Trinidad and Tobago gave a promising display on Wednesday night against a polished Peru team but went down 2-0 before an appreciative crowd at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The most high prolific player on the pitch, Bayern Munich striker and Peruvian captain Claudio Pizarro opened the scoring for the visitors in the 29th minute when he slotted home a rebound after Marvin Phillips’ partial bock to Jefferson Farfan’s effort. With the clock winding down, Rinaldo Cruzado had a well taken shot go past substitute goalkeeper Cleon John two minutes from full time.
The spirited showing by the “Soca Warriors” was encouraging for several of the estimated 4200 fans who turned up at the Couva venue and T&T were unfortunate not to find the scoresheet on the night. Kenwyne Jones misfired from inside the area after Ataullah Guerra's mesmerizing run in the first half and Kevon Carter also came into his own on the right flank in the second half. Racing Genk midfielder Khaleem Hyland demonstrated maturity and gave a solid display in the middle of the park while Carlos Edwards also produced a good,workman-like performance. The T&T defence also held its own before seven second half substitutes saw Peru get into a comfortable position.
Co-head coach Jamal Shabazz was satisfied with the effort.
“When you lose you always prefer the result would be better so it’s not a result we would be happy with but maybe contented. But we are aiming to get to a point when we would be really unhappy with a 2-0 loss. At this time we’re trying to get there so this result would therefore not be one we are entirely sad over,” Shabazz said.
“I think it was difficult to see any major difference between the overseas and local pros who started the game today. And we used the opportunity to give some of the other local boys a chance in the second half to get a feel of what it’s like to play a team like Peru. We’ve got work to do but we are certainly seeing some positive signs,” he added.
Co-head coach Hutson Charles felt similarly, adding “It’s a work in progress. We’re setting our sights on getting it right for the Gold Cup and tonight we saw evidence that there are positive signs and something good to work with as we move forward.”
Peru head coach Sergio Markarian was happy with his team’s win, pointing out that he got a good contest from T&T.
“We came here for a game against Trinidad and Tobago which is very passionate about football and we got that. We saw a team tonight that tried top play good football. At times the intensity of the game and the flow of the game was good for both teams,” said Markarian.
More to follow
T&T- Marvin Phillip (Cleon John, 72nd); Sheldon Bateau, Carlyle Mitchell, Carlos Edwards, Darryl Roberts (Aubrey David, 64th), Kevon Carter (Jemel Sebro 76th), Daneil Cyrus (Kareem Moses, 82nd), Densill Theobald (Keyon Edwards, 70th), Ataullah Guerra, Khaleem Hyland (Curtis Gonzales,72nd), Kenwyne Jones (Devorn Jorsling, 72nd).
Perú: - Raúl Fernández (Diego Penny,46th); Renzo Revoredo, Carlos Zambrano, Alberto Rodríguez (Christian Ramos ,43rd), Yoshimar Yotun, Luiz Ramírez, Carlos Lobatón, Rinaldo Cruzado, Jefferson Farfán, Junior Ross, Claudio Pizarro, (Paolo Guerrero, 60th).