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8065: Copa Caribe: T&T LIFTS THE CUP (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

Copa Caribe


by Irving Ward

FORMER University of Connecticut midfielder Brent Rahim scored one goal
while former Columbus Crew striker Stern John and former Dallas Burn and
Miami Fusion striker Mickey Trotman had assists in steering Trinidad and
Tobago to the Copa Caribe Tournament title with a 3-0 victory over Haiti at
the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Trinidad on Friday night.

Rahim scored T&T's second goal of the match in the 68th minute, hitting a
right-side cross from Trotman past Haitian goalie Geteau Ferdinand into the
roof of the net from close range.

The former UConn star, who recently turned down an offer from the Los
Angeles Galaxy to concentrate on T&T's 2002 World Cup drive, ended the
competition with three goals in five matches.

Dale Saunders put T&T into the lead in the 21st minute by slotting home a
loose ball after goalie Ferdinand could only partially block a shot from
John, who now plays with England First Division outfit Nottingham Forest.

Arnold Dwarika completed the shut out in the 74th minute when he ran on to a
neatly threaded pass from Trotman and calmly put a right-footer to the left
of Ferdinand.

The victory gave T&T an unprecedented eighth lien on the Copa title, they
having already copped it in 1989, '92, '94, '95, '96, '97 and last year.
Jamaica in 1991 and 1998 and Martinique in 1993 are the only other teams to
have lifted the title.

T&T lost just one match in the series. Martinique beat them 2-1 in the final
round of preliminary matches. But this was the only blemish for
Porterfield's men who had stopped Barbados 5-0 and Jamaica 2-1 in the
qualifying round and Cuba 2-0 in the semi-final before also shutting out the
Haitians in the final to win the $50,000 first prize and the Copa Caribe

T&T, Haiti and Martinique, which won the third place playoff on Thursday,
all also qualified for next year's prestigious CONCACAF Gold Cup series.

The success was the first at this level for T&T's Scottish coach Ian
Porterfield and a morale boasting one for stand-in skipper Marvin Andrews'
side heading into next month's crucial World Cup qualifier against Honduras.

T&T, at the bottom of the CONCACAF Zone table with one point from three
matches, meets Honduras on June 16 in a match they must win to have any
chance of reaching next year's World Cup Final in Japan and Korea. On
Thursday, Martinique clinched third place with a 1-0 win over Cuba.  The
goal came from the penalty spot through Marcel Gibbon in the 73 rd minute.

The penalty was awarded by referee John Callendar after substitute Laurent
Habricat was fouled by Cuban goalkeeper Odelin Hernandez, who left his line
to intercept a through ball and collided with the forward.


T&T - Clayton Ince, Marvin Andrews, Ansil Elcock, Avery John, Dennis
Lawrence, Reynold Carrington, Brent Rahim, Mickey Trotman (Lyndon Andrews
80th), Dale Saunders, Arnold Dwarika (Gary Glasgow 84th), Stern John (Nigel
Pierre 80th)

Haiti - Geteau Ferdinand, Pierre Richard Bruny, Frant Gilles, Likenson
Chery, Jacque Pierre, Roosevelt Desir, Michel Gabriel, Chrismonor Telusma,
Peter Germain, Golman Pierre (Pierre Roland 81st), Renel Mompremier
(Clercant Clerjuste 52nd)