Tag: Trinidad & Tobago

A Mixed Bag

England 2-2 Sweden / Trinidad & Tobago 0-2 Paraguay A mixed bag indeed, but at least the Sven-bashers haven’t got quite as much of a leg to stand on as they had previously. His hand was forced by the horrible first minute injury to Michael Owen. Well, I hope that the Owen-bashers are happy too. There’s a good chance that he’ll be out for the rest of the tournament. And! (I can only hope that this feels them with glee and delight) He suffered a tremendous amount of physical pain, as well! DOUBLE BONUS! The injury to Owen not only forced England to more or less throw their attacking plans out of the window, but also meant that theyessectively lost a substitution. Don’t tell me for a second that this didn’t make a difference in the closing minutes. As it turned out, the first-half performance was, considering everything, outstanding. Rooney looked sharp, latching onto Beckham’s superb long pass and almost scoring. If a Brazilian had scored the goal that Cole did, we wouldn’t hear the end of it for the remainder of the tournament. I’ve already seen his goal described on another blog as a “fluke”. Make of that what you wish. It was an excellent team display, with Lampard and Rooney peppering the Swedish goal with long-range shots, but the pick of the crop was… hold your breath…...

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England Doesn’t Expect

England 2-0 Trinidad & Tobago Well, they made hard work of it, again. For over eighty minutes, it looked as if the wheels had well and truly fallen off Sven’s wagon. England couldn’t blame the weather this time, and they couldn’t blame the referee. They couldn’t even argue that they scored early and decided to sit back and defend their lead. They toiled and struggled against a Trinidad team that had a fairly simple game-plan: defend frantically, try and break away of possible, and occasionally kick them. It nearly paid off. After Saturday, the stakes had risen. Winning wasn’t enough any more. England had to win well. There was no question of them taking Trinidad too seriously – but the question remains: if they are unable to break down a well-organised team of lower-division journey men, how on earth are they going to cope with the likes of Brazil or Argentina. At present, I think we all know the answer to that. Still, for all that, they’re through to the second round with a match to spare, and it’s the best start to a World Cup for England since 1982. I guess we should be grateful for small mercies. For the first fifteen minutes or so, it seemed comfortable enough. They kept possession, pinged a few dangerous balls into the Trinidad penalty area, and looked confident. But then, slowly...

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The Perfect Result

Trinidad & Tobago 0-0 Sweden From a jingoistically English perspective, we couldn’t have asked for much more than this. Trinidad have lost a man for a game. Sweden have now got something of a mountain to climb, and could be out by the time they play England next Saturday. And, as per the post below this one, England now only need a win on Tuesday night to secure their passage into the knock-out stages. It was, of course, a fantastic result for Trinidad & Tobago. Sweden didn’t play well, and missed far too many chances to suggest that they are going to make the sort of major impact on these finals that many people seem to think they will. Trinidad were defensively well-organised, though they did rely on profligate finishing from the Swedes and a once in a lifetime performace from Shaka Hislop, who only started because regular first choice Kelvin Jack injured himself in the warm-up. Trinidad did, of course, break away a couple of times and contrived to hit the crossbar, but for them to have snatched a win would have been utterly unfair on a clearly superior Swedish side. Sweden have learnt a lesson, and they’ve learnt it the hard way: you can’t waste a dozen chances and expect to win at this level of football. Not even against the tournament’s rank outsiders. They need to...

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