Home / Volley / Global Football / Young Warriors relinquish Caribbean crown, T&T U-20s lose on penalties to Antigua

Young Warriors relinquish Caribbean crown, T&T U-20s lose on penalties to Antigua

Trinidad and Tobago will not get the chance to defend their Under-20 Caribbean Cup title on Sunday as the young Soca Warriors were defeated 5-4 on penalties in tonight’s first semifinal fixture against Antigua and Barbuda at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curaçao.

The two nations played for 90 minutes into regulation time without a goal and it was also goalless at the end of extra time. But the “Benne Boys” were perfect from the spot—albeit with a touch of controversy as the match official ordered a retake after Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Denzil Smith blocked the first Antiguan effort—and won the chance to compete for the regional crown.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Kadeem Riley (left) tries to win the ball from St Lucia playmaker Cassius Joseph during 2016 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 June 2016. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Kadeem Riley (left) tries to win the ball from St Lucia playmaker Cassius Joseph during 2016 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 June 2016.
The two teams played to a 1-1 draw.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

It will be a moment of history for Antigua and Barbuda, who have never played in a Caribbean Cup final at any level. They will not meet Haiti to decide the regional title from 7.30pm at the same venue on Sunday, after Haiti whipped Bermuda 3-0 in the second semifinal tonight

At the other end, National Under-20 coach Brian Williams can point to the fact that his team is still unbeaten in regulation time after seven matches and have already progressed to the CONCACAF competition. They will battle  Bermuda for third place from 5pm on Sunday.

“It’s a disappointment yes, that we had to lose the match in the manner in which we did from the penalty kicks,” Williams told the TTFA media. “I felt we had good enough chances during the regular period of play to take the game but we were not as efficient as I would have liked. It is unfortunate that we had to end up in penalty kicks and then it was any team’s match at that stage.

“I know the players are disappointed as well because we’ve missed out on a chance of getting to the final.”

Williams inherited a team that squeaked into the 2015 Under-17 CONCACAF Championship after finishing fifth in the respective Caribbean tournament.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 coach Brian Williams. (Courtesy TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 coach Brian Williams.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

There were a string of absentees too as forward Jerren Nixon Jr and defender Jacob Sooklal were ruled out through injury, goalkeeper Jardel Poon-Lewis could not get time off from his United States-based school and the Shiva Boys Hindu College duo of playmaker Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel and winger Quinn Rodney were overlooked after they snubbed a training camp in Guyana.

Defender Kierron Mason pulled up lame in Curaçao while Isaiah Hudson also ruled himself out as his father, Brent Hudson, insisted that he be sent home immediately. Arguably, the biggest absence was that of striker Nicholas Dillon who scored eight of Trinidad and Tobago’s 18 goals on their 2017 Under-20 World Cup campaign.

Dillon was injured in the final Group B match against Haiti and was not even healthy enough to sit on the bench tonight. United States-based attacker, Taofik Lucas Walker, started upfront in his place.

Tonight’s stalemate was Trinidad and Tobago’s third goalless draw from four matches in Curaçao. And Smith, the Shiva Boys Hindu College schoolboy, has the distinction of playing four successive games without conceding a single goal.

However, from the penalty spot, midfield organiser and set piece specialist Kareem “Enzo” Riley was the unlucky player with the sole miss—Keston Julien, Noah Powder, Shane Sandy and captain Jabari Mitchell all scored for Trinidad and Tobago—as Antigua and Barbuda enjoyed a historic result.

Photo: Shiva Boys HC goalkeeper Denzel Smith (centre) catches the ball during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016. Shiva Boys whipped Presentation College 3-1. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys HC goalkeeper Denzel Smith (centre) catches the ball during SSFL Premier Division action at Irwin Park, Siparia on 7 September 2016.
Shiva Boys whipped Presentation College 3-1.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“The better story for us is that we have been able to book our spot in the final round of CONCACAF and everyone here understands now that the focus towards that tournament in February starts now,” said Williams. “It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice, dedication and strong preparation for us to be ready to not just go there and play but to compete strongly and qualify for the [2017] World Cup in South Korea.”

(Team)

Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Denzil Smith (GK); 3.Kori Cupid, 5.Taryk Sampson, 12.Shane Sandy, 17.Keston Julien, 11.Kareem Riley, 19.Morgan Bruce (18.Josh Toussaint, 81st), 8.Jarred Dass (15.Kathon St Hillaire 46), 10.Jabari Mitchell (captain), 6.Noah Powder, 14.Taofik Lucas-Walker (16.Micah Lansiquot 58).

Unused substitutes: 20.Jabari Brice (GK), 2.Andrew Rullow, 13.Isaiah Garcia.

Injured: 4.Kierron Mason, 7.Isaiah Hudson, 9.Nicholas Dillon.

Head Coach: Brian Williams.

About Editor

Editor

Check Also

tt-u20-Kathon-St-Hilaire-El-Salvador-ftr

Jabari and Kathon strike in win over El Salvador; but T&T out after C/Rica triumph

The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team managed their first win of the 2017 CONCACAF …

29 comments

  1. Reading some of these comments about how these kids not good and about the good old days when we used to beat people for 6 and out of the stadium makes me wonder if the authors ever really involved in competitive sport. If you beating anybody for 6 you in the wrong league worse yet it will not prepare you to play higher level competition. In my view the rest of the region has become more competitive which makes our players better and better prepares them for tougher competition. West Indies Cricket used to dominate but what happen when Australians and South Africans massively invested in training programs, youth development, coaching education and facilities?

    It seems to me that some of you are romanticizing the past glory days of Trinidad and Tobago Football the same way some are romanticizing the level of SSFL and Pro League. Where are all our titles from the past, where are all our world class players from the past, where are our world class coaches from the past? Where can all that superiority and dominance be evidenced? Please do not conflate Caribbean success with international quality.

    Even if their was dominance, it assumes that conditions remain the same. Is it possible we rested on our dominance while the competition developed 5/10 year development plans inclusive of coach training, facilities building? Is it possible our competition formed scouting networks domestically and internationally to attract the best places eligible to play for their nations while we enjoyed having a FIFA VP?

    Oil prices down, our inflated sense of past dominance should follow suit such that we can take off the rose coloured lenses and honestly try to build something from community to community whether the community is local or foreign.

  2. There was a time we would have beaten these sides out of my stadium. Complacency is the foundation of epic failure

  3. Yeah
    At least Concacaf qualifications sparing our blushes a bit…for now
    Smh

  4. I honestly think this is shameful . These young players are not good at all .. When scouts start going around the country and get the best players . This will continue to happen .

  5. At least coach Brian Williams has a defensive philosophy

  6. April 6th 2016 Brian Williams appointed merely 3 months before June 15-19 Group stage; two months later with limited preparation the U20’s win the group advancing to CFU Finals. Four months later team qualifies in top 4 for CONCACAF in Costa Rica while conceding 1 goal and scoring 17 in 7 games, albeit 11 of those goals against Turks and Caicos Islands. Regardless, the defense is commendable and progress must be made being more clinical in front of goal.

    We have a U20 team that after 7 matches is undefeated and alive in World Cup qualifying,
    how can anyone critique those results?

    Personally, I think its good value for the investment.

  7. April 6th 2016 Brian Williams appointed merely three months before June 15-19 Group stage; two months later with limited preparation the U20’s win the group advancing to CFU Finals. Four months later team automatically qualifies for CONCACAF in Costa Rica while conceding 1 goal and scoring 17 in 7 games, albeit 11 of those goals against Turks and Caicos Islands. Regardless, the defense is commendable and progress must be made being more clinical in front of goal.

    We have a U20 team that after 7 matches is undefeated and alive in World Cup qualifying,
    how can anyone critique those results?

    Personally, I think its good value for the investment.

    • Lasana Liburd

      I agree. I think the team has done as well as we could have hoped, results-wise. I haven’t seen the games so I don’t know what they looked like on the field. But I would credit Brian Williams for the results.

  8. Denzil Smith… Four games without a goal conceded. And that boy wasn’t even in the squad in the earlier round. Another gem from Shiva Boys. 😉

  9. As much as I do appreciate the clean sheets, goals win matches..

  10. Positives . No goals conceded in 4 games , defensively organized team.

    Negatives . Not scoring goals , we had 3 nil nils . Against concacaf teams chances will be limited . We must be efficient and take them .

  11. To be honest, I had doubts that this team would get to CONCACAF at all. Clearly that Panama training camp helped. So I’d take us getting there yes.

  12. Reports out of Curacao suggest that the game was there for the taking. Creating many chances but not converting them.

  13. Looking forward to good football news some day soon. Face turning blue.

  14. It is astonishing to me how far down the pecking order we have fallen….