Barbados' technical adviser Keith Griffith is very happy with Football team performance in Digicel Cup
Published on: 1/14/07.
A FULL-STRENGTH Barbados team would have beaten Trinidad and Tobago in the opening match of the Digicel Caribbean Cup football finals at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday night, says Barbados' technical adviser Keith Griffith.
The teams, both depleted by the loss of most of their leading players, played to a 1-1 draw with the Bajans coming from a goal down at half-time to equalise.
Barbados went into the game without English-based strikers Paul Ifill and Mark McCammon and the injured starting defenders Rommell Brathwaite and Elvis Defreitas, as well as experienced duo of Michael Forde and Paul Lovell, and reserve defender Bryan Neblett.
Those players had all played in the Bajans' unbeaten first and second round campaign, which helped the team rise from 152nd to 98th in the FIFA world rankings.
"I believe that with Brathwaite and Defreitas, McCammon and Ifill, we would've blown Trinidad away, but as you know, all the little problems ? no 'Banana' [Alvin Rouse] in goal; he is the team's motivator. [Goalkeeper] Morrison Taylor did very well, by the way, but I felt that if we had those four players, we would've beaten Trinidad quite comfortably," Griffith told the SUNDAY SUN.
"We wanted to get three points but when you are playing Trinidad at home at the Hasely Crawford and you come away with a point, you must be satisfied.
"I would have given them the edge in the first half, but in the second half, once we got our groove and our rhythm, I thought we looked the better team; and until [John] Hawkesworth was sent off, I believe we could have won that game by two goals to one," Griffith added.
Barbados will next oppose Haiti at 5 p.m. tomorrow, before taking on Martinique on Wednesday, and Griffith said the team will be hoping veteran Irish-based striker Eric Lavine who was scheduled to arrive in Barbados from Ireland over the weekend, will be able to join the team.
"This group is going to go right down to the bottom and we are looking forward with great anticipation to Monday's game. We are expecting Lavine to arrive in the morning and we will make the necessary adjustments.
"As you know, previously we played 4-4-2. Tonight, we played 5-3-2; and we may resort back to 4-4-2 against Haiti," Griffith said.