After a nervy start, T&T's Under-23 Olympic footballers rallied from a goal down to defeat Guyana's "Golden Jaguars" 3-1 in a warm up fixture at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, in Bacolet, Tobago, on Thursday evening. T&T went into the dressing room a goal down, but returned in the second half to score three unanswered goals to eventually take a comfortable win. It was Walter Moore, who started for Guyana in its famous 2-1 win against the "Soca Warriors" that knocked the latter team out of World Cup contention in the Concacaf Group B Second Round, last November, that took the lead in the 22nd minute from the penalty spot. Guyana continued to prove the marginally stronger team in the first half, but suffered at the feet of its biggest regional rival in the second half as- Jamal Gay (49th), Trevin Caesar (61st) and US based substitute Bradley Welch (77th) all found the back of the net to earn T&T a deserved victory.
T&T had its chances to find a goal in the first half with Caesar most notably handed the clearer of the opportunities. With a quarter of an hour on the clock the Tobago-born Caesar could have given T&T the 1-0 lead after dribbling past a couple defenders, but his shot was wide of the target. Guyana also had its chances, even before the opener, as attacker Kester Jacobs fired just high of the crossbar. Goalkeeper Zane Coker, Nuru Mohammed and Micah Lewis were some of the players who were given the nod in the staring line-up. Sporting Kansas defender Daneil Cyrus was also given a start after being sidelined with injury for the greater part of a year. T&T's team was missing some of its regulars including Joevin Jones and Sean De Silva, but was otherwise able to contain Guyana's attack throughout the match, other than for the first half penalty. The "Golden Jaguars" which are preparing for a tough round of fixtures in the next round of World Cup qualifiers were also without some of its key players, but did feature Moore and Anthony Banfield, both of whom played in the last two matches against T&T late last year.
W Connection pair Andre Quashie and Jomal Williams came on for T&T at the start of the second half and were involved in the construction of T&T's promising attacks. The home team found the equalizer with just over three minutes gone in the second half, when a Gay finished clinically after a scramble of Guyanese players in the box failed to clear. T&T's second goal came just after the hour mark from Caesar, who lifted his hometown support. His powerful finish which followed enterprising passes, also impacted on the momentum of the team which grew as the game proceeded. Caesar almost found his second a minute later, but Guyana's 'keeper Ronson Williams was alert and well prepared for the attack. Williams was helpless for T&T's third when Welch, struck the ball from a distance into the back of the net in the 77th minute, to the delight of coach Angus Eve and assistant Derek King.
T&T: Zane Coker, Daneil Cyrus (Ziko Denoon 79'), Sheldon Bateau, Jayson Joseph, Aquil Selby, Nuru Mohammed, Micah Lewis (Andre Quashie 46'), Jeromie Williams (Cameron Roger 71'), Jamal Gay (Bradley Welch 65'), Marcus Joseph (Jomal Williams 46'), Trevin Caesar. Guyana: Ronson Williams, Jarmane Grandison, Walter Moore, Colin Nelson, Kester Jacobs, Devon Millington, Andrew Murray, Trayon Bobb, Anthony Benfield, Konata Mannings, Anthony Abrams.