With the result, the “Soca Warriors” were assured a top-two finish in Group A, even before Cuba and Curacao played their second match of the tournament after press time last evening.
Albeit sloppy once again in defense, T&T got the job done courtesy of a double from Kevin Molino and a penalty from Lester Peltier. It was far from straightforward, however, as French Guiana, which lost a player to a red card after conceding three goals, nearly spoiled T&T’s night by scoring two of their own. However, Ataulla Guerra came up massive with a brilliant goal from a direct free-kick in time added on to seal the victory.
Molino opened in the 18th minute from a neat far post finish, incredibly after losing his footing to see T&T to a 1-0 lead at the half. He then doubled up in the 58th minute scoring a close range, following a freekick from Guerra that ricocheted off the defensive wall. Top scorer in the Caribbean Cup qualifiers, that also took his tally to three goals after two matches.
Less than two minutes after scoring his second, Molino earned T&T a penalty in a move that saw French Guiana’s captain Marvin Torvin receive a seemingly harsh straight red card. Lester Peltier stood behind and calmly converted.
Although outplayed for vast periods of the match French Guiana made one of its several promising attacks count, when Brian St Clair, who had two clear-cut chances in the first half, pulled one back with a rocket past T&T goalkeeper Marvin Phillip in the 65th minute.
St Clair had another great chance to bring French Guiana back into the match in the 80th minute, but his powerful shot on goal was met by a good save from Phillip.
Phillip was helpless, however, when the 10-man French Guiana pulled yet another one back in the 85th from a shot and goal from Jean David Le Grand.
Thankfully, a nearly embarrassed T&T put the nail in French Guiana’s coffin with Guerra’s majestic strike.
A spot at the Gold Cup is assured, but T&T may need to claim a point in tomorrow’s clash against defending champion Cuba to be assured a spot in the final.