MANAGUA, Nicaragua, CMC – Cornell Glen scored his first international goal in seven years as Trinidad and Tobago came from behind to beat Nicaragua 3-1 in their friendly international here Friday night.
The visitors trailed 0-1 after 25 minutes at the National Football Stadium before the 35-year-old Glen equalized eight minutes before half-time, and Carlyle Mitchell and Aikim Andrews added second half goals to seal a comfortable win in the end.
T&T lost the opening friendly international of the two-match series, 2-1 on Wednesday but produced a much improved performance to come away with something from the trip to Central America.
Newly appointed head coach, Tom Saintfiet, said the victory was an important psychological boost ahead of next month’s CFU Caribbean Cup playoffs.
“As a coach you want to win every match and I was very disappointed after the first match that we lost 2-1,” the Belgian said.
“I felt the players deserve more for the effort. So it was very important I think in my mind and in the players mind to get a good result before we travel back.
“It was the last game of 2016 and if we could win this match we would be in a stronger psychological mood to start the competition against Suriname and Haiti.
“And I think it was a very … good performance not only tactically but also physically and mentally … we proved today that we could win this match and the result will help us naturally in the near future.”
For the second straight game T&T conceded first when Cadena received a ball on the edge of the six-yard box, shrugged off two T&T defenders, pivoted unto his left foot and curled his shot past custodian Adrian Foncette.
Despite falling behind, T&T remained in the game and it was veteran Glen who drew them level. Mitchell cheekily poked a short aerial pass from just outside the 18-year-old box which Glen ran on to, avoiding the off-side trap before producing a clinical finish, while losing his balance.
After the break, Mitchell increased T&T’s lead, when he beat goalkeeper Diedrich Tellez with a beautiful glancing header in the 51st minute. Hughton Hector floated a free kick into the box from near the half-way line and Mitchell out-jumped two defenders to score.
T&T’s final goal in the 70th minute was a beauty from Andrews. The 53rd minute substitute chested down a botched clearance on the edge of the 18-yard box before firing an excellent right-footed volley in at the far post.
Trinidad will now turn their attention to their Caribbean Cup playoff series where they face Suriname and Haiti at the Ato Boldon Stadium at home next month.
The winner of the three-nation playoff will face the fifth placed side from Central America for the final spot at next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States