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Soca Warriors shut-out Iceland

Soca Warriors shut-out Iceland

As the Parade of the Bands was winding down in Trinidad and Tobago in the hot Carnival Tuesday sun, the Soca Warriors defeated Iceland 2-0 at Loftus Road in London, England in much cooler temperatures. This was the long awaited appearance the warrior’s supporters were longing for after the team’s three month lay off.

The game day news was that coach Leo Beenhakker inserted goalkeeper Shaka Hislop in the starting line up and gave Collin Samuels the nudge ahead of Kenwyne Jones from the last Bahrain lineup. The wing backs were Avery John and Syd Gray with Marvin Andrews and Dennis Lawrence in the central back positions. The midfielders were Carlos Edwards and Aurtis Whitley on the outsides with Chris Birchall and Captain Dwight Yorke at central midfield with Stern John and Collin Samuel as the strikers. The 4-4-2 formation was a little deceptive in that striker Collin Samuel was on the left flank for most of the game where he had good success setting up the two goals.

The first goal came after 10 minute of play on a Samuels’s cross that Iceland goalkeeper deflected to Dwight Yorke who converted from 10 yards out. On his (Samuels) second assist he went down the line and led Stern John with a perfect diagonal pass inside the penalty area where he was pushed from behind and awarded a penalty. Dwight Yorke scored the penalty, his second goal of the game with a chip shot that was straight but uncontested because the goalkeeper committed to his right too early.

All in all it seemed that T&T wanted to win to regain the momentum and remove whatever team rust that occurred from the lack of competition. They came out of the game with two new starters in Shaka Hislop and Collin Samuels having good performances while newcomer Ricky Shakes performed admirably after replacing Carlos Edwards at the half. He took on the defender down the flank to get to the byline. Kenwyne Jones for Stern John in the 65 minute was not as fruitful, nor was Kevon Neaves for Collin Samuels in the 77 minute but Silvio Spann for Aurtis Whitley at the half was not noticeable because Silvio Spann is a major contributor as a utility player and is a big piece of the team puzzle.

As expected due to the mixing and matching of the payers the Warriors team chemistry and superior ball possession was not a factor. The fact that the defense stayed at home and was present on the majority of the plays in the defensive third was a welcome change. They worked hard under a lack of team chemistry and deserve a lot of credit for securing the shutout. A shutout win is always a good trade off for a mediocre team performance and the warriors and coach Beenhakker should accept that.










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