Nicaragua edges T&T in friendly

Action from the international friendly between visiting Trinidad & Tobago and Nicaragua (white jersey) in an international friendly on December 27, 2016, in Managua. (Photo: TTFA Media)

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaragua scored a goal in each half to earn a 2-1 win over visiting Trinidad & Tobago in an international friendly on Tuesday night at the Estadio Nacional de Futbol.

It was the host’s first-ever win over the Caribbean power in four attempts.  The sides will meet again at the same venue on December 30.

Luis Peralta gave Nicaragua a 1-0 in the third minute, when he headed Manuel Rosas’ left-sided cross into the right side of the net.

Two minutes into the second half, Daniel Cadena doubled the advantage with a stunning left-footed, half-volley from 35-yards out that sailed over the head of goalkeeper Adrian Foncette.

T&T, playing its first match under new head coach Tom Saintfiet, became more cohesive and nearly cut into the deficit, but a Nathan Lewis free kick skimmed off the crossbar.

Hashim Arcia got the Soca Warriors on the scoreboard in the 75th minute, firing a low, 20-yard diagonal shot beyond right-diving goalkeeper Justo Lorente.

“As a coach you don’t like to lose,” said Saintfiet.  “I am disappointed with the result but I can’t be too disappointed in the performance of the team.  Nicaragua were full strength and naturally we missed a lot of players.  We gave some opportunities for players to make their debuts with a lot of young players in the squad and it was the first game after only two weeks in training together.”

Nicaragua is using the two-match series as preparation for the Copa Centroamericana, while T&T is getting ready the 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup fifth-place playoff.  Both competitions take place next month.