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Peru tames Soca Warriors again
T&T extended its winless streak to four matches after being outclassed by South Americans Peru 3-0 at the Estadio Nacional in Lima on Tuesday night.
Coming off the thrill of their 1-0 victory over Chile last Friday at the same venue which kept their 2014 World Cup dreams alive, Peru didn’t let off the gas and delighted their home fans with a polished performance against a Soca Warriors using the encounter as part of their preparations for this July’s Concacaf Gold Cup in the USA.
With Peru coach Sergio Markarian using the encounter to have a look at some of his fringe players after releasing Bayern Munich striker Claudio Pizarro, Rinaldo Cruzado and Juan Manuel Vargas back to their respective clubs, the Soca Warriors were hopeful of avenging the 2-0 loss at home on February 6 at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
However, goals by the lively Yordy Reyna in the 39th, substitute Paolo Hurtado (81st) and Christopher Gonzales, two minutes later, did the damage for Peru.
The best chance for the Soca Warriors, which was coming off a 0-0 draw away to Belize on Saturday night, was a right-footed crack from Chris Birchall off a Keyon Edwards pass which skimmed the crossbar seven minutes into the second half.
T&T started with Cornell Glen up front as the lone striker with Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones on the bench and Caledonia AIA midfielder Keyon Edwards, defender Aubrey David and goalkeeper Marvin Phillip coming into the start team.
The visitors struggled to find momentum in the first half as Peru controlled the run of play for large periods.
Glen managed to hold the ball up at times but lacked support around the penalty box and there was little creativity in the middle of the park for the Warriors.
Birchall’s passing was a bit off in the first half, but he was able to later settle down while Kevon Carter and Curtis Gonzales had a difficult time dealing with the Peruvians. Carter was unable to make a run that forced the Peruvians on their backfoot at any point in the match.
Peru’s constant ability to hold possession and orchestrate timely attacking plays kept the T&T players busy for most parts. But T&T, captained by Densill Theobald, deserved credit for maintaining shape and discipline, at least up until the closing stages of the match.
Peruvian winger Irven Avila, considered one of the stars of the Peruvian League, was a threat from early on and managed four good attempts at goal in the opening half-hour.
Avila was the provider for Peru’s opening goal which came after a T&T attack broke down as he rushed past left back Aubrey David and crossed for an unmarked Reyna to head home.
Peruvian goalkeeper Diego Penny was a mere spectator for the opening 45 minutes. Glen’s shot, which went wide, was T&T’s first and only real look at goal in the 36th minute.
T&T grew in confidence as the match progressed, gathering some momentum that had been lacking previously, and gave a much better account from the start of the second half, but the Peruvians were able to maintain control.
The equaliser evaded T&T in the 52nd minute when Birchall fired with his right foot after Edwards laid on for him from just inside the area, only to see the ball crash off the crossbar.
That chance resulted after some good pressure by T&T deep in the Peru half which saw defender Mitchell head down for Edwards to set it up for Birchall.
Despite the introduction of striker Jones for Edwards in the 62nd minute, T&T still found it difficult to put pressure on the hosts defence.
However, W Connection left back Joevin Jones, showing a lot of confidence on the ball, managed to make a good run down the left flank and to the edge of the Peru 18-yard box before he unleashed a powerful shot off his less fancied right foot which went narrowly over bar in the 68th minute.
As the match wore on, striker Marcus Joseph and wingers Jason Marcano and Darren Mitchell entered the field for the Soca Warriors for the trio of Cornell Glen, Carter and Theobald, but the visitors still faded and conceded twice more as Peru shifted gears in the closing 15 minutes.
First Hurtado was given too much freedown down the right side, and after racing into the Soca Warriors 18-yard box unmarked, he blasted a right footer past the crouching Phillip and into the far corner in the 81st minute before Gonzales caught the T&T defense napping from a throw-in to chip Phillip on the left side.
Phillip did, however, pull off a couple strong saves to deny Jefferson Farfan and Daniel Chavez in the closing stages to keep some respectability to the score.
T&T will next face Europeans Romania (June 3) and Estonia (June 6) in their final two matches before the Gold Cup.
At the Gold Cup, T&T faces El Salvador, (July 8), Haiti (July 12) and Honduras (July 15) in its round-robin Group B matches from which two will advance to the quarterfinals.
Peru 3 (Yordy Reyna 39th, Paolo Hurtado 81st, Christopher Gonzales 83rd) vs T&T 0 .
Peru: 1.Diego Penny (GK/capt) 17. Luis Advincula 2.Nestor Duarte 18. Jesus Alvarez 4. Alvaro Ampuero (19.Yoshimar Yotun 46’) 5. Alfredo Rojas 14. Paulo Albarracin 20. Edwuin Gomez (7. Paolo Hurtado 60’) 16. Luis Garcia (24. Daniel Chavez 46’) 11. Irven Avila (8.Christofer Gonzales 82nd) 9. Yordy Reyna (10. Jefferson Farfan 73rd).
Subs not used: Salomon Libman, Paulo Requena, Diego Chavez, Miguel Araujo, Jose Morales.
T&T: 1. Marvin Phillip (GK) 19. Carlyle Mitchell 4. Curtis Gonzales 6. Daneil Cyrus (5. Kareem Moses, 87’) 2. Aubrey David 7. Chris Birchall 18. Densill Theobald (15. Darren Mitchell, 84’) 16. Keyon Edwards (9. Kenwyne Jones, 62’) 14. Kevon Carter (8. Jason Marcano, 75’) 3. Joevin Jones 13. Cornell Glen (12. Marcus Joseph, 73’)
Subs not used: Cleon John (GK)
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