Garcia gets late equalizer in 1-1 draw with Guyana
Hosts Trinidad and Tobago got an injury time equalizer from AEK Athens forward Levi Garcia to secure a 1-1 draw with Guyana in a gripping contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday night as the Courts Caribbean Classic Tri-Nation series came to an end.
Both teams put on an exciting display before a crowd of just over 10,000 at the venue with T&T taking the Classic Trophy by virtue of a better goal difference. Witnessing the encounter was Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley and other cabinet ministers including Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe and Minister of Social Development Donna Cox among others including former National Team captain, Senator David Nakhid.
It was a tale of two penalties on the evening.
Neil Danns put Guyana ahead with a 60th minute penalty but Levi Garcia equalised in the second minute of added-on time, two minutes after squandering an opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot.
It was a tightly-fought affair for most of the match, with a number of rigorous challenges, as each team cancelled out each other, especially in the middle of the park. T&T lost winger Ryan Telfer at the break due to a knee injury.
Garcia met a Noah Powder corner but his header went wide, after 14 minutes of play, while Telfer was the beneficiary of a good pass from Garcia, in the 43rd minute, but his low shot, from the edge of the penalty box, narrowly missed the right post.
Guyana, who were combative but hardly penetrative in the first half, got a chance to open the scoring in the 57th minute, when referee Crystal Sobers awarded a debatable penalty when T&T right-back Jesse Williams appeared to get all ball from a tackle on Trayon Bobb.
And Danns kept his composure to send T&T goalkeeper and captain Marvin Phillip the wrong way, from the spot.
There were numerous substitutions which affected the flow of the match but the tempo changed in the last ten minutes, when T&T tried to level the scores, while Guyana appeared to indulge in a series of time-wasting tactics.
Rochford broke the offside trap, in the 80th minute, and got around Guyana goalie Akel Clarke, but his effort was blocked, off the line, by a retreating Jeremy Garret.
Five minutes later, Garcia picked up a spectacular cross from the right by Nicholas Dillon but his shot was denied by a well-timed block from centre-back Quincy Adams.
Rochford, who injected pace in the T&T attack, got a call in his favour in the 88th minute, when he was upended in the box from Guyana right-back Leo Lovell. But Clarke guessed correctly and went to his right to save Garcia’s effort.
Two minutes later, Garcia made amends as he rose above the defence to head home a corner from Rochford. However, there was a few security officials at the ground, as spectators rushed on to the running track to join in the celebrations.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Marvin Phillip (capt); Kareem Moses, Aubrey David, Triston Hodge, Jesse Williams; Neveal Hackshaw (Mekeil Williams 63rd), Kevon Goddard (Duane Muckette 68th), Ryan Telfer (Reon Moore 46th), Judah Garcia (John-Paul Rochford 63rd), Noah Powder (Nicholas Dillon 84th); Levi Garcia.
GUYANA: Akel Clarke; Jeremy Garret, Quincy Adams, Samuel Cox, Leo Lovell; Neil Danns (Clive Nobrega 75th), Daniel Wilson (capt), Trayon Bobb (Shemar Fraser 76th), Omari Glasgow (Kelsey Benjamin 60th), Nathan Moriah-Welsh; Torell Ondaan (Jermaine Beckles 65th).
Referee: Crystal Sobers