The Socca Warriors of Trinidad & Tobago hammered the Benna Boyz of Antigua & Barbuda in an International Football Friendly at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium yesterday.
The visitors won 4-0 in an impressive fashion much to the chagrin of the large home crowd and the national football team preparing for the semis of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Striker Devorn Jorsling scored a hat trick and substitute Willis Plaza netted the fourth to lead the visitors who were knocked out of the World Cup when they lost to Guyana late last year.
Jorslin should have scored another but keeper Molvin James saved a penalty in the first half which ended 0-0 before the flood gates opened in the second session.
The Warriors who played in the FIFA World Cup finals in Europe gave the Benna Boyz, first time in the semis a taste of what they can expect at the next level.
It was a harsh reality check for a team preparing for the historic journey for a place in the FIFA World Cup finals in Brasil.
“We did not play well,” said head coach Tom Curtis.
“This (result) is a wakeup call for us.
“We are now at the next level.
“The teams we will be playing are not Curacao and US Virgin Islands, these teams are much better and we must improve our game if we are to be competitive.”
The coach added that while the team was able to hold T&T scoreless in the first half of the game a number of individual errors finally allowed the breakthrough.
Justince’s first goal followed a free kick where the Benna Boyz fell asleep on the play and the striker sneaked into the defence to hit past James.
The second though was a gem, before two mistakes in the defence led to two more goals.
“We have to realize that we have a lot of work to do but we can accomplish our goal if we stay together and work hard,” said Curtis who is unwilling to make any excuses for his team.
“I am not going to make any excuses for this performance.
“We have to deal with it and as a unit make the adjustments as we prepare for June,” Curtis stated.
Five English based players, strikers Dester Blackstock of Nottingham Forrest, Keiran Murtagh, of Cambridge UTD, midfielder Justin Cochrane of Borehamwood and defenders Aton Blackwood and Marvin McCoy took the field for the home team.
The fact that Curtis was able to take a look at these players as they combine with the home grown talent is a positive that the Coach was able to take away from the game.
“We at least had a chance to look at the talent we have and we will work on the things we need to work on,” Curtis said.
The home team travels to St. Kitts for another friendly in the Sugar City on Saturday and Curtis and his team will have an opportunity to put that loss behind them hopefully with a victory.
Interestingly, the United States, the Benna Boyz’ first opponents in the World Cup Semis in June defeated Italy 1-0 in their international friendly, also on Wednesday.
Along with the US, Benna Boyz opponents in the semis will be Jamaica and Guatemala, teams that from all reports are much tougher than the Socca Warriors.