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CONCACAF Soccer Update   By Aldwyn McGill

            Reggae Boyz tie Soca Warriors in Rhythm Clash II

    VS        PORT OF SPAIN:The Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors regained some of their much needed confidence in time for their World Cup qualifier against Bermuda this weekend after their 1-1 tie with Jamaica Reggae Boyz in their Rhythm Clash rematch last Saturday at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya Trinidad.
 
Heading into Rhythm Clash II the Warriors was coming off a demoralizing 3-0 domination by what many felt was a second string England team last weekend while the Reggae Boyz was coming off an impressive 5-1 victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) at the office in Kingston, Jamaica.
 
Surprisingly the Rhythm Clash rematch was not a well attended event, but though the turnout was small the game is still alive and well for no one would not have been able to tell that the stadium was only 30% full since the fans inside were very loud and the large Rhythm Section in the stands set the tone from the opening whistle.
 
 This was the type of game which I was expecting in the team’s  first encounter in Jamaica but the Soca Warriors was not competitive then due to a lack of personnel and was it not for their determination the final result could have been embarrassing.
 
However his rematch was competitive and highly entertaining as the two teams went toe to toe and unlike the first game there was no doubt that the Warriors had step up to the occasion and the fact that Warriors coach Maturana was under enormous pressure for his team poor showing against England was well received.
 
Coach Maturana took matters into his hands and made some major move. One of his moves that was quite popular with the T&T supporters was the inclusion of Jason Scotland among has four changes which he made to his starting lineup.
 
Maturana brought in 17 year old Akilie Edwards and Kareem Smith for Kern Cupid and Ancil Farrier and inserted Keon Daniels and Jason Scotland for the injured Kenwyne Jones and Stern John.
 
On the side Reggae Boyz coach Rene Simoes did not want to take any chances with this rematch after he was chastise for his bench mismanagement in the first game although his team was coming off a big win over SVG.
 
This match had more of the makings of a “Score to Settle” than the England game and after the coaches made their changes, the players in turn had to make some major adjustments when the rain fell just as the game got started to make the artificial turf very slick.
 
The Soca Warriors adapted to the slick field much faster than the Reggae Boyz and as a result settle down quicker and took the action to the Reggae Boy early and often.
 
With the territorial edge early in the game the Reggae Boyz defense stood firm across the back and quickly and used their acquired confidence to initiate the Reggae Boyz offense with several dangerous counter attacks by Marlon King and company.
 
 With the game now at a torrid pace and both teams counter the other offensively the  Soca Warriors capitalize on a defensive give away on the left flank which the Warriors ended with a nice shot of the left boot of Khaleem Hyland at the 30 minute after a couple of nifty passes.
 
Jamaica changed gears after conceding the goal and responded immediately from the touch off by increasing the regularity of their offensive thrusts and the Soca Warriors defense responded and was up to the task to allow the Warriors to go into the half leading 1-0.
 
The game intensified in the second half with the Reggae Boyz pressing for the equalizer and the Soca Warriors looking to relieve the pressure and looking for the insurance goal based on the game clock.
 
Jamaica got the break they were looking for when they were awarded a penalty at the 89 minute that Luton Shelton converted to give the Reggae Boyz the 1-1 tie.
 
The penalty was called after Warrior goalkeeper Clayton Ince slid along the turf to collect a cross from the right side and made contact with Shelton.


 
 Soccer Update: Jamaica Reggae Boyz was upset by Grenada 2-1 in their last International friendly before their second round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Bahamas at the "Office" in Kingston.

 

 

            Soca Warriors shock Reggae Boyz in Rhythm Clash

 

      VS

Kingston: The long awaited soccer Rhythms Clash between Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors and Jamaica Reggae Boyz turned out to be a “ Soca Warriors shocker in Jamaica”.  In a game where the Reggae Boyz dominated for over 70 minutes of play, Trinidad and Tobago lived up to their Warriors image by picking up a late tempo to score two goals to secure a surprising 2-2 tie in extra time.

The result of the Rhythm Clash was a favorable one for the Soca Warriors and probably a blessing in disguise for the disappointed Reggae Boyz, when you factor in the inexperience of the T&T team and the sudden withdrawal of their key players.  Reggae Boyz on the other hand would have to learn that the game is played for 90+ minutes and a slim 2 goal lead is erasable.

 

However from my vantage point the Reggae Boyz performed to their level of physical readiness in the first half of the game, but it could be argued that their mental toughness may be in question and unfortunately for Jamaica coach Rene Simoes it was public knowledge that Trinidad and Tobago had a young and inexperience roster especially with the absence of Kenwyne Jones, Carlos Edwards and Collin Samuel.

 

I am of the belief that Rene Simoes mistake had more to do with his assessment of Coach Maturana T&T team resiliency. With an attainable 2-0 half time advantage, coach Simoes replaced goalkeeper Donavan Ricketts and captain Marlon King at the break.

  Simoes big mistake was replacing striker Marlon King since King was the player that had the young Warriors defender in a mess with his running off the ball.  When he was in the game the T&T defenders had no idea where he was and where he was going to which for the most part was behind the Warriors defense to receive his passes.

 

After the early tentative minutes the Reggae Boyz broke the game open with an effective and entertaining offensive display after missing a few chances. Marlon King opened the scoring for Reggae Boyz at the 34th minute on text book turn around shot after getting the inside position on his defender.

 

The Reggae Boyz fans erupted on the goal and the Rhythm football show had began on the expense of a number of last minute tackles and switch coverage by the T&T defense. The Reggae Boyz fans were buzzing with excitement and licking their chops in anticipation of a Jamaica rout.

 

To add to the celebration (TFC own) Reggae Boyz right back Tyrone Marshall out muscled his opposing defender to beat goalkeeper Jan Williams to give Jamaica a 2-0 lead at the 40th minute that held up into the half.

The nature of the second goal must have given Jamaica coach Simoes a false sense of security as he inserted, Deon Burton for Marlon King at halftime and Tyrone Marshall was given the captain’s armband.

 

Goalkeeper Barrett was also replaced in the Reggae Boyz net with Duwayne Kerr which in reality was a change at both ends of their defense, and although Jamaica continued their dominance at the start of the second half, their vertical game appeared to have an underlying hint of showboating which spurred the Soca Warriors to firm up in an effort not to be embarrassed.

 

 As a result T&T clawed back into the contest and was rewarded when substitute Osei Telesford broke free on the right from a head-on pass from Roberts to sizzle a shot past goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr. The goal stunned the Reggae Boyz supporters at the “Office” who at the 74th minute mark were already leaving with what they thought was a Jamaica win in the bag.

 

Then suddenly at the announcement of two minutes play of extra time by the fourth official, lightening struck and this time the ”Office” crowd was shock. Warriors captain Aurtis Whitley eluded a Reggae Boyz defender on a fail defensive clearance and unleashed a 25 yard left footer that deflected slightly to beat the goalkeeper into the net to give the Soca Warriors a 2-2 tie. The equalizer sent the small contingent of Warriors fans into a frenzy much to the disappointment of the faithful Reggae Boyz fans.

 

At the press conference, Reggae Boyz Technical Director Simoes was under pressure and admitted “When things are not going good, it is me the coach that everybody will look at. It was my decision to make the changes... it was my decision to take out Marlon King and put in Deon Burton.

Even JFF President Burrell voiced his opinion at the press conference “I, too, am disappointed, to say the least. It was very unfortunate that we did not win the game, but when you looked carefully at what happened, you would have seen that in the first half we had our more experienced players on the pitch.

'But one has to also understand... that there are players that the coach must look at with World Cup qualifiers just around the corner in June,' Burrell said.

Meanwhile, Trinidad's assistant coach Anton Corneal was not at a lost for words as he praised his young side for a gutsy second-half performance. Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica will play Bahamas and Bermuda respectively in their World Cup qualifying game on June 14 and 21-22 in a home and away series

 

Teams:

 TRI: - 1.Jan-Michael Williams, 5.Keyeno Thomas, 2.Kern Cupid, 15.Akeem Adams (3.Akile Edwards 46th), 13.Makan Hislop, 9.Aurtis Whitley (capt), 19.Keon Daniel, 6.Khaleem Hyland, 8.Kerry Baptiste (4.Osei Telesford 59th), 10.Darryl Roberts, 11.Randi Patterson (7.Jamaal Gay 59th).

 

JAM: Donovan Ricketts (Duwayne Kerr 46th), Adrian Reid, Demar Stewart, Obrian Woodbine, Oneil Thompson (Khari Stephenson), Tyrone Marshall, Rudolph Austin, Omar Daley (Ricardo Cousins 68th), Demar Phillips (Wolry Wolfe), Marlon King (capt) (Deon Burton 46th), Luton Shelton (James Thomas).

 

 

 

 


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