Ataulla Guerra marked his recall to the Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s team with a stylish goal in a 2-0 victory versus the United Arab Emirates when the two teams met in a FIFA sanctioned Friendly International in Girona, Spain on Thursday.
The Arabs were in trouble as early as the second minute when T&T skipper Khaleem Hyland found some freedom in the area, unfortunately his snap shot was on the wrong side of the crossbar but Guerra was the epitome of composure when he finished in style to open the scoring in the 37th minute at the end of a classy build up between Nathan Lewis and Shahdon Winchester. Lewis was a thorn in the side of the UAE as he dominated the left flank for long periods and subsequently came in for some rough play but despite constant probing from the Indy 11 winger and Germany based Joevin Jones it remained 1-0 T&T at the half.
Jones took over proceedings in the second period as he tormented his opponents with deft skill and penetrative passes and it was on of those passes which opened the door for goal number two. The Darmstadt 98 midfielder pick up the ball at half line and just left defenders in his wake before delivering the perfect center for Lewis to neatly finish in the 58th minute.
To their credit the UAE then came hard at Dennis Lawrence’s team with Omar Alraqi causing some problems in the middle of the pitch but the defence in that area was well marshalled by Daniel Cyrus and Kevon George. When they did get through, Marvin Phillip showed his class between the uprights, denying Alraqi and Ismail Alhammadi who produced creditable attempts.
The 2-0 victory make for an impressive run for the team since the November 2017 win over the United States with three wins, three draws and one loss. Head Coach Lawrence was obviously pleased with the effort, “The boys played well and fought well. Despite the adversity we had a good football match and I am pleased with the effort and the spirit shown by the team.” Lawrence told TTFA Media following the match.
Next up for Trinidad and Tobago is Thailand during the FIFA break on October 14 in Bangkok.