Trinidad and Tobago hammer Bajans 9-0 in Caribbean Classic opener

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Trinidad and Tobago’s Ryan Telfer rises for a header against Barbados in the Caribbean Classic at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. – ROGER JACOB

HEAD coach Angus Eve took a step in his quest to see Trinidad and Tobago reclaim Caribbean football dominance on Friday night when he led the men’s senior football team to a rare and emphatic 9-0 victory over Barbados in the Courts Caribbean Classic opener.

In front of a modest group of fans at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain, TT and AEK Athens winger Levi Garcia showed the type of form he has exhibited in Greece, running riot with a first-half hat-trick, scoring in the 27th, 35th, and 40th minutes, while forward Ryan Telfer contributed with another goal in the 29th minute.

After a 4-0 half-time lead, Telfer scored his second goal on the hour-mark, with substitute Nicholas Dillon adding a pair in the 68th and 78th minutes, before second-half substitutes, Reon Moore and midfielder John Paul Rochford, rounded off the scoring in the 80th and 83rd minutes, respectively.

Garcia’s younger brother and AEK Athens teammate Judah Garcia also started the match and featured brightly before being replaced in the second half.

Barbados were led by coach Fitzgerald Carter, standing in for Russell Latapy, who requested time off for personal reasons.

Barbados were noticeably understrength with the majority of its squad currently unattached or lacking considerable playing time.

It was a far-from-perfect showing in terms of passing, ball-possession and build-up play, but the free-scoring match will boost TTs confidence as Eve’s charges get ready to face Jamal Shabazz’s Guyana on Tuesday, in both team’s second and final match of the tri-nation series.

Marvin Phillip started as captain in goal and was virtually untroubled throughout the match – ably supported by his back line.

It was a welcome result following TT’s disappointing 5-0 friendly loss away to Bolivia in January, the only other match played this year.

TT had previously went winless in the group stage of the 2021 Gold Cup campaign under Eve, including a gutsy 0-0 draw with Concacaf powerhouse Mexico.

Guyana will play its first match of the tri-nation series against Barbados on Sunday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, from 7 pm.

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