PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Veteran striker Stern John scored his 70th international goal and former Turkey-based frontman Darryl Roberts added a brace, as Trinidad and Tobago ensured new coach Otto Pfister’s reign started with a 3-0 win over lowly India here Sunday night.
John’s 19th minute penalty put the hosts 1-0 up at the break before Roberts added the second one minute after resumption, and then poked in the third six minutes from the end at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Entering the contest as the favourites, the 88th ranked Trinidadians had precious little problems with a side ranked 153rd in the world.
They were fluent early on and it was no surprise when they took the lead nearing the mid-way point of the half. Roberts was sent to the ground as he tried to dribble two Indian defenders and John converted from the spot in his 110th appearance for T&T, to give his side the lead.
For all their dominance, however, T&T failed to increase their advantage and held the slim lead at the half-time whistle.
Roberts quickly doubled the lead on resumption when he pounced on a bad clearance by the Indian defence to beat goalkeeper Subrata Pal.
India had very few look-ins but came close to scoring when Syed Rahim Nabi’s header flew over the crossbar from a Raju Eknath Gaikwad throw-in the 52nd minute, and when goalkeeper Marvin Phillip kept out a sharp chance from talented striker Sunil Chhetri two minutes later.
Andre Toussaint then came off the bench to help T&T close out the game. An 81st minute replacement for John, it was his quickly taken free kick three minutes later that put Roberts through and the 27-year-old easily chipped the keeper to complete his brace.