T&T unbroken at ‘The Office’
Twin-island republic hold Reggae Boyz to stalemate, claim two-game series
THE WAIT will have to continue for Heimir Hallgrimsson’s first win as national senior head coach.
The Reggae Boyz, despite an improved second half, could not find a way past Trinidad and Tobago as the two played to a 0-0 draw in the final of their two-game series at the National Stadium last night.
The fans that gathered for Hallgrimsson’s first game at ‘The Office’ were left with some promising moments but ultimately no reward as the team’s audition to be part of the coach’s plans for the Gold Cup this summer continued.
Dujuan Richards, who signed a pre-contract with Chelsea, made his first senior start for the Reggae Boyz. Rotating his squad from the 1-0 defeat, Omari Hutchinson kept his place in the starting eleven.
At the same time, the only constants in the backline from Saturday were Adrian Mariappa, who captained the side and Wolves’ Dexter Lembikisa. Richard King and Sue-Lae McCalla gave way to Jamoi Topey and Ricardo Thomas.
The first half was a cagey affair with neither team able to create any clear-cut chances. Richards was involved with the majority of Jamaica’s half chances as he fired a free kick opportunity over the bar in the 10th minute and in the 22nd managed to turn away from his defender but his long-range effort was also high. Trinidad weren’t without chances either, albeit from long range as Alvin Jones and Matthew Wooling failed to find the target.
But there were worrying signs as Trinidad began to get behind the Jamaican backline on the half-hour mark, but only mined a corner from the efforts.
Still, it was Jamaica who earned the clearest chance with Demario Phillips. After receiving a long pass into the penalty area on minute 33, the midfielder failed to control and did not get off his shot. Minutes later, Lamar Walker sent through Collin Anderson but the striker could not get full contact and failed to trouble goalkeeper Martin Phillip.
Jamaica started to have more of a presence in the tail end of the first half as Richards managed to carve some space to fire a shot that needed Phillip to make his first save of the evening.
Anderson again got into space in the penalty area but a poor first touch allowed Phillip to come quickly off his line to smother the danger.
Ravel Morrison’s introduction at halftime almost had immediate results to start the second half but Anderson could not make use of it.
Despite sustained pressure from Jamaica, they were not able to make much use of the possession as Trinidad sat deeper into their half, whether passes were misplaced, or poor decision-making in the final third, the attacks fizzled out, frustrating the crowd.
Trinidad’s first real chance of the second half came in the 75th minute when Jovin Jones’s free kick barely sailed over the bar and minutes later, Jamaica were fortunate not to concede when they got behind the left side of Jamaica’s defence but no one was in the box to latch on to the cross. The offensive changes made at halftime did not have the desired effect as the Boyz ran of out ideas as the 90 minutes concluded.
Jamaica will now have more than a week to prepare for their March 26 Concacaf Nations League game against Mexico in Mexico City where a place in the Nations League semifinals is up for grabs.
Jamaica XI: Jahmali Waite (Kemar Foster 57), Ricardo Thomas, Adrian Mariappa (Richard King 45) (C), Dester Lembikisa, Jamoi Topey, Lamar Walker (Tyler Robert 67th minute), Demario Phillips, Jahshaun Anglin (Ravel Morrison 45), Dujuan Richards (Trivante Stewart 82nd minute, Omari Hutchinson, Collin Anderson (Jourdain Fletcher 67th minute)