The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-17 Team lost their first international outing today as they were edged 1-0 by Jamaica in friendly action at Arnett Gardens.
The junior “Reggae Boyz” missed a first half penalty—given away courtesy of a careless tug by T&T winger Jeremiah Niles—before eventually getting the decisive goal by Orane Watson in the 77th minute.
The two nations meet again in Jamaica on Tuesday 7 February, while Trinidad and Tobago head to Guatemala on Thursday for duty at the 2023 Concacaf Under-17 Championship.
Trinidad and Tobago will take on Canada, the United States and Barbados in Group F while Jamaica are drawn with Cuba, Guadeloupe and Costa Rica in Group G.
For today’s dress rehearsal, coach Shawn Cooper was without the overseas-based trio of right back Rio Cardines, flanker Dominic Wilson and midfielder Jeremiah Cateau.
Led by St Benedict’s College midfielder Josiah Ochoa, the young Soca Warriors were never overawed although they did make a flat start—unable to possess the ball long enough in opposing territory to take up good offensive positions, and with neither winger, Niles or Derrel Garcia, able to get on the ball.
The visitors did improve in the second half. But it was the hosts who got the decisive goal, courtesy of a late Watson item.
Trinidad and Tobago will have another chance on Tuesday before the real action gets going at altitude in Guatemala, where they open their campaign against Canada on Saturday 11 February.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 20.Ailan Panton (GK); 4.Aydon Caruth, 6.Joshua Figaro, 12.Jaden Williams, 19.Lyshaun Morris; 14.Tau Lamsee, 5.Josiah Ochoa (captain); 16.Derrel Garcia, 15.Michael Chaves (vice-captain), 2.Jeremiah Niles; 13.Lindell Sween.
Substitutes: 1.Jaden Ottley (GK), 8.Samuel Duncan, 9.Tyrell Moore, 10.Malachi Webb, 17.Vaughn Clement, 18.Armani Rowe, 21.Seth Hadeed.
Unavailable: Jeremiah Cateau, Rio Cardines, Dominic Wilson.