Despite three goals in two matches of the CONCACAF Nations League, Dennis Lawrence's Soca Warriors are set to head back to the drawing board to work on their defensive tactics.
After a 1-1 tie with Martinique on Friday last in Martinique, the Soca Warriors squandered a two-goal advantage 2-0 in the return leg, to share the points in a hurtful 2-2 draw at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Monday night.
Supported by an appreciative crowd that included Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe, and former national striker and goalkeeper Dwight Yorke and Shaka Hislop, among many others, the team settled early in the match and were rewarded when Kevin Molino found himself at the end of a wayward back-kick by goalkeeper Loic Chauvet and rifled his shot back past him for the advantage. And soon after the break, Canadian based midfielder Ryan Telfer was also rewarded for a workman-like performance with a goal in the 45th minute.
But for all the chances created, the TT defence matched it in blunders and it was manifested from a 59th-minute corner from which poor tracking and marking allowed Daniel Herrelle quickly pounced on a loose ball. And later Jordy Delem waited unmarked at the back post to tap in a ball that was threaded through the TT defence twice.
Lawrence in a post-match press conference afterwards said "In terms of effort from the boys physically, you can't fault them, but we just didn't deal with the responsibility we had to deal with, which was to defend the set pieces. Tonight we scored two goals, but could not keep a clean sheet. We couldn't defend the two goals we had, so if you look at it, before we couldn't score, we were conceding, now we could score but we conceding. We need to go back to the drawing board in terms of us trying to ensure that we can keep clean sheets because if we score two at home and leading 2-0, I don't expect us to concede two goals in the manner we did."
He added, "We set ourselves targets going into these two games and it wasn't to come out with two points in two games. Our target was four or six and we had an opportunity tonight and we lost it. However, we need to refocus. We in the past would select squads based on performances for your club. We have gotten to a stage now where we selecting squads based on players just playing football, which is not ideal."
T&T will next face Honduras in the Nations League and Lawrence said we need to improve, particularly in conceding goals, saying our downfall tonight was having the right mentality to defend.