Lawrence praises Grenada, T&T comeback

Trinidad and Tobago head coach, Dennis Lawrence

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, and CMC – Dennis Lawrence has praised Grenada’s development and his own side’s tenacity, following a thrilling 2-2 draw in their international friendly here last weekend.

Grenada, ranked 157th in the FIFA world rankings, led 2-0 in the 71st minute before Trinidad and Tobago scored twice in the last four minutes of regular time, to snatch a share of the honours in a dramatic finish at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

“Grenada is one of the countries in the Caribbean that you can see the progress they’re trying to make,” T&T head coach Lawrence said afterwards.

“There are a few things that we need to work on. Our passing sometimes was very erratic. We need to concentrate a bit more on these things.”

T&T, ranked 83rd in the world, entered the game as overwhelming favourites but found it difficult to break down the Grenadians, leading to a nil-all score at the break.

They fell behind three minutes after the resumption when Shandon Baptiste found the back of the nets and were down 2-0 in the 71st after Ricky Modeste added the second.

With time ticking away at the end, defender Curtis Gonzales produced two assists – first setting up substitute Jamille Boatswain in the 87th and then captain Kevin Molino in the 90th, to help T&T save face.

Lawrence said his side had been forced to “dig deep” in order to get the result.

“I want to compliment the players on the character they showed to get back into that game the way they did,” the former national defender said.

“I thought Grenada were very well-organised [and] made it extremely difficult for us. And they worked extremely hard. We had to dig deep.”

Boatswain was one of three second-half substitutions and Lawrence said he believed they had a positive impact on the result.

“The substitutions [were] two-fold. One, we wanted to give players the opportunity to play 90 minutes. We’ve got two games in four days and the idea is to use the entire squad for the two games,” he explained.

“We had to leave players on the pitch for as long as possible because mentally I had to push the players. Then we were chasing the game and we thought these were the substitutions we were going to make to try and affect the game, which I think they did.”

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