Despite a valiant effort in the second half with ten men, a youthful TT team suffered a 1-0 defeat to St Vincent and the Grenadines in an international friendly today at the Chilli Playing field in Georgetown.
The hosts started brightly and took a 1-0 lead in the 4th minute when captain Chavel Cunningham put the ball past goalkeeper Adrian Foncette, to the delight of the home fans. St Vincent controlled proceedings for much of the first half and were unfortunate not to extend their lead. TT, captained by defender Daneil Cyrus, was reduced to ten men when Justin Garcia was red carded for a rash tackle moments before halftime.
Forward Isaiah Lee had TT’s best effort on goal in the 38th minute.
The second half saw St Vincent maintain the pressure on the visitors but also content with the one goal advantage. TT substitute and debutant Aaron Lester had another close effort in the 68th. Head coach Dennis Lawrence introduced another debutant, 19-year-old midfielder John-Paul Rochford, and Nathaniel Garcia midway through the second half as TT tried desperately to get back into the match. Both players combined well and created some problems for the “Vincy Heat” but goalkeeper Dwayne Sandy would not be beaten.
Rochford played one in for second half substitute Kathon St Hillaire but his shot was pushed around the post for a corner by Sandy in the 70th. There were further chances for both teams in the closing stages with Cunningham turning two defenders in the area before firing inches over bar. Garcia saw a free kick go over bar and Rochford’s attempt was cleared off the line in the 90th.
The TT squad returns home tonight and Lawrence will continue the build up towards upcoming Concacaf Nations League matches away to Martinique on September 6 and at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on September 9.
TT Starting XI : Adrian Foncette, Daneil Cyrus(capt), Curtis Gonzales, Justin Garcia, Akeem Humphrey, Isaiah Garcia, Judah Garcia, Isaiah Lee, Reon Moore, Jameel Neptune, Jelani Felix.