Two goals from Stern John and another from Jerren Nixon propelled a young, inexperienced Trinidad and Tobago team to a 3-1 romp over Honduras. It was the opening game of the 1998 Gold Cup.
Trinidad and Tobago looked good particularly in the opening 15 minutes of the game. During that period the Calypso boys let loose a barrage of attacks on the Honduras goal. However, many chances went begging as T&T could not capitalize on some excellent runs by Jerren Nixon.
Nixon was definitely the man up front as he out muscled and clearly out ran some of the bewildered Honduras defenders. His opening goal in the 36th minute was testimony of that when he collected the ball by the half way line, powered his way past Honduran defenders, ran inside and shot straight past the Honduran goalie.
Three minutes later Nixon was again the trouble maker as he continued to make deep runs at the heart of the defense. He passed it to Stern John who slid in the second goal of the game.
Things were in favor of Trinidad and Tobago in the first half as the Honduran attack could not penetrate the tight defense of T&T. The back four was anchored by Tony Rougier who clearly out muscled and out classed the Honduran attackers. He read the game the game beautifully as Honduran attackers were caught offside. Rougier was a rock, totally unbeatable on the ground and in the air.
Elcock and Andrews had good games as well. Andrews was very unfortunate to have a penalty kick called against him when a Honduran dove in the penalty area. The referee seemed to have no clue about the Honduran school of diving as replays showed that Andrews didn't knock him over.
The penalty was saved by Clayton Ince who stretched out to his left to save the kick. Ince for his part had an excellent game. He kept T&T in the game with great diving and stretching saves. he was also extremely confident in the air as he got every ball that came his way.
In the second half the play began to get more even as Honduras began to mount pressure on the T&T goal. T&T looked flat as they tried to emulate their first half performance. After some pressure Honduras pulled one back after some good work by the Honduran attacker.
After the goal T&T finally settled down and were rewarded with a goal by Stern John in the 69th minute. John went on a solo run after being setup by Clint Marcelle between the goalie and defender and made no mistake.
Marcelle for his part had a good game, the wet, slippery field hampered his running ability but he found himself in some good positions to run at the Honduras defense.
Captain David Nahkid was the man in the midfield who put it together. Bridging the gap between the defense and forwards he came back to help when the play broke down and provided Nixon and John with some crisp passing.
In general, the team looked good. They were confident and composed for a group of young twenty-somethings. Not even when they conceded a goal in the early minutes of the second half did they loose there focus. Bertille St. Clair has put together a rebuilding team that looked better than some previous teams.