Trinidad Reach Final Round

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Nov. 13: (Reuters):

AN 89th minute goal by Pat Small gave Trinidad a 4-0 victory over Netherlands Antilles here yesterday and a place in the final round of qualifying matches for the Olympic Games soccer tournament.

Beaten 3-0 in the first lef game against the Antilles, Trinidad had to win by four clear goals to stay in the competition and Small snatched the clincher just as extra time seemed certain.

Small scored two of Trinidad's goals after only passing a fitness test shortly before the match. The Netherlands Antilles were handicapped by a lack of experience on grass pitches, but helf their own until the 69th minutes when skipper Elio Flores conceded an own goal to put Trinidad 3-0.

In the next qualifying round Trinidad will meet the winner of the tie between El Salvador and Cuba.

Trinidad quickly forced their opponents on to the defensive and their long-passing tactics paid off after only five minutes. They forced a corner on the right from which left-winger Alvin Corneal scored with a shot which goalkeeper Vis held behind the line.

Right-back Charles Spooner proves a splendid auxiliary attacker for Trinidad with forging runs down the wing and had a big part in Trinidad's second goal in the 18th minute.

A feeble clearance by Antilles' full-back Flores was collected by Spooner. He passed to Small whose right-foot shot crashed into the net.

Antilles attempted to hit back through the middle, but were reduced to long-range shots by the tightly-knit Trinidad defence.

Trinidad seemed to run out of steam in the second half and only a great save from goalkeeper Lincoln Phillips kept out Martina's 20-yard shot as Antilles fought to cut down Trinidad's lead.

But the game swung decisively in Trinidad's favour with Flores' 69th minute own goal. Spooner raced up the wing and shot goalwards. Flores appeared to have the ball covered, but sliced it past his own goalkeeper.

With extra time just around the corner, Victor Gamaldo tried a long shot and as the goalkeeper fumbled the ball Small nipped in to walk it into the net.