The Senior Men’s National team upped its preparation for the April 17 international friendly versus Panama with some welcomed ‘match practice’ on Saturday at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar. Dennis Lawrence and his men took on Prisons FC with Head Coach Anderson Veronique at the helm of the TT Super League outfit.
Both Coaches agreed that the scrimmage will be divided into three 30-minute periods which allowed for better tactical evaluation.
Lawrence told TTFA Media why he opted for Prisons, “I think when I saw them play in the league, for what we were working on, (pressing the ball and trying to keep possession) they were an ideal test because they bring the football up from out of the back well and play organised football.”
That organisation orchestrated by Veronique and his staff caused some caution in the National team’s approach with former Under 20 Captain Duane Muckette pulling the strings in midfield for Prisons in the opening minutes of the first period but the likes of Kathon St. Hillaire, Reon “Re-Re” Moore and Marcus “Lobo” Joseph began to make inroads through their defence and it was a foul in the area on Joseph which resulted in the opening item. The W Connection striker taking the penalty himself to make it 1-0 in favour of the National team.
Ten minutes later Point Fortin Civic midfielder Nathaniel “Spanish” Garcia made 2-0 with a tap in off a service from Moore. St. Hillaire rounded out the scoring after cutting in from the left to beat Javon Bourne with a low rocket at the first post to make it 3-0 after the first 30 minutes.
Wholesale changes were made on both sides for the second period, but Moore was still on the pitch and the Defence Force winger could not be contained as he played a part in many of his team’s raids with three ending in goals for Akeem Roach. The Cocorite resident scoring in the 46th, 55th and 59th minutes.
The National line up for the 3rd period consisted of mostly new call-ups with the likes of Judah Garcia, Justin Sadoo, Rhondel Gibson and Jaydon Prowell all in the mix. Veronique was also looking at his prospects with some managing to get shots on goal but Andre Marchan of the Defence Force also kept the sheet clean for the goalkeepers. The final score was 7-0 in favour of Lawrence’s team with Club Sando’s Jared London getting the last item.
Trinidad and Tobago will face FIFA World Cup bound Panama on April 17 at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva. (Wayne Cunningham for TTFA Media)