TT football team coach Dennis Lawrence expressed a level of satisfaction with the efforts of his players after a 1-1 draw against a tricky Martinique outfit in their opening match of CONCACAF Nations League qualifying in Fort-de-France on Friday night.
Canadian-born winger/striker Ryan Telfer made his international debut for TT and the 25-year-old found himself with the early opportunities to put TT ahead, but he failed to convert on his attempts.
TT failed to handle a right side corner allowing the ball to fall to Julio Doniso whose close range blast deflected off Joevin Jones and France-born midfielder Cyril Mandouki slotted home, for the hosts, in the 41st.
TT regrouped and came again in the second half. Telfer was out the blocks early after a Martinique left-sided corner was cleaned up at the back. TT skipper Sheldon Bateau made the box to box run as Telfer flew down the right flank and played inside for the Belgium-based defender who was hacked down by defender Ambroise Felicitet. Jones converted the resulting penalty clinically to level the scores at one apiece in minute 63. TT will now look to secure three points when both teams meet again at the Hasely Crawford Stadium at 9 tomorrow. Tickets are available at NLCB outlets nationwide.
Lawrence noted, “We had a couple changes early on which could have put us in a better position. We knew we would have to weather the storm a bit and see it out. The boys did absolutely remarkable to get themselves back into the game so I was really really pleased for the boys. Now it’s all about recovery and getting home to make sure we are ready for the for the next game on Monday.”
He added, “Once you are playing away from home you got to expect the opposition, they got the fans behind them and they will throw everything at you. Martinique started to grow in confidence once we let them off the hook after the first 15 minutes because I thought we should have scored. They grew in confidence and started to take control of the game and we had to weather the storm. But I’m pleased with the boys and the effort they gave in the end to get something from the game.”