The Centennial tournament in the Americas has produced some fine performances from the majority of the teams, despite the fact that some could not avoid elimination.
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Coach positive despite loss to Argentina
T&T head coach Stephen Hart, far from happy with the result after going down 3-0 to Argentina at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, said there were some positive signs from the Soca Warriors.
Goals by Rodrigo Palacio, Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez led the home side to the win before a partisan crowd of 45,000 plus fans which included just over 100 fans from T&T who made their presence felt as the sounds of iron and tassa echoed throughout the River Plate venue from the section behind the T&T goal in the first half.
Hart noted that in spite of the loss, T&T was able to maintain its shape for large parts of the match. “I think there was a definite difference in the quality of the two teams. But certainly there were some aspects of our game that showed some positive signs and there are some things we can take from this game,” Hart said.
“The speed by which Argentina did everything, not just in how they possessed the ball and how they took advantage of our errors but the speed in which they forced us to play. They forced us into making a lot of errors. Quite frankly the ball was another opponent tonight as we were unable to possess it as we should.”
Hart said it was important for T&T’s footballers, at very level to play teams of Argentina’s quality since they force their opponents to concentrate for the full game, while the intensity at which they did things created a faster playing environment. “I told the players that we kept our shape well. We didn’t make it easy for Argentina. That is something I was pleased with. But when we won the ball we did not possess it well and mount any serious attacks. We can do better than that. We conceded two goals sloppily. We should have attacked the ball for the first goal. The second one was a well-played free kick and there was not much you can do about that.”
Hart said he would have liked to see his team put Argentina under more pressure with better ball possession and move the ball shorter and quicker. “We were not able to do that and that’s because of the quality of Argentina. When they got possession they knew how to slow the game down and then speed the play up and what was really impressive was their counter attack and transition.”
T&T left for Sao Paolo last night and will arrive in Sao Paolo today for Sunday’s match against Iran at the Corinthians Training Facility.
Iran arrived in Brazil on Tuesday.
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