Jamaica rally to beat T&T in friendly international

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Jamaica netted in either half as they rallied to beat fellow Caribbean powerhouses Trinidad and Tobago, 2-1, in an international friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium here Thursday night.

The visitors were ahead in the sixth minute through Jamiel Hardware before Kevon Villaroel equalised five minutes later as T&T hit back.

Ewan Grandison then broke the deadlock in the 56th minute to give the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup finalists victory.

T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence afterwards rued the lack of clinical finishing by his attackers.

“I was a bit disappointed with the first goal we conceded. I thought it was a bit soft. It was not the way we wanted to start the game,” he told reporters.

“From then, the boys did well to get themselves back into the game. I think we had too many chances and we need to start putting away these chances because at the end of the day, goals win matches and some of the chances were that clear cut.

“From there on, Jamaica made it very difficult for us. The boys stuck at it.”

Jamaica head coach, Theodore Whitmore, said the result had not been as important as the need to afford Trinidad match practice ahead of their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

“It wasn’t all about a win situation,” he stressed.

“We came here to help our Caribbean neighbours in terms of giving them a good practice game going into their two World Cup qualifying games. I think we did just that. The added bonus is it’s just a victory.”

Hardware got on the scoresheet when he got on to the end of long ball from Ricardo Morris before beating goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.

Villaroel answered with a long range lob that went in off the under-side of the bar as the score went to half-time deadlocked.

In the second half, Hughtun Hector and Jared London missed chances for T&T before Grandison’s free kick won it for Jamaica.

T&T hosts Honduras on September 2 in their upcoming qualifier before taking on Panama away three days later.

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