Trinidad and Tobago conceded goals on either side of the half as they fell 2-0 to Canada in their final Warm up ahead of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup in Monday’s international friendly played behind closed doors at the Titan Stadium in Cal State Fullerton.
Canadian captain Scott Arfield who plays for Glasgow Rangers gave Canada the perfect start with a neatly taken volleyed strike in the 5th minute and he sealed the win in the 90th minute with another fine effort past substitute goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh.
T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence made seven changes to his starting team from the one that featured in the 0-0 draw with Japan last week in Aichi. Coming into the team was Minnesota midfielder Kevin Molino who played the full encounter along with Seattle Sounders’ Joevin Jones, Akeem Humphrey, goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, Shahdon Winchester, Neveal Hackshaw and Cordell Cato. Captain Khaleem Hyland joined Marvin Phillip, Levi Garcia, Nathan Lewis, Jomal Williams, Alvin Jones and Leston Paul on the bench.
T&T created quite a few chances and had only themselves to blame for not getting on the scoresheet. Winchester had two misses in the first half while Molino also directed a right footer over bar from atop the penalty box before the break. Garcia came on in the second half and fired one high across the goal from a tight angle after beating his man near the touch line deep in the box.
T&T lost defender Carlyle Mitchell in the first half after he complained of a groin problem.
There were some positives for Lawrence as he indicated in the post-match interview.
“I was very, very pleased with a lot of the aspects,” Lawrence told TTFA Media.
“Obviously disappointed to concede two goals, one so early in the game and then one late but in terms of a training exercise for the boys I thought it was very good for us. It give us the opportunity to try different players, to try different players in different positions because we are still trying to find the right balance.
“ I was a bit pleased especially in the second half with the way we managed the game. We got ourselves in a lot of good attacking situations but again we didn’t manage to convert. All in all it was a very pleasing exercise for us,” Lawrence added.
The T&T boss did say he hoped to have used more players in the match.
“I was just a bit disappointed with the way the rules were used. We were only allowed to use six substitutions and we were planning to give everybody a game today. We wanted to play some people for 45 minutes but we were not able to do that today but all in all it was a pretty good exercise for the boys.
“It was important for these boys. Molino last played on the 2nd and Joevin has been coming on for his club since he got there. Ranjitsingh has not been playing so we felt it was very important that they got some minutes that we gave them some minutes in this training exercise. They did well. Molino managed to get through 90 minutes which was good for us. Ranjitsingh I thought did well when he came on and Joevin we can still see he needs a little bit more but we have still got some days to try make up the ground.
“The main important thing for us is to recover. One of the sour points today for us which we were very concerned about coming back from Japan was any injuries. Carlyle picked up something slight and I’m hoping it’s nothing series so it remains about recovery,” Lawrence concluded.
T&T Line up
22. Adrian Foncette (21.Greg Ranjitsingh 45’), 5. Daneil Cyrus (captain), 12. Carlyle Mitchell (Curtis Gonzales 26’), 7. Cordell Cato, 10. Kevin Molino, 3. Joevin Jones (13.Nathan Lewis 66’), 9. Shahdon Winchester (Levi Garcia 45’),17. Mekeil Williams (23. Leston Paul 51),14. Akeem Humphrey (Leston Paul), 19. Kevan George (Khaleem Hyland, 75’), 4. Neveal Hackhaw.
Subs not used: 1. Marvin Phillip, 2. Leland Archer, 20. Jomal Williams, 16. Alvin Jones, 6. Duane Muckette, 18. Lester Peltier.
Head Coach: Dennis Lawrence