TT men’s football team’s lack of killer instinct was evident on Monday night, as they allowed Martinique to battle from a two-goal deficit to force a 2-2 draw at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
This game was the return leg of the teams’ League A Group C tie, in the Concacaf Nations League, following their 1-1 draw in Martinique on Friday.
Kevin Molino and Ryan Telfer gave TT a 2-0 cushion with goals in either half, but striker Daniel Carr responded with an own goal, in the 59th, and Jordy Delem tied the scores with 11 minutes of regulation time remaining.
Both TT and Martinique have two points from as many matches, with Honduras yet to feature in this three-team group. TT will play Honduras on October 10 and 13, while Martinique will tackle Honduras on November 14 and 17.
The group winners will advance to the four-team Concacaf Nations League final round, as well as the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. The runners-up will also progress to the 2021 Gold Cup and the third-place team will be relegated to League B of the Nations League and the 2021 Gold Cup Qualifiers Second Round.
However, Monday’s result did little to appease the TT footballing public, as the winless streak was extended to 12 – five drawn results and seven defeats since their last victory, against the United Arab Emirates, on September 6 2018.
In front of a near-empty crowd (only 2,000 out of the capacity 22,500 turned up to watch the game), Molino broke the deadlock in the 17th minute.
Telfer, on the left flank, was picked out on the left by Kevan George but his header was poorly cleared by Delem. The loose ball fell to Molino who drilled his right-footed shot past a stunned Loic Chauvet in the Martinique goal.
Two minutes later, Levi Garcia was sent clear on goal by midfielder Leston Paul but his left-footed effort went wide.
Martinique had their chances to tie the scores, and they came close in the 33rd, when substitute Thierry Catherine sent a ball to overlapping left-back Yordan Thimon whose deflected right-footer was tipped overbar by TT goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.
Telfer, who impressed on his international debut on Friday, got on the scoresheet a minute into the second half.
Paul teed up Garcia on the right and the winger sent a cross which was badly spilled by Chauvet. Molino pounced on the loose ball and fed Telfer who slipped the ball into the back of the net, despite a desperate lunge from Delem.
Telfer had a chance to extend the lead 10 minutes later, after getting a through-ball from Paul, but his left-footed effort went wide.
Martinique reduced the deficit shortly afterwards, as Carr got his right foot to a corner from Daniel Herelle and sent the ball into his own net.
In the 72nd, Carr, the English-born debutant, had a wonderful opportunity to restore the two-goal advantage. A ball from the left by Molino fell to Telfer who, in turn, passed to Carr but the centre-forward’s effort was cleared by Delem for a corner.
That miss proved costly as Stephane Abaul’s freekick wasn’t cleared to safety by TT captain and stopper Sheldon Bateau, and Andy Cesar collected the loose ball, passed to Delem and the defender slotted home past Phillip.
Chauvet produced a pair of close-range saves to deny Paul and Molino, in the 87th minute, to ensure his team went home with a share of the points.
Both teams made three changes from Friday’s match.
Carr, Garcia and Alvin Jones replaced Marcus Joseph, Joevin Jones and Ross Russell jnr in the TT line-up.
Martinique brought in Delem, Karl Vitulin and Christof Jougon for Ambroise Felicitet, Cyril Mandouki (the goalscorer on Friday) and Yann Thimon.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Marvin Phillip; Sheldon Bateau (capt), Daneil Cyrus, Aubrey David, Alvin Jones; Kevan George, Leston Paul, Ryan Telfer, Levi Garcia (Joevin Jones 63rd), Kevin Molino; Daniel Carr (Jameel Perry 81st).
MARTINIQUE: Loic Chauvet; Sebastien Cretinoir (capt), Jordy Delem, Yordan Thimon, Romario Barthelery (Thierry Catherine 24th); Karl Vitulin, Christof Jougon, Daniel Herelle, Johnny Marajo (Andy Cesar 71st), Stephane Abaul; Julio Donisa (Andy Marny 58th).