Second-half slump sends T&T tumbling to defeat

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GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago conceded twice in the second half as they went down 3-1 to Ecuador in their international friendly on Wednesday night in Ecuador.
Playing at the Estadio Banco del Pacifico in the first ever meeting between the two sides, the Caribbean side were drawing 1-1 at half-time after Juan Luis Anangonó struck in the 21st and captain Carlyle Mitchell equalised five minutes before half-time.
But the hosts led again on 73 minutes through a Fernando Gaibor penalty before Jacob Murillo scored in injury time to complete an easy win.
Despite the defeat, head coach Dennis Lawrence said the game had provided match practice for his side ahead of their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers in September.
“I thought the first half was well contested by both teams and a little more even, especially in terms of how we got on the ball and how we played,” he explained.
“There were some good moments for us but Ecuador produced a much better performance in the second half and they put us under some pressure. They took control of the game. We kept ourselves in the game but they got the penalty and of course a late goal.
“For us, the idea is to have the local players together and give them the opportunity to come to a place like Ecuador which has a very good team and make sure we get the experience.”
He continued: “We used this game as preparation for our upcoming World Cup qualifier and we’ll leave here with that in mind and obviously continue to do our work in relation to what is ahead of us.”
Anangonó capitalised on a defensive blemish to put the hosts ahead but Mitchell brought T&T level when he headed in Hughtun Hector’s free kick in the 40th minute.
The second half was a different story as Ecuador, ranked 22 places above T&T in the FIFA rankings at 27th, took control.
Gaibor beat goalkeeper Marvin Phillip from the spot to put them ahead again and Murillo was on target at the end for the insurance goal.
T&T face Honduras on September 1 in their next World Cup qualifier before facing Panama four days later. They lie bottom of the six-nation CONCACAF final round standings on three points.

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