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T&T crashes out of Digicel Cup
Following their 2-0 loss to Cuba on Friday, the “Soca Warriors” needed at least a draw to be in with a chance to advance after being initial tournament favourites, but Grenada and potent striker Kithson Bain had other ideas. Bain scored what has been the goal of the tournament in the 70th minute, when he held off two defenders and made room for himself before unleashing a ripper which flew into the top right corner of the net past an outstretched Marvin Phillip. That was the writing on the wall for Russell Latapy’s men who though deserving to get more from the game had only themselves to blame with poor finishing. Unlike the first match against Cuba, T&T played with better chemistry but will now have to face the reality of also missing the 2011 Concacaf Gold Cup Finals.
It will be the second straight occasion on which T&T will be out on the Gold Cup with the Francisco Maturana led team also losing to 2-1 to Grenada and failing to advance out of the group phase in December 2008. T&T went on to beat Barbados 2-1 in their next outing but were then held 1-1 by Jamaica which saw them return home from Kingston earlier than the four semi-finalists. Latapy started with Devorn Jorsling being the lone striker up front and Kendall Jagdeosingh starting on the left while Kevin Molino started on the right. Jorsling caused some early problems and forced an excellent save from goalkeeper Andre Phillip when he chested and fired a volley on the turn. Molino also looked dangerous at times but indecision in and around the penalty box saw T&T finding chances hard to come by in the first half. Bain had a good try which was kept out by the T&T defence in the 41st minute. Bain and brothers Patrick and Benedict Modeste were the high performers for Grenada and held their team together.
T&T started the second half much in the same manner as the first but again their final service let them down. Latapy introduced Keon Daniel and Cornell Glen into the attack but soon after Bain let fly with a fantastic effort which left Phillip without a prayer and at that stage the Concacaf Gold Cup spot was already beginning to look beyond T&T’s reach. Skipper Clyde Leon and his men pushed forward in a last gasp effort for the equaliser. Glen put a header into the net but was called for pushing while Daniel only managed to drag his left footer wide of the right post after being perfectly positioned inside the box following a quickly taken free kick. Down the final stretch, Noel opted for trying to find Glen at his side instead of trying to go for goal after Daniel picked him out from the right.
Inside the final minute, a left side ball came across the goal when the slightest of touches could have resulted in an equaliser but both Glen and Jorsling failed to connect on a play which summed up T&T’s evening. “It’s disappointing… there’s no way to explain the feeling right now. We came into the tournament with our sights on winning but we didn’t do any justice to our chances. We didn’t start well in the first game and now we are paying the price. It’s a difficult time for us,” skipper Leon said following the loss. T&T will now meet hosts Martinique tomorrow in a match that will have no bearing on their future in the tournament. The four semi-finalists will advance to the Gold Cup next year in the United States.
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