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St Hillaire strikes early but T&T U-20s held 1-1 by Bermuda; Costa Rica are next

The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team stumbled at the first CONCACAF hurdle today, as they were held 1-1 by Bermuda in 2017 Under-20 World Cup qualifying action at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Juan de Tibás in Costa Rica.

Kathon St Hillaire, a St Ann’s Rangers winger and St Anthony’s College student, opened the scoring for Trinidad and Tobago in the 23rd minute, after a clever assist by striker Nicholas Dillon.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 winger Kathon St Hillaire (left) is closed down by St Lucia left back Keeroy Lionel during 2016 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 June 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 winger Kathon St Hillaire (left) is closed down by St Lucia left back Keeroy Lionel during 2016 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 19 June 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

But the teenaged Soca Warriors failed to build on that platform and paid the price in the 69th minute when giant goalkeeper Montel Joseph was second to a long ball and Bermudan substitute Jaz Smith rounded him and squeezed the ball past opposing defender Shane Sandy for Oneko Lowe to tap home.

It was Bermuda’s only shot on target for the game.

Warriors captain Jabari Mitchell muffed one attempted volley from inside the area and then clipped the bar with a delicious free kick that dipped and swerved in the 81st minute. But Trinidad and Tobago could not get the three points at stake.

Coach Brian Williams’ troops now need at least one win from their remaining two fixtures against hosts Costa Rica and El Salvador—on 22 and 25 February respectively—to have any chance of advancing to the final qualifying round.

El Salvador stunned Costa Rica 1-0 in this evening’s second Group C affair, as the hosts ended with 10 players following the late ejection of defender Esteban Gonzales in a fiery contest.

Trinidad and Tobago’s outing against with Bermuda was much more tranquil. It was the second meeting of the two Caribbean nations in the past four months, after they squared off in the CFU third place contest in Curaçao.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 Team midfielder and captain Jabari Mitchell (centre) passes the ball during a practice game against St Ann's Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 Team midfielder and captain Jabari Mitchell (centre) passes the ball during a practice game against St Ann’s Rangers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The boys from the two island republic lost 2-1 then, although Williams had rested Dillon and then first choice goalkeeper Denzil Smith.

There was more at stake today and Williams’ troops were marginally better. But not by enough against a nation long considered Caribbean minnows.

Although Trinidad and Tobago had five shots on target to one from Bermuda, the possession was almost dead even with the Warriors shading it with 51 percent.

And, despite a wicked late Mitchell free kick that struck the intersection of the bar and post, T&T could not pull off a win.

For the second successive competition, Williams might be worried too about the health of his star striker, Dillon, who hobbled off in the 62nd minute and was replaced by Josh Toussaint. Dillon was signed by Belgium second division team, K.Patro Maasmechelen, just before he joined his national teammates in Costa Rica.

Trinidad and Tobago’s next outing should be a searching examination of their World Cup ambitions as they face Costa Rica from 9pm at the Estadio Nacional on Wednesday 22 February.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 forward Nicholas Dillon (left) tries to power past Guadeloupe defender Hanane Nebot (centre) while his teammate Loic Nuiro looks on during Caribbean Under-20 Cup qualifiers at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 15 June 2016. T&T won 1-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 forward Nicholas Dillon (left) tries to power past Guadeloupe defender Hanane Nebot (centre) while his teammate Loic Nuiro looks on during Caribbean Under-20 Cup qualifiers at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 15 June 2016.
T&T won 1-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 20.Montel Joseph; 2.Isaiah Garcia, 5.Taryk Sampson, 4.Shane Sandy, 8.Kierron Mason; 3.Kori Cupid, 11.Noah Powder; 13.Micah Lansiquot (19.Taofik Lucas Walker 81), 10.Jabari Mitchell (captain), 15.Kathon St Hillaire; 9.Nicholas Dillon (14.Josh Toussaint 62).

Unused substitutes: 1.Denzil Smith (GK), 6.Simeon Bailey, 7.Morgan Bruce De Rouche, 12.Joshua Sitney, 16.Rushawn Murphy, 17.Stephon Marcano, 18.Joshua Leach.

Coach: Brian Williams

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence (right) chats with National Under-20 Team coach Brian Williams on Thursday 26 January 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence (right) chats with National Under-20 Team coach Brian Williams on Thursday 26 January 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

2017 Under-20 World Cup qualifiers

Group C

(Sunday 19 February)

Trinidad and Tobago 1 (Kathon St Hillaire 23), Bermuda 1 (Oneko Lowe 69) at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, Costa Rica;

Costa Rica 0El Salvador 1 (Roberto Dominguez 65) at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa, Costa Rica;

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Micah Lansiquot (centre) takes on the Turks and Caicos defence during Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 June 2016. T&T won 11-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 midfielder Micah Lansiquot (centre) takes on the Turks and Caicos defence during Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 June 2016.
T&T won 11-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures

(Wednesday 22 February)

El Salvador v Bermuda, 6.30pm, Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica;

Costa Rica v Trinidad and Tobago, 9pm, Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica;

(Saturday 25 February)

Trinidad and Tobago v El Salvador, 3.30pm, Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica;

Costa Rica v Bermuda, 6pm, Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica.

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18 comments

  1. Again the team lacked Fitness which resulted in poor and loss of Concentration.

  2. I’m not surprised by this result

    • Lasana Liburd

      The shape the team was when they started, I’m happy that they got this far. But they have got to dig deep and put everything into this effort. That’s all we can ask at this stage. Then would come the post-mortem!

  3. Our players are lacking continuous High Intensity in the Games which is due to a lack of Elite Athletes’ fitness level.

  4. What happened to the next game Lasana Liburd. Costa Rica vs El Salvador

  5. In that build-up to that goal by our boys we saw a nice and consistent exchange of passes that shows some promise. I’m just concerned about our boys’ ability to keep their heads against the much faster short-passing style of CRC.

  6. I have the utmost respect for Brian.. he’s also a great cricketer btw but I don’t think he’s the best choice as coach ….

  7. I think El Salvador may be even more difficult if we’re not ready for their pressure.. they were relentless

  8. El Salvador stunned Costa Rica 1-0. Costa Rica will come at us with all they have now.

  9. Saw a lot of good things. Hope they can build off of this point. Finishing still an issue for sure.

  10. CRC 0 vs SLV 1 the game is in the 74 min

  11. Our play was to slow and the guy who missed the volley had time to control and pick his spot.

  12. Wow . And I’m thinking today they’ve been really impressive on their tour and should win … typical