By E. Glenford Prescott
St. Vincent and the Grenadines senior men’s football team, “Vincy Heat”, are still smarting from the 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Trinidad Soca Warriors in their return leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium Tuesday night.
The Vincentians, however, had chances to put the home team on the backfoot but failed to convert any of their many chances.
The Warriors motored along on goals from Sheldon Bateau (36th), Joevin Jones (49th), skipper Kenwyne Jones (60th), Kevin Molino (66th) and Trevin Caesar (86th, 89th) as they moved assuredly towards booking their place in the last round of qualification to Russia 2018.
After pushing the Trinidadians hard in a 2-3 defeat at home on Good Friday, the Vincentians went to the twin-island nation looking to make life uncomfortable for their opponents with early goals and did almost just that.
In the fifth minute, Oalex Anderson robbed Bateau just outside the area, outran the pedestrian Trinidad defence but could only hit his fierce left-foot shot into the chest of T&T keeper, Marvin Phillip.
SVG, though keeping a clean sheet for most of the first half, rarely threatened as they failed to find enough good passes to create serious problems for the Warriors defence, while at the other end a goal always looked on the card. It did come in the 36th minute when Bateau ran into the defence and with the SVG defence acting like his bodyguards, he found Joevin Jones, whose left-footed shot was saved by goalkeeper Lemus Christopher, but Bateau clinically put away the rebound with a right-foot volley.
SVG had given Tevin Slater a start in place of UK-Based David Pitt who covered himself in glory in the opening match with coach Cornielus Huggins going the latter goal-scoring ability.
The teams went to the interval separated by the Bateau strike.
Within the second minute of the second half SVG, were handed a golden chance to draw level when Anderson picked up a loose ball and bolted goalward. But his square pass to Myron Samuel just eluded the player’s outstretched boot at the far post.
Joevin Jones added TnT’s second with a low left-footer to the near post in the 49th minute. Skipper Kenwyne Jones then tapped in an easy third on the hour. And Jones it was who then set up Kevin Molino six minutes later with a neat pass, which culminated with TnT number 10 driving a shot up the far post past a flailing Christopher.
But even as TnT took full control of the match, Anderson, who had impressed all night and not for the first time, got past the hometeam defence with a mazy run down the left, but his shot rebounded off the near and far post and back into play.
Substitute Trevin Caesar then lashed a left shot into the net in 86th minute after getting behind the now tired looking SVG defence. He added a second, one minute from time with a powerful right foot shot to make it 6-0.
The margin bettered the two 5-0 defeats SVG suffered at the hands of the Trinidadians in past matches. They were also beaten 6-0 in a friendly match in Trinidad in 1979.
SVG will next take on the USA i9n St. Vincent and Guatemala away in September in their final two matches in the play-offs.
They lost 1-6 to the USA and 0-4 to Guatemala in their previous matches and have now conceded 19 goals in four matches. In 1992, they allowed 29 goals in six matches with an 11-0 defeat to Mexico still their biggest defeat in an international match. They were beaten 11-3 by Honduras in 1996.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 1.Lemus Christopher; 14.Akeem Williams, 3.Roy Richards (capt), 5.Shawn Benjamin, 16.Jolanshoy McDowald (13.Brad Miguel 56th), 4.Jarrel McMaster, 6.Shemol Trimmingham, 17.Emerald George, 9.Myron Samuel (8.Dorren Hamlet 73rd), 10.Oalex Anderson, 12.Tevin Slater (7.Kyle Edwards 62nd).
Unused substitutes: 22.Kevan Henry (GK), 15.Kevin Francis, 19.Shandel Samuel, 21.David Pitt.
Coach: Cornelius Huggins.
Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Marvin Phillip; 13.Justin Hoyte, 17.Mekeil Williams, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 2.Aubrey David; 8.Khaleem Hyland, 14.Andre Boucaud; 16.Levi Garcia, 10.Kevin Molino (20.Trevin Caesar 70th), 3.Joevin Jones (Yellow 34) (12.Sean De Silva 82nd); 9.Kenwyne Jones (capt) (6.Neveal Hackshaw 77th).
Unused substitutes: 21.Adrian Foncette (GK), 5.Daneil Cyrus, 7.Hughtun Hector, 11.Willis Plaza, 18.Yohance Marshall, 19.Shahdon Winchester, 23.Jomal Williams.
Coach: Stephen Hart.
Referee: Sandy Vasquez (Dominican Republic).