by Shaun Fuentes
Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior footballers secured a 3-0 victory over India in Sunday’s friendly international at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Goals by Stern John, a penalty in the 19th minute and a double by Darryl Roberts in the 46th and 85th minutes did the job for the “Soca Warriors” who played their first international since a 1-0 win over Martinique in a Digicel Caribbean Cup encounter last year.

The game was witnessed by an estimated  6,600 fans, according to the organizers, and proved to be a decent workout for the home team from an India team which gave a creditable effort on the evening. However they were simply not good enough to challenge Densill Theobald’s men for a result.

On 5 minutes, John had T&T’s first effort which was deflected over bar and soon after India signaled their intentions to have a go at T&T with   Steven Dias’ free kick from the right curling just wide of the goal.

The fans applauded the Indians for their efforts in the first half as they appeared eager to make a good fight of it. They forced six corners but goalkeeper Marvin Phillip had little to do before the break.

Jamaican referee Courtney Campbell awarded T&T a penalty in the 18th minute when Roberts was hacked down inside the box on his way to goal and John stepped up to emphatically bury the kick to send T&T ahead 1-0.

Five minutes later the ex-Sunderland player had his effort ruled offside.

The Indians had a decent try at goal in the 23rd minute when Syed Rahim Nabi’s shot went inches over bar. The T&T defence kept things tidy with Seon Power marshalling things at the back.

Hayden Tinto also brought the best out of  ‘keeper Subrata Pal  when his powerful effort was well pushed out.

The start of the second half caught the Indians napping from early on and Roberts capitalized by forcing the ball over the line despite the valiant effort by the Indian defender to clear off the line.

Despite trailing by two goals, the visitors maintained their search for a goal and Sunil Chhetri collected from skipper Climax Lawrence but  saw his powerful drive bring Phillip into action as he pushed away to his right and 22’s follow up was deflected out for a corner.

Skipper Densill Theobald and Andrei Pacheco also had decent attempts narrowly missing the target. But Roberts finished the Indians off with a clinical finish following a  cleverly taken free kick by substitute Andre Toussaint.

The performance was described by head coach Otto Pfister has satisfying but he said in the post match conference that the emphasis was on preparing for Bermuda on September 2 and Barbados and Guyana in subsequent World Cup qualifying matches. The team resumes training on August 29th.
(August 21,2011)

Line ups.

1-Marvin Phillip; 17-Anthony Wolfe, 19-Carlyle Mitchell, 20-Seon Power, 4-Akeem Adams; 7-Houghton Hector, 10-Hayden Tinto, 18-Densill Theobald [C] (86′ 8-Akeil Guevera), 15-Andrei Pacheco; 14-Stern John (81′ Andre Toussaint), 12-Darryl Roberts (86′ 9-Juma Clarence)
Unused Substitutes
21-Akini Adams; 3-Kern Cupid, 5-Keston Williams, 6-Noel Williams

1-Subrata Pal; 16-Samir Naik (79′ 28-Peter Carvalho), 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaekwad, 2-Debabrata Roy; 23-Steven Benedic Dias (83′ 20-Lalrindika Ralte), 8-Climax Lawrence [C] (88′ 35-Rocus Lamare), 30-Mehtab Hussain, 22-Syed Rahim Nabi (74′ 34-Valeriano Rebello); 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 11-Sunil Chhetri (84′ 18-Sushil Kumar Singh)

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