ALSO ON SLAM!
Monday, July 17, 2000
Starry, starry Dwight!
Yorke too much for Canada
All Dwight Yorke needed was two touches on the ball to change the entire focus of a match.
Yorke proved his worth to the Trinidad and Tobago national soccer team last night at Commonwealth Stadium as he twice created a bit of magic in a 2-0 victory over Team Canada.
Manchester United's super-striker, the English Premiership's footballer of the year in 1999, gave his outplayed squad a dramatic lead late in the first half, then added a measure of security on a fantastic breakout in the second stanza, all of which led to the end of the Canadians' 15-game unbeaten streak and a critical three-point setback for the home side in the semifinal round of World Cup 2002 qualifying.
"We're devastated," said Canadian sparkplug striker Paul Peschisolido after sending the vast majority of 25,208 spectators home disappointed. "We carried 90 per cent of the play but we didn't get the goal we needed. We're all in there (the locker room) just gutted. We played well, it's just unfortunate."
"To lose 2-0 after so many opportunities is a travesty really," added Canadian captain Jason De Vos, who was sporting a three-stitch gash next to his left eye.
"In football, there's a lot of luck involved and today it wasn't with us."
Yorke was kept in check for much of the early stages primarily by defender Mark Watson, but it was his nifty footwork in the 43rd minute that set up a dynamite T&T blast.
Yorke dangled his way into open space at the edge of the 18-yard-box, then laid the ball back to Angus Eve, whose rocket to the top right corner was beyond the outstretched reach of 'keeper Pat Onstad - just the second shot that was directed at the former Edmonton Driller.
"We're always looking to shoot from the top of the box," smiled Eve.
"I just drifted inside and got a seam, saw the goal and went for it. Away from home scoring first, you can relax and settle back down and try to play your normal game."
The tally was a definite heartbreaker for the Canadians who thoroughly dominated the opening 45 minutes and seemed to give T&T netminder Clayton Ince trouble with everything they put his way.
The Canucks' best opportunity came in the 15th minute on a dangerous cross into the box by ex-Driller Martin Nash which eventually wound up on the foot of Peschisolido whose solid shot got past Ince but was knocked off the goal line by defender Dennis Lawrence.
"It was definitely a very disappointing match, particularly the first half when we couldn't manage our advantage in the game," said a dejected Canadian head coach Holger Osieck.
"When we had our opportunities, we were not determined enough and you see what happens in many games when you don't benefit from your opportunities.''
Ince made up for his blunders in the second half, however, with two terrific plays - each having a significant role in Canada's demise.
The Crewe Alexander 'keeper made a clutch stop when he barely tipped Jason Bent's 12-yard riser over the bar on Canada's best chance of the final 45.
Following a botched free kick from just outside the penalty area, Canada got caught at the back as Ince delivered a long throw right to Yorke's feet and he ended a two-on-one rush with a brilliant strike inside the far post.
"We started a wee bit slow but the two goals could have graced us to win any game - two terrific goals,"noted T&T bench boss Ian Porterfield.
"We didn't create as many chances as we would have liked but it was always going to be a hard game.
'`We knew it wouldn't be easy but it's a good result."