Grenada overcame the setback of a delayed flight to lead an insipid Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 with a few minutes remaining, but the home team rallied to ensure a 2-2 draw last evening, in their friendly football international at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
Shandon Baptiste netted in the 48th minute and another midfielder Ricky Modeste got his name on the scoresheet in the 71st as the Anthony Modeste-coached outfit had a deserved cushion.
But substitute striker Jamille Boatswain trimmed the deficit in the 87th before midfielder Kevin Molino, in his first match as skipper, notched the equaliser in stoppage time.
Teenaged winger Kathon St Hillaire was handed his first international cap by TT coach Dennis Lawrence but the St Ann’s Rangers player, like most of his teammates, made no favourable impression in the first half.
Too often, passes back to the defenders and goalkeeper Adrian Foncette seemed to be the preffered option by the home team against a team ranked 157th in the world and who only arrived at 3.20 pm which forced the kick-off time to be shifted from 6 pm to 7.30 pm.
One of the many giveaways in the back nearly resulted in a goal for Grenada, in the 18th minute.
Striker Kairo Mitchell, with loads of space outside the penalty box, turned and struck a low right-footer which missed the target by a couple of metres.
The closest TT came to scoring was in the 27th as another teenaged winger, Levi Garcia, played a ball to overlapping left-back Kevon Villaroel. The defender shrugged off a challenge before forcing a good save from Grenada skipper and goalie Jason Belfon, with Molino’s follow-up blocked by the defenders.
Six minutes before the half-time whistle, midfielder Alexander McQueen pounced on a loose ball, and fired a right-footed shot which sailed inches over the crossbar.
Four minutes into the second half, Grenada broke the deadlock and the TT defence had only themselves to blame.
Molino lost possession and Shavon John-Brown, on the run, found Mitchell whose shot was saved by Foncette but Baptiste rifled home the rebound, to the top left-hand corner of the net.
TT awoke from their slumber and came close on a few occasions, through Garcia, Molino and Roach, while John-Brown missed two opportunities to extend Grenada’s lead.
However, the visitors duly got their second, when Ricky Modeste met Baptiste’s corner and flicked his right-footed shot to the right of a leaping Foncette.
TT dug deep to guarantee that the estimated 2,000 fans at the venue had something to remember, as Boatswain ran on to a through ball from centre-back Curtis Gonzales and angled his shot past the outstretched right hand of Belfon while Molino, two minutes into added-on time, took a ball from Gonzales, turned and shot a left-footer beyond Belfon’s reach.
The Guyanese football team was also in attendance, and they will be preparing to tackle the hosts, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, in Tuesday’s friendly international.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Adrian Foncette; Curtis Gonzales, Triston Hodge, Kevon Villaroel, Alvin Jones (Jamille Boatswain 77th); Kevan George, Jared London (Nathan Lewis 71st), Levi Garcia, Kathon St Hillaire, Kevin Molino (capt); Akeem Roach (Ricardo John 83rd).
GRENADA: Jason Belfon (capt); Alec Andell, Irvin Smith, Leaon St John, Ethan Ravalier; Kennedy Hinkson (Rickson Phillip 67th), Ricky Modeste (Rickey Sayers 82nd), Alexander McQueen (Kwazim Theodore 63rd), Shandon Baptiste; Kairo Mitchell (Saydrel Lewis 76th), Shavon John-Brown.