T&T Defeat Villa 2-1

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner

PORT OF SPAIN, Cana - Goals from Portuguese-based professional Russell Latapy and Marvin Faustin gave defending Shell Cup champions Trinidad and Tobago a 2-1 victory over English Premier League team Aston Villa in a friendly game at the Queen's Park Oval here on Sunday.

Latapy, known here as "the little magician", lived up to his sobriquet, by snatching the winner with just three minutes of the game remaining.

The talented 26-year old midfielder hit a powerful left footed shot past Villa's goal-keeper Nigel Spink, much to the delight of 18,000 cheering fans who turned up to witness the game.

Collecting the ball well inside the Villa half, Latapy worked a one-two with fellow professional Arnold Dwarika before setting himself up for the winner which beat Spink in the bottom left hand corner of the goal.

Earlier, Faustin, known for his over-lapping runs from left-wing back, opened the scoring midway through the first half.

The hard working Faustin cut into the Villa half and collected a free pass from Scottish-based Jerren Nixon and seeing Spink off his line, chipped the ball past the custodian to give Trinidad and Tobago a 1-0 lead.

Villa, with Trinidad and Tobago's own Dwight Yorke in their line-up, pressed for the equaliser but had to wait until 23 minutes into the second period.

The goal was scored by substitute David Farrell, who was on spot to tap home a right side cross from Gary Charles after a ragged Trinidad and Tobago defence had failed to clear the ball.

Earlier, Latapy showed the vast experience gained from his first season with Porto, who won the Portuguese First Division League title. He gave a clever display of dribbling and accurate passing which at times, seemed to leave the Villa players spellbound.

Trinidad and Tobago should have capitalised on his pinpoint passing but poor shooting from Nixon, Dwarika and Terry St. Louis with Spink at their mercy, kept the score-sheet blank.

At the end of the game, Latapy predictably won a TT 500 dollar man of the match award.