Trinidad & Tobago's Colombian coach, Francisco Maturana, might have been advised to head straight back to South America if he hadn't steered the Caribbean nation past Bermuda in Sunday's second leg of their World Cup qualifying second-round series. As it turned out, his team overturned the shock first-leg 2-1 deficit with a comfortable 2-0 road victory, and the Soca Warriors will now meet Cuba, Guatemala and the United States in the semifinal group stage.
Maturana made "brave changes," writes Ian Prescott Hamilton, dropping England-based pros Stern John (Southampton) and Jason Scotland (Swansea City) to the bench, and scratching Walsall goalkeeper Clayton Ince in favor of local boy Jan Michael Williams. This resulted in "a measured, tactical game as Trinidad & Tobago controlled the match, pinning back the Bermudans and opening them up with precise passes and quick flicks." Former Liberty University and Sparta Rotterdam striker Darryl Roberts scored the early goal that silenced the capacity home crowd of 5,000, and the forward continued to torment the Bermudan defender Kofi Dill.
Midfielder Carlos Edwards "finally played like Carlos can" since joining the team from Sunderland, while New England Revolution's Khano Smith, the Bermudan forward who'd been so influential in the first game, was neutralized. A second goal from half-time substitute John sealed the win and saved the players from a special audience with the Trinidad &Tobago Football Federation's Special Advisor Jack Warner. Just a thought, though. Does Mr. Warner's title mean that, like Jose Mourinho in his Chelsea days, he would like to be thought of as "the special one"?