It is a sensitive group of souls that inhabit the Londonist sports desk and we felt that it was a little too parky last night to be venturing out last night to have a look at the latest game of international football to grace West London. Fortunately, our man in Shepherds Bush is made of sterner stuff. Here's what went down.....
A Caribbean carnival came to frozen West London last night as Trinidad & Tobago displayed their World Cup credentials with a 2-0 win over Eidur Gudjohnsen’s Iceland.
The hosts went ahead after only nine minutes with captain Dwight Yorke providing an emphatic finish when the Iceland defence failed to clear a left wing cross from Collin Samuel. Stern John was tripped in the 52nd minute chasing another Samuel centre and Yorke sealed victory with the most delicate of chipped penalties, celebrating in front of delirious fans on the very spot where minutes before carnival dancers had braved the cold to lead the crowd of nearly 8,000 in celebration accompanied by horns, whistles and the beat of the indefatigable “Riddim Warriors” drum section.
Iceland threatened mostly from set pieces, Shaka Hislop (first half) and Tony Warner (second) scrambling to reach free kicks that were deflected narrowly wide while Stern John could have put the Soca Warriors two up before half time but blazed over when the goal beckoned.
Those looking for a form guide ahead of the summer’s big tournament in Germany would have been impressed with Trinidad’s cohesion, their willingness to run and cover for each other and the numbers they get forward when breaking quickly. Yorke is still a class act, scheming just behind a lone striker in a 4-4-1-1 formation and Collin Samuel troubled the defence all night getting wide and to the byline on either flank before firing the ball across the area. At the back Marvin Andrews and Dennis Lawrence made a formidable central partnership, but Avery John looked vulnerable on the left. Trinidad will also hope to cut down on stray build up passes and add a sureness of touch to their industry before their great adventure begins against Sweden on June 10th.
Thank you to Duncan Young for the match report.
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