Spirited Trinidad drub India

Roberts' brace powers hosts to 3-0 victory

In the end, Armando Colaco’s boys found their opponents, who are 65 places above them at 88th in FIFA rankings, too good at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Trinidad and Tobago led 1-0 at half time with a goal from Stern  John, who scored from the spot. Indian defense resisted hosts’ charge until the 19th minute.  Soca Warriors scored through Stern, who converted a penalty in the 19th minute, while  Darryl Roberts added two more in the 47th and 85th minutes respectively.

Both the teams started cautiously with the home side trying to keep possession even as the Indians adopted a more direct approach. India conceded the first goal when Raju Gaikwad brought down Roberts on the right side of the box. Stern gleefully converted from the spot beating Indian custodian Subrata Pal easily.

Stung by the early reverse, India tried hard for equaliser and their best chance of the opening half came on the half-hour mark.  Syed Rahim Nabi, who beat the rival defence on the left manage to cut inside the box but his right-footer went wide of the goal.

T&T doubled their lead immediately after the resumption in the 47th minute through Roberts.  Despite the setback, Indians went all out to reduce the margin.

A Nabi header off  a Raju Gaikwad throw-in in the 53rd minute went inches above the crossbar before T&T goalkeeper Marvin Phillips blocked Sunil Chhetri’s effort and the rebound was shot over by Nabi.

The visitors had another chance in the 73rd minute but Jeje Lalpekhlua could not get past an alert Phillips.

Late goal
India conceded a late goal in the 85th minute with Roberts firing the ball past a hapless goalkeeper Subrata Pal. Indian coach Armando Colaco put up a brave face after the drubbing and said it was a learning experience for his boys.

“Trinidad & Tobago are a much better team and they showed it why,” Colaco said.

“It was a learning experience from my boys. But I’m proud of the manner my boys came back and fought. We take this experience to Guyana and hope for a better result,” Colaco said after the match.

India play their second match of the Caribbean tour against Guyana on Wednesday.

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