The Trinidad and Tobago national under-17 football team must get a victory tomorrow night in its second and final group match against Costa Rica or face an early end to its United Arab Emirates 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup dreams.
Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica square off from 9 pm in the CONCACAF Under-17 qualifying series at the Estadio Agustín Muquita Sánchez in La Chorrera, Panama.
On Saturday, the young “Soca Warriors” fell 2-0 to Canada in their opening group match at the same venue after goals from Marco Dominiquez Ramirez and Jordan Hamilton in the 42nd and 59th minutes respectively.
National under-17 head coach Shawn Cooper and technical director Anton Corneal told the TTFF media that the players performed creditably despite the result.
“It’s very difficult to accept the result but I felt proud and pleased about the performance of the team,” said Cooper. “We didn’t get into the match until maybe after fifteen minutes but then we were in control for long moments and we were able to create the chances which we just could not convert. But I’m pleased still with the effort.
“Now we have everything to play for against Costa Rica.”
Corneal, who led Trinidad and Tobago to the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, described the current team as the best he has worked with.
“The performance did not warrant the result,” said Corneal. “It is one of the few times when I can say we played the game properly. It was one of the games I thought we should have come away with a victory. I am not saying Canada played badly but we deserved more…
“I was very happy with a lot of players today and it showed that we have got that potential to play at this level… This team has played better than nearly any of the teams that I’ve been around… This one was more all-round, more committed to the task. But, at the end of the day, goals win matches.”
Canada reportedly had 10 players attached to Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs within its ranks and the North American team took the lead, just before halftime, when Ramirez netted a brilliant freekick from just outside the penalty box.
Hamilton doubled Canada’s lead early in the second half after burying a rebound from Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Johan Welsh off his own effort.
“(Trinidad and Tobago) do some great things at times, it’s a real challenge to play against them,” said Canada coach Stephen Flemming, after the match. “We have to get better for sure. But, for the first game of a tournament, it’s important to get the three points and that’s what we did.”
Trinidad and Tobago Under-17 team: 1.Johan Welch; 2.Shannon Gomez, 3.Maurice Ford, 4.Josiah Trimmingham, 5.Leland Archer, 6.Brendon Creed (captain), 7.Kishun Seecharan (8.Aikim Andrews 59), 9.Akeem Garcia, 14.Andre Fortune (10.Matthew Woo Ling 73), 15.Brent Sam, 16.Levi Garcia.
Unused substitutes: 20.Stephon Seepersad (GK), 11.Jarred Dass, 12.Jabari Mitchell, 13.Anderson Toussaint, 17.Martieon Watson, 18.Sterling Noreiga, 19.Weah Adams.
Coach: Shawn Cooper