 12.Robert Primus.

Coach: Angus Eve

Guyana (3-5-2): 1.Jamine Cumberbatch (GK) (22.Amari Thompson [GK] 80); 14.Curtez Kellman, 3.Kevin Layne (21.Cedric Osborne 82), 19.Quincy Adams; 16.Nicholai Andrews, 6.Darron Niles (8.Chris Macey 61), 17.Daniel Wilson (captain), 2.Leo-Orion Lovell (15.Ryan Hackett 61), 4.Terique Mohammed (20.Amos Ramsay 80); 11.Kelsey Benjamin (7.Marcus Tudor 61), 9.Anthony Smith (23.Simeon Moore).

Unused substitutes: 18.Simon Emanuel (GK), 10.Stephen McDonald, 12.Solomon Austin, 13.Bevan Baker.

Coach: Jamaal Shabazz

Referee: Timothy Derry

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Michel Poon-Angeron (right) glides past Guyana midfielder Darron Niles during international friendly action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 May 2024.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

International friendly

(15 May 2024)

Trinidad and Tobago 2 (Michel Poon-Angeron 55, Kevon Woodley 76), Guyana 0 at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

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