Trinidad and Tobago gave a valiant performance against Finland on Sunday, before going down 3-2 to the visitors at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The Finns turned out to be suitable opposition for a new-look T&T getting their first start since the disastrous 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, and the "Soca Warriors" could have won the match but for some indecisive finishing and lethargic marking.
Still, it turned out to be a good test for a team in their first competitive outing in nearly two months.
T&T got goals on either side of half from Mekeil Williams and Kevin Molino the 66th and 80th minutes for a 2-1 lead. And substitute Keon Boucher snuffed a perfect chance in stoppage time, missing his close range effort from the right side of the penalty area.
For Finland, Riku Riski (34th minute), Toni Kolehmainen (74th) and Kasper Hamalainen contributed directly to their victory.
T&T promised the sparse home support an interesting 90 minutes when they started with a good run from Kendall Jagdeosingh down the right flank. But a few minutes of pressure brought Finland close to opening their account. Joevin Jones, though, came to the rescue, heading off the line with T&T goalkeeper Marvin Phillip committed, when Riski headed goalward.
Finnish left back Mikko Sumusalo was a thorn on the left side, but T&T's defence held firm in the first half hour, and other than his early gaffe, the T&T skipper was solid in goal.
Striker Richard Roy was given constant attention, while central midfielder Ataullah Guerra should have made better use of space in the attacking third. Seon Power had a blast from 30 metres also.
It was the dreadlocked defender that helped T&T grab the advantage, however, latching onto a long ball from Clyde Leon from centre midfield to the left penalty area, and his square pass found a sliding Mekeil Williams who produced a neat finish past Finnish goalie Lukas Hradecky.
Before the crowd's celebratory chatter could dissipate however, the Scandinavians were on level terms. The T&T defence was caught napping and Riski beat Phillip from close range through the crowded penalty area.
The only other chance before half-time came from Kolehmainen, but his dangerous corner kick was well held by Phillip in the 45th.
T&T felt steady pressure from the restart, with the Finns having no less than five chances inside the first four minutes. Hamalainen, Mika Aaritalo, Sabastian Mannstrom and Kolehmainen all provided nervous moments for the home team.
But T&T were the ones clawing ahead after absorbing the pressure. Coach Hutson Charles sent on Willis Plaza and Sean De Silva to replace Jones and Jagdeosingh respectively, and once Devon Jorsling and Jean Luc Rochford replaced Richard Roy and Ataullah Guerra, T&T's more attacking outlook paid dividends.
Jorsling missed an attempted toe-poke in a crowded defensive area, and Molino was on hand to slot home the loose ball.
A resurgent Finland effectively ended chances of a T&T win with a double strike, which put them ahead for the first time in the 79th. Poor T&T marking allowed Kolehmainen to spring the offside trap and collect a long chip from Joni Kauko into the T&T penalty box. The striker beat Phillip to his far post in the 74th.
They then got the lead from unmarked Hamalainen, whose bullet of a head nestled snugly in the net after Sumusalo crossed unchallenged from the left.