Schafer happy with Boyz secondhalf against Warriors, but…

MLSers started the match for the Reggae Boyz: Deshorn Brown (Colorado Rapids), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers) and Darren Mattocks of the Vancouver Whitecaps

CATHERINE HALL, St James — Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz lost to their fiercest rival Trinidad and Tobago for the first time in 12 years, but there was no sense of panic in the Jamaican camp after the first of two friendly internationals between the teams was played at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Friday night.

Ataulla Guerra, who is based in Finland and one of four European-based players who started for the Soca Warriors, scored the game’s lone goal in the fifth minute when the visitors pinned Jamaica back in their own half.

Goalkeeper Richard McCallum failed to hold on to a cross from Kenwyne Jones and it was Guerra who got to it first and scored from close range.

US-based Omar Daley had a great chance to equalise for Jamaica in the 11th minute, but he put the ball over the crossbar from inside the six- yard box after a good combination between Deshorn Brown and Jermaine Anderson provided him with a good cross into the heart of the Trinidad defence.

Both teams flew out of the island yesterday for Tuesday’s return leg in Port of Spain and Jamaica’s coach Winfried Schafer said he hoped to see some of the players who did not play on Friday.

“We just had two training days with a new team,” he pointed out, adding later that he was, “not upset at the team for losing”. “This is the first match with the local players against a very good team that has four European-based players,” said Schafer.

The German stressed, however, that while the team was allowed to make mistakes, they must continue to improve and “they need to learn now how they play against big teams”.

Schafer told reporters they were forced to change the game plan after midfielder Keammar Daley strained his groin during warm-up and had to be replaced by Andrew Vanzie, who he said was “very nervous”.

In other substitutions, Montego Bay United midfielder Jermaine Woozencroft and US-based striker Michael Seaton replaced Vanzie and Jermaine Anderson, respectively. Those changes, noted Schafer, worked and in the final 15 minutes, so did the formation which changed from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2. Still, he lamented Jamaica’s inability to score goals with regularity.

“We know what our problem is, we are not scoring, that is the problem in Jamaica and we must work at this in training and in the clubs,” Schafer said.

He said he was happy with the fight he saw in the team late in the game, especially when they forced a number of free kicks around the box, but scolded team captain Je-Vaughn Watson who deferred the responsibility to take the kicks to others after taking them in training.

Trinidad Canadian coach Stephen Hart said his team was also in a rebuilding mode and they were trying some “mixes and matches”.

“This back four is very young and have never played together before and I was quite impressed with what they did,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“We have been struggling to keep a clean sheet and they did that away from home… we are doing a lot of experimenting right now and they are still getting accustomed to me,” he said.

Late in the game the home team, cheered on by a sparse crowd, forced a tiring Trinidad team back into their own defence area and forced a number of free kicks just around the 18-yard area.

Seaton and Woozencroft were particularly impressive with their movements around the box, while Jason Johnson was also a thorn in Trinidad’s flesh.


Jamaica — Richard McCallum, Dicoy Williams (Upstan Edwards-71st), Montrose Phinn, Alvas Powell, Andrew Vanzie (Jermaine Woozencroft-46), Darren Mattocks (Khesanio Hall-85th), Je-Vaughn Watson, Omar Daley (Jason Johnson-72nd), Deshorn Brown (Brian Brown-72nd), Jermaine Anderson (Michael Seaton-46th), Kemar Lawrence.

Subs not used: Ricardo Morris, Adrian Reid, Isamnia Cohen, Gariece McPherson

Booked: Seaton (59th)

Trinidad and Tobago — Jan Michael Williams, Aubrey David, Justin Hoyte (Cuyrtis Gonzales-63rd), Sheldon Bateau, Kevan George, Ataulla Guerra (Joevin Jones-66th), Daniel Cyrus, Kenwyne Jones, Andre Boucaud, Lester Peltier (Densill Theobald-70th), Rundell Winchester (Radanfah Abu Bakr-90+)

Subs not used: Carlyle Mitchell, Cleon John

Booked: None

Referee: John Pitti

Assistants: Kedlee Powell, Keble Williams

Fourth Official: Raymond Bogle

Match Commissary: Ewan Scott

Leave a Reply