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

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The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team managed their first win of the 2017 CONCACAF Championships today with a 2-1 triumph over El Salvador at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose.

But it was not enough to stave off elimination from the Korea Republic 2017 Under-20 World Cup qualifying series, as hosts Costa Rica advanced at their expense with a 2-1 win over Bermuda in the later outing.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team winger Kathon St Hillaire (centre) celebrates with teammate Micah Lansiquot during 2017 World Cup qualifying action against El Salvador at the Estadio Nacional on 22 February 2017. Hillaire scored the winner, off a Lansiquot pass, as T&T won 2-1. (Copyright Straffon Images)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team winger Kathon St Hillaire (centre) celebrates with teammate Micah Lansiquot during 2017 World Cup qualifying action against El Salvador at the Estadio Nacional on 22 February 2017.
Hillaire scored the winner, off a Lansiquot pass, as T&T won 2-1.
(Copyright Straffon Images)

El Salvador, who qualified on Wednesday after successive wins over Costa Rica and Bermuda, are the other nation that goes through from Group C.

The result means that, with just six teams eliminated from the CONCACAF group stage, all five Caribbean nations—Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Bermuda and the two island republic—were sent home. North American outfit, Canada, join them in the departure lounge.

An opening draw against Bermuda put coach Brian Williams’ troops in trouble from day one and they were as good as gone after a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in midweek.

Today, Trinidad and Tobago needed to beat group leaders El Salvador and hope that table proppers, Bermuda, managed an unlikely upset over the host nation.

El Salvador coach Eduardo Lara made things a bit easier for the boys in red, white and black strip as he made six changes to his squad in an effort to preserve legs for the second round.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Kierron Mason (right) challenges Costa Rica midfielder Randall Leal (centre) during 2017 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Estadio Nacional on 22 February 2017. Costa Rica won 1-0. (Copyright Straffon Images)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team midfielder Kierron Mason (right) challenges Costa Rica midfielder Randall Leal (centre) during 2017 World Cup qualifying action against Costa Rica at the Estadio Nacional on 22 February 2017.
Costa Rica won 1-0.
(Copyright Straffon Images)

Despite their weakened team, El Salvador created the better chances for much of the first half as attacker Jose Contreras rapped the bar with a wicked 30 yard free kick in the 28th minute. And Trinidad and Tobago defender Shane Sandy showed his alertness to keep out a goal bound stab from opposing captain Roberto Dominguez, after goalkeeper Montel Joseph dropped an El Salvador corner kick.

El Salvador had another decent scoring chance in the 35th minute, as central Taryk Sampson allowed Contreras to slip away from him, only for recovering Trinidad and Tobago right back Isaiah Garcia to pressure the attacker into a wayward header.

The Caribbean team got their first clear sight of goal in the 40th minute and, from inside the opposing six yard box, captain Jabari Mitchell opted to pass off responsibility to striker Nicholas Dillon who was quickly closed down.

Mitchell atoned in fine style though, just two minutes into the second half, as he glided past El Salvador defender Oscar Menjivar with a feint before driving a sweet left footer into the far corner to put the young Soca Warriors ahead.

The lead lasted just three minutes before the ever-dangerous Contreras—in his first start of the competition—equalised as he ran clear through the centre, with the opposing defence in disarray, to prod home.

Williams had a trick up his sleeve, though, as he introduced wingers Noel Powder and Kathon St Hillaire off the bench after both started in the two earlier group matches.

And, within 30 seconds of his introduction, St Hillaire was beating his chest as he ran on to a threaded pass from Micah Lansiquot and buried past opposing goalkeeper Alan Carrillo. It was his second goal of the tournament and Trinidad and Tobago’s third.

It might have gotten better still if Powder was able to get on the end of squared passes from St Hillaire or Dillon in the final 10 minutes. But the young Warriors held on for a 2-1 result.

In the end, it was no more than a consolation for Trinidad and Tobago though, as Costa Rica eliminated two Caribbean nations with one result as they came from behind to edge Bermuda 2-1.


Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 20.Montel Joseph (GK); 2.Isaiah Garcia, 5.Taryk Sampson, 4.Shane Sandy, 3.Kori Cupid; 8.Kierron Mason (11.Noah Powder 68), 13.Micah Lansiquot; 16.Rushawn Murphy (7.Morgan Bruce De Rouche 79), 10.Jabari Mitchell (captain), 14.Josh Toussaint (15.Kathon St Hillaire 71); 9.Nicholas Dillon.

Unused substitutes: 1.Denzil Smith (GK), 6.Simeon Bailey, 12.Joshua Sitney, 17.Stephon Marcano, 18.Joshua Leach, 19.Taofik Lucas Walker.

Coach: Brian Williams

El Salvador (3-4-3): 18.Alan Carrillo (GK); 2.Oscar Menjivar (19.Josue Rivera 73), 3.Roberto Dominguez (captain), 4.Ronald Gomez; 16.Diego Chavez, 6.Diego Cartagena, 17.Walter Ayala, 20.Amilcar Bermudez; 11.Jonathan Aguilar (14.Marcos Rodriguez 14 [8.Hector Quinteros 62]), 10.Marvin Marquez, 12.Jose Contreras.

Unused substitutes: 1.Mario Gonzales (GK), 5.Josue Santos, 7.Kevin Reyes, 9.Brayan Paz, 13.Fernando Castillo, 15.Denilson Vidal.

Coach: Eduardo Lara

2017 Under-20 World Cup qualifiers

Group C results

(Saturday 25 February)

Trinidad and Tobago 2 (Jabari Mitchell 46, Kathon St Hillaire 71), El Salvador 1 (Jose Contreras 49) at the Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica;

Costa Rica 2 (Tehvan Tyrell 43 OG, Randall Leal 50), Bermuda 1 (Oneko Lowe 26) at the Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica.

(Wednesday 22 February)

El Salvador 3 (Roberto Dominguez 21, Fernando Castillo 65, Josue Rivera 67), Bermuda 1 (Mazhye Burchall 75) at the Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica;

Costa Rica 1 (Randall Leal 53), Trinidad and Tobago 0 at the Estadio Nacional, Costa Rica;

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

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. “Yesterday, Eve said T&T teams have been losing out on chances because coaches rarely conduct proper analyses of their opponents before matches.

    “Local coaches don’t really do that, but strangely it (analysing teams) is the norm for coaches at that level of the game internationally. When we have to go up against top teams internationally, their coaches study our team and come up with effective ways of beating us,” Eve said.

    He added, “Local coaches always tend to feel that they can match teams based on ability, but it is not the way international coaches operate. Let’s say a Jose Mourinho for instance, who does a detailed assessment of his opponents before he takes them on, so we have to do the same thing or else we will continue to get the same results.”


    • Exactly Angus Eve ??? thankfully our new National Coach used to be a SCOUT for the Belgium Senior National Team and so would appreciate what you are saying!!!

    • And hopefully we get away from the usual Comment about we know they play the South American style while they have no clue as to the best players their attributes and weaknesses to exploit…Meantime our opponents do their homework on us.

    • Steeuuppsss But it is many moons now that I have been saying this same thing and the bootleg Coaches are still living in the past that they still feel that our players can match our opponents, we don’t even have any midfield/playmaker/goal scorer the same like the Magician, Autis Whitley, Hardest, and I can name a few more representing our Soca Worries team steeuuppss again eh. Them really good yes

  2. They lapse with d Bermuda game that was practically d end of them with that draw

  3. When u get a team like Bermuda to beat beat dem another lost opportunity

  4. I thought cell phone aren’t permitted in the technical area

  5. Until the TTFA stop letting these bootleg Coaches going here and there with our youth national teams and only failing to qualify they need to start to hire the real professional Coaches in our sweet country eh because we won’t be qualifying for any more youth World Cups…..Brian Williams, Kerry Jameson, Derrick King, Ross Russell, a matter of fact all the players that represented the Strike Squad 1989 and the Soca Worries 2006 who wants to be a Coach should all either be Coaching in their own football Academies or Coaching in the schools, Super League, and the Professional leagues to really prove themselves before they are allowed to Coach any youth national teams eh and that also includes our senior national team and I done talk. Steeuuppss Them really good yes.

    • Mango, I believe Ross and Brian been coaching for years in Pro League and I believe the Super League as well man. Not sure about the other coaches.

    • Brian Jordan yuh feel yuh bright eh, you very well know what I am trying to say eh, all these Coaches that are attached to Coaching the professional teams in our sweet country should never be the Coaches for our national youth teams ,because they will always choose their own players and not choose the right players to represent the team because at the end of the day it is big business for example when W- Connection players obtains their caps in order to make the real professional teams abroad and then is plenty monies back to their club eh, so again the real professional Coaches that have no affiliations to any professional clubs in our sweet country should always be the Coach of our national youth and senior teams and also they must always have the balls to stand up to any president of the TTFA who is about his own agendas and furthermore all the Coaches the names that I mentioned should be Coaching and developing our young players be it in their own football Academies, or attached to the professional teams academies so by the time their players are recruited to represent our national youth and senior teams they should all know the subject and then we will definitely be qualifying for future World Cup tournaments again and no more who is from South VS the rest of our sweet country and I done talk. Them really good yes.

    • Earl Mango Pierre that’s not what I undertood before. Now I get what you’re saying. Don’t agree 100%, but I understand. Every good system has to have checks and balances. We need good systems and once those are in place, there will be better and more objective selection of players and coaches. Thanks for clearing up what you meant..

    • Well you know how many moons ago that I have been calling for the Coaches Association and Players Association to be up and running in our sweet country so they can do their part in developing our Coaches and our Players eh. Them really good yes.

  6. Despite loss, there was some bright moments… I particularly enjoyed the number 15, he scored the second goal…. Not too sure who the mumber 7 is, but seemed loss when he came in…. Another negative for me was everytime camera panned to bench, one of our staff was only seen on his phone… Maybe wifi was free, but I found it really disrespectful and unprofessional. Overall, I enjoyed the game… Hope these players are not now just discarded, hope some program exisita to keep them for Olympics qualifiers…

  7. Good win tonight, always good to see the national team bounce back.

  8. Two very good goals…pity that they couldn’t do the biz versus Bermuda

  9. I like that Latapy still has the U17’s training, hopefully they can get some international friendlies. It would be good if the U20’s continue to train as a group.

  10. Our players are lacking technically. We have got to address that as well and look to nurture them better.

  11. Spot on, Bermuda cock up still painful

  12. We hav to first develop our kids better….prepare them appropriately for tournaments…and be consistant about it…
    That being said…i thought Brian Williams did a good job..he was unlucky in the first game against Bermuda….that game obviously came back to haunt us….
    Tactically i thought we were good enough to qualify as a team….we were definitely not good enough as individuals….we made poor decisions too often and we looked very basic and ordinary when put under pressure from opposing teams…
    Everything comes down to the Bermuda game…ww hav to learn to be ruthless…kill teams when we hav their length…..Good job by Brian Williams based on what he had to work with

  13. Even though we had semi-decent preparation, our youths do not play enough against quality opposition. They do not play enough against international opposition. It’s always a case of being reactive when a tournament is on the horizon. I doh even want tuh get started about the non-existent development programme.

    • Derek King did better without a single warm-up match a few years ago though. I won’t fault Brian Williams’ work. But I do feel Derek should not have been moved in the first place.
      His team were Caribbean champions. It is a shame he didn’t get chance to do it again.

    • This is true, but you could say the same thing about creating a situation where Ken Elie had to leave the U-17. But even so, we’re still mired in this hit or miss approach. We do not consistently give ourselves a reasonable chance of success.

    • Yeah. The under-17 team was badly let down by administration. Brian Williams seems to have had more luck. And of course he IS a W Connection coach.
      All the same, I find it ridiculous that the TTFA never ruled on situation regarding Emmanuel, Quinn and Hudson.

    • That was a farce. I agreed with not picking them for the previous round, but that should have been the punishment due. After that, it should have been a clean slate for them to work their way into being selected. And if that was not to be the case, the TTFA should have said why.

    • Planning, Preparation and Consistency. USA sent coaching staff for players born in 97,98, & 99 as they are looking ahead to Olympics. The TTFA is simply not a professionally run organisation we will continue by hit or miss for a while. From what I see the coaches and staff are incredible fellas to put up with the pure caca that the TTFA calling support. What you see on the field, those 4 points is a testimony to the talent and quality we have, if only he had a functional association. Lasana being a WConnection coach may cause you to be taken advantage of more.

    • Maybe so Sean. You could have a point there. Because he would have double the reason NOT to complain.

  14. Simone, as far as player mentalities go. Times change. Hopefully we can find a way to get through to this crop of players so they have a chance of making it.
    When players are dropping from the team because they aren’t guaranteed a starting place, you definitely worry for their mental strength.

    • Poor mentality really doesn’t work, even if you are as talented as Cassano or Balotelli were. Coaches will always pick players who train hard and are good in the locker room. And those players with good mentality are the ones who win trophies.

  15. And the usual statement after they play well they didn’t make it but the players have lots of potential.

  16. We have to do a better job of preparing these kids. That means everything from getting them the right staff go forward.
    The under-20s and under-17s both fought hard. I can’t fault them there. They just were not good enough to go further.

  17. Same old same old, a little too late. So now we out of U-17, out of U-20, out of Beach Soccer, out of Caribbean Cup, out of Gold Cup. But we jammin’ still!

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