'Wasn't about winning' Whitmore says Ja were helping Trinidad
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday failed to take advantage of an invaluable practice match against Jamaica, who fielded a squad of local-based players.
Preparing for their last two World Cup qualifying games of a troubled campaign, Trinidad slumped to a 2-1 loss in an international friendly at the Hasely Crawford Stadium last Thursday night.
Trinidad are last in the six-team group on three points. They host Honduras on September 2 in their upcoming qualifier before taking on Panama, away, three days later. Mexico lead the group with 14 points followed by Costa Rica, 11, and the United States, eight. Panama are next on seven.
Jamaica head coach, Theodore Whitmore, admitted the result had not been as important as the need to afford Trinidad match practice ahead of their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
"It wasn't all about a win situation," he stressed.
"We came here to help our Caribbean neighbours in terms of giving them a good practice game going into their two World Cup qualifying games. I think we did just that. The added bonus is it's just a victory."
The visitors were ahead in the sixth minute through Jamiel Hardware before Kevon Villaroel equalised five minutes later as T&T hit back.
Ewan Grandison broke the deadlock in the 56th minute to give Jamaica, the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup finalists, victory.
T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence afterwards rued the lack of clinical finishing by his attackers.
"I was a bit disappointed with the first goal we conceded. I thought it was a bit soft. It was not the way we wanted to start the game," he told reporters.
"From then, the boys did well to get themselves back into the game. I think we had too many chances and we need to start putting away these chances because at the end of the day, goals win matches and some of the chances were that clear cut.
"From there on, Jamaica made it very difficult for us. The boys stuck at it."
Hardware got on the scoresheet when he got on to the end of long ball from Ricardo Morris before beating goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.
Villaroel answered with a long range lob that went in off the under-side of the bar as the score went to half-time deadlocked.
In the second half, Hughtun Hector and Jared London missed chances for T&T before Grandison's free kick won it for Jamaica.