Better late than never

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

Kevin Jeffrey, a member of the Toronto Lynx, pounced on a loose ball and scored to give Trinidad a 1-0 victory over Jamaica in an international soccer friendly last night at Lamport Stadium.

Jamaica dominated play in the first half on the hard and slippery artificial surface, but the Soca Warriors from Trinidad took control in the second half and cruised to the win.

The international event, billed the "Clash of the Caribbean," turned out to be more of a clash between fans and the promoters of the event, at least earlier in the day.

Dozens of fans arrived for the friendly between the Soca Warriors and the Reggae Boyz for an expected 12 noon start.

However, it became obvious by about 1 p.m., when a team of youth players took the field, that the main event was not about to take place.

Amid the confusion, organizers finally made the announcement that the main attraction -- the game between the senior teams from the two island rivals -- would be held at 7 p.m. The announcer encouraged those on hand to stick around and watch a youth game, followed by a celebrity game, or return for the main event later that evening.

However, dozens who packed up and left were not amused, many complaining that they could not return as they had prior commitments, or lived too far out of the area.

"A lot of people have tried to sell their tickets because they couldn't make it back (for the evening game)," said Sheldon Francis, a vendor hawking flags and whistles outside the stadium. "This thing is really killing the vibe."

The game finally kicked off in the evening, and the game proved to be quite entertaining. Still, there were many unhappy supporters of both sides, many who had sat around waiting for the main event to begin for seven hours.

"Some people became confused because on the flyer we did say the gates opened at 11 a.m.," co-promoter Jennifer Bonnick, said. "They didn't read the flyer properly, obviously, because we did advertise the other two games."

The confusion on the part of the fans was understandable, however. A full page ad on the back of Caribbean Living magazine promoting the game indicated only that the Gates opened at 11 a.m., adding the "The Game" begins at 12 noon, underneath. The ad mentioned a celebrity showcase and a game featuring the West and East All Stars, but no mention of what time either game was scheduled to start.


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