Not pleased: Speid laments poor execution despite Cavalier's 2-1 win over T&T's Port of Spain

By September 01, 2023
Cavalier's players celebrate a goal against Port of Spain during their Concacaf Caribbean Cup encoounter at Sabina Park on Thursday. Cavalier's players celebrate a goal against Port of Spain during their Concacaf Caribbean Cup encoounter at Sabina Park on Thursday. Concacaf

Though welcoming the 2-1 win which puts his team in a handy position heading into a break, Cavalier’s Technical Director Rudolph Speid was far from satisfied with his team’s overall execution in a lukewarm Concacaf Caribbean Cup against AC Port of Spain at Sabina Park on Thursday.

In fact, Speid believes the time off augurs well for the Jamaican outfit currently going through a rebuilding phase, as they intend to use it to good effect to improve certain aspects of their game.

While Jalmaro Calvin (8th) and Christopher Ainsworth (60th) got the goals for Cavalier, Port of Spain seemed the more dominant team at one point, but for their faulty shooting and some good glove work by Vino Barclett in goal for Cavalier at times.

However, the Trinidad and Tobago team ended with some consolation, courtesy of captain Duane Muckette’s 71st-minute strike.

With the win, Cavalier, who drew their opening contest 1-1 with another Trinidad and Tobago outfit Defence Force, assumed pole position in Group A on four points. Defence Force, who defeated Golden Lion of Martinique 1-0 on Wednesday, also moved to four points, but are second with an inferior goal difference.

Dominican Republic representative Moca FC are third on three points, with Golden Lion and Port of Spain, still without a point.

Speid agreed as much that his players lacked fitness and their drop in performance at certain points in the game, could have proved costly.

“It’s a new team and we’re trying to rebuild, but it’s three points and we were able to get them. This is our second game of the season, so you have to give and take. We’re not pleased, but we have another match on (September 19th) and we’ll put in some work to that end,” Speid said in a post-game press conference.

“We were doing some things wrong, but then in the second half, we kind of fixed it, but it’s a long road. We’re happy for the break so we’ll move on and get better as we progress,” he added.

After Calvin fired home from a Ronaldo Robinson assist, Cavalier, instead of pressing home the early ascendancy, opted to sit back and absorb consistent pressure, forcing their St Lucian goalkeeper Barclett to do more than he would have hoped.

In the 15th minute, Port of Spain’s midfielder John Paul Rochford was allowed space and time on the ball to get a right-footed shot off from a distance which was parried by Barclett diving full stretch to his left.

Cavalier again rode their luck in the 26th minute when defender Jeovanni Laing was dispossessed deep inside their quarters, paving the way for Che Benny to test his accuracy with a clever effort that kissed the crossbar on its way out.

Port of Spain again went close to pulling level on the stroke of the half-time interval, but Barclett again came up big with reflex save to deny Tyrone Charles, who twirled his way around two defenders to make space for the right-footed shot.

Things were a bit more balanced on the resumption, as Cavalier again showed life on the attacking front and caused a few problems for their Trinidadian counterparts.

But it wasn’t until the hour-mark that they extended the lead from a well-worked counterattacking play. It was orchestrated by Calvin, who picked out an unmarked Ainsworth at the top of the 18-yard box and the young player, sporting the number 11 jersey, maintained his composure to put a left-footed effort beyond Marvin Phillip in goal for Port of Spain.

Down, but not out, Port of Spain fought on bravely and pulled one back through Muckette, who expertly headed past the well-advanced Barclett, who was left in no-man’s land.

Port of Spain’s Head Coach Walter Noriega also rued his team’s sub-par display.

“It’s a disappointing result. I think the boys didn’t execute in the attacking play because we dominated possession, but possession doesn’t win you games. We’ll work on the finishing part and the execution,” he shared.

For their next assignments, Cavalier will play host to Moca on Tuesday, September 19, while Port of Spain will host Golden Lion a day prior.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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