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Haiti overcome Immigration issues and weary legs to defeat T&T U-17s in World Cup qualifier

The aggregate score now reads Haiti 4, Trinidad and Tobago 1.

The two Caribbean nations have now met five times at both senior and junior levels over the last three years. And, on all but one occasion, it was the French-speaking islanders who came out on top.

The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team, with Levi Garcia and Kadeem Corbin in menacing form, whipped Haiti in the 2014 Caribbean Cup final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

But, that apart, Haiti defeated the senior Soca Warriors at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and in 2016 Copa America Centenario play off while, in the 2014 Caribbean Under-17 Championship, they cruised to a 3-0 win over the junior Warriors.

Photo: Haiti forward Nael Elysee (centre) tries to escape from the attentions of Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Jodel Brown (right) and defender Jesse Williams during 2017 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016. Elysee scored the opener as Haiti won 2-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Haiti forward Nael Elysee (centre) tries to escape from the attentions of Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Jodel Brown (right) and defender Jesse Williams during 2017 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016.
Elysee scored the opener as Haiti won 2-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

And last night, the Haitian hoodoo continued as the visitors downed Russell “Little Magician” Latapy’s team 2-0 in the opening game of their Korea Republic 2017 Under-17 World Cup campaign at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Why are the Haitian footballers causing the “Soca Warriors” so many worries?

Well, they are fast, strong, aggressive and usually play at a very high tempo. Last night was no different and, despite only arriving in Trinidad on Thursday night due to Immigration hold-ups, the visitors made the young Warriors very uncomfortable in their own backyard and forced them to fight for every inch of space they could get.

“When we passed in Panama to the airport we saw many trouble [sic] in immigration,” said Haiti coach James Morisset, through his translator. “And when we came into Trinidad we saw more trouble. We talked to the players at the hotel and we let them know that we had to fight for the win.

“So that’s why you see tonight the players on the field played so strong and we got the win.”

Haiti definitely left it all out on the Ato Boldon field last night, and the medical personnel were called onto the field countless times in the second half to attend to fatigued and cramping Haitian players. But as it turned out, the visitors had enough in the tank to claim the precious three points.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago substitute Jaydon Prowell (centre) tries to get past Haiti midfielders Obenson Laveille (left) and Jean Danley during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016. Haiti won 2-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago substitute Jaydon Prowell (centre) tries to get past Haiti midfielders Obenson Laveille (left) and Jean Danley during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016.
Haiti won 2-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Earlier, Jamaica flexed their brawn against Bermuda to come away with a handsome 6-2 victory.

Bermuda looked to be getting back in the contest when Rahzir Smith-Jones scored in the 30th minute to halve the deficit at 2-1. But the  young “Reggae Boyz” had other ideas as two more goals before the interval and a stylish free kick by ‘Man of the Match’ Kaheem Parris effectively put the game to bed.

It was then the Tokiya Russell show as the Bermuda substitute tapped into an empty net in the 81st minute before bizarrely heading into his goal in stoppage time to cease the scoring.

In the second game of the evening’s double header, the hosts started brightly enough as attacker Isaiah Hudson and skipper John-Paul Rochford showed off some neat touches. Latapy opted for what looked like a 4-2-1-3 formation with Rochford starting as a left-sided forward in a three-prong attack and Hudson playing behind those three forwards.

“We know offensively John-Paul is a very creative player so we were trying to get him in areas where he could use his offensive abilities to help the team,” said Latapy, at the post-game conference. “And we tried to put three players [Luke Singh, Jodel Brown and Isaiah Hudson] with a little more stature in the middle of the park so we wouldn’t get overrun.”

The Little Magician’s trick nearly came off in the seventh minute as Hudson skilfully evaded his marker and forced a fine save from goalkeeper Redondio Alliance with a wicked left-footed shot from long range.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder John-Paul Rochford (centre) is closed down by the Haiti trio of (from left) Obenson Laveille, Jolicoeur Etienne and Marc Martine during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016. Haiti won 2-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder John-Paul Rochford (centre) is closed down by the Haiti trio of (from left) Obenson Laveille, Jolicoeur Etienne and Marc Martine during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016.
Haiti won 2-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The warning signs were there for all to see at the other end though, as the Trinidad and Tobago defenders never really looked assured passing the ball at the back while their passes generally weren’t brisk enough.

In the 10th minute, Haiti’s Marc Martine inexplicably volleyed over bar from inside the six-yard box after Trinidad and Tobago custodian Emmanuel John failed to hold on to a close range effort.

And, six minutes later, Warriors centre-back Jesse Williams was forced to make a recovery block near his goalmouth after he and his teammates fell asleep during a Haitian set piece.

In truth, Latapy’s charges were second best to most loose balls and they paid a heavy price in the 23rd minute as striker Nael Elysee clinically buried a right-footed shot into the bottom corner after Williams had made a headed clearance.

“I just thought their positional sense was better,” Latapy said. “I think the distances [within the setup of their formation] was a lot better than ours. We seemed to have a lot of big gaps.

“We did a lot of work in this three-four week period I was here trying to correct different things. But a lot of things we worked on needs to be [done through] repetition…”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 coach Russell Latapy (centre) shouts instructions at his players during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016. Haiti won 2-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 coach Russell Latapy (centre) shouts instructions at his players during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016.
Haiti won 2-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Latapy did some tinkering at halftime as he brought in Nickell Orr and Jaydon Prowell for the pair of left-back Brandon Semper and forward Nion Lammy. But the former 2006 World Cup midfield maestro was nearly left cursing in both English and Patois, as some sloppy passing at the back forced John to make a point-blank save from the unlucky Martine, mere seconds after the restart.

The hosts tried to get the lanky Hudson on the ball more often in the second period, and he looked the likeliest figure to make something happen too. On the hour mark, Hudson spotted a run through the middle by Prowell and drilled a pass to the Central FC youth striker, but the latter’s first touch let him down and the half chance escaped.

The young Warriors were gradually building momentum by then and they created sheer pandemonium in the opposing penalty area in the 65th minute, as Haiti were temporarily down to 10 men while a player received medical treatment.

The home team were unable to make the best of that numerical advantage though. And, instead, were punished by opposing skipper Steeve Saint-Duc, who notched his eighth goal in CFU qualifying.

In the 68th minute, the sturdy Saint-Duc got on the wrong side of Williams—after Martine played a hopeful through ball—and there was no chance catching him. The Haitian skipper’s finish was simply exquisite as he lobbed the onrushing John with a stab of his left boot.

Photo: Haiti star Steeve Saint Duc (right) tries to take the ball past Trinidad and Tobago right back Kerdell Sween during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016. Saint Duc scored once as Haiti won 2-0. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Haiti star Steeve Saint Duc (right) tries to take the ball past Trinidad and Tobago right back Kerdell Sween during 2017 Under-17 World Cup qualifying action in Couva on 17 September 2016.
Saint Duc scored once as Haiti won 2-0.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

There was nearly a double for Saint-Duc in the 82nd minute, as he rounded John after racing on to a long ball only to be denied on the goal line by a spectacular block from the retreating Orr.

The hosts kept up the fight until the end and the match officials awarded a mammoth six minutes of stoppage time. But efforts by Rochford and defender Tyrike Andrews went agonisingly wide.

“I’m obviously disappointed, [because] we are playing at home. But the reality of the game is that the better team won tonight,” Latapy said. “You can see why they are defending champions, they are a very organised team. And they made it really difficult for us, they played really well…

“I know that we have good players and tonight we didn’t play to the standard that we could play at. We didn’t play to our potential.”

Latapy, who was announced as the new National Under-17 coach on August 19, oversaw friendly encounters against the likes of National Super League outfit University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) and the Men’s National Under-20 team.

But would the team have been better prepared if they were given some international  warm-up matches?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team coach Russell Latapy (background) looks on at a national training session. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 Team coach Russell Latapy (background) looks on at a national training session.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

“It is difficult to say. I was asked by the Association if we wanted friendly games [and] I didn’t think that we were prepared at the time to play friendly games,” said Latapy. “My decision was to try and work with the team to get them at a level so we would be prepared to play friendly games.

“I think it showed tonight that we weren’t really prepared as Haiti is to play international games…”

There is no time for wound-licking for the young Warriors as they will square off against Bermuda at the Couva venue tomorrow from 6:30pm. Jamaica and Haiti will do battle at 4pm in an appetising top-of-the-table encounter.

Meanwhile, Group B action kicks off today at the Hasely Crawford Stadium with Suriname tackling Guadeloupe from 4pm and Cuba battling Curacao from 6:30pm.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-1-3): 1.Emmanuel John (GK); 2.Kerdell Sween, 4.Tyrike Andrews, 5.Jesse Williams, 6.Brandon Semper (16.Nickel Orr 46); 13.Luke Singh, 8.Jodel Brown; 7.Isaiah Hudson (14.Kishon Hackshaw 69); 11.Tyrese Bailey, 19.Nion Lammy (9.Jaydon Prowell 46), 15.John-Paul Rochford (captain).

Unused Substitutes: 20.Elijah Shade (GK), 3.Keon Boney, 10.Che Benny, 12.Jerrin Jackie, 17.Omar Da Naia, 18.Jonathan Godette.

Coach: Russell Latapy

 

Haiti (4-3-3): 1.Redondio Alliance (GK); 2.Jolicoeur Etienne, 13.Jimmylson Guillaume, 3.Brismax Clerge, 17.Ivenson Basquin; 6.Obenson Laveille (5.Anderson Belus 85), 16.Jean Danley, 11.Steeve Moondestin; 18.Marc Martine (Louidon Casseus 90+5), 9.Nael Elysee (19.Corlens Etienne 65), 10.Steeve Saint-Duc (captain).

Unused Substitutes: 12.Wilder Leonard (GK), 4.Djeftey Joseph, 8.Serge Antony Lucien, 20.Talson Charleus.

Coach: James Morisset

Referee: William Anderson (Puerto Rico)

Man of the Match: Steeve Saint-Duc (Haiti)

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago 2006 World Cup captain and Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (right) gives instructions to National Under-17 midfielder Luke Singh at a training session. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago 2006 World Cup captain and Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (right) gives instructions to National Under-17 midfielder Luke Singh at a training session.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

CFU Men’s Under-17 Group A results

(Friday 16 September)

Bermuda 2 (Rahzir Smith-Jones 30, Tokiya Russell 81), Jamaica 6 (Raewin Senior 5, Kaheem Parris 17, 72, Kendall Edwards 36, Nicque Daley 42, Tokiya Russell [own goal] 90+1) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

Trinidad and Tobago 0, Haiti 2 (Nael Elysee 22, Steeve Saint-Duc 68) at Ato Boldon Stadium.

AboutRoneil Walcott

Roneil Walcott
Roneil Walcott is an avid sports fan and freelance reporter with a BA in Mass Communication from COSTAATT. Roneil is a former Harvard and St Mary's College cricketer who once had lofty aspirations of bringing joy to sport fans with the West Indies team. Now, his mission is to keep them on the edge of their seats with sharp commentary from off the playing field.

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139 comments

  1. I have been successful in this game by playing players in their rightful positions and not over coaching them to where they are 2nd guessing their roles and their abilities,T+T players at this age can compete with any team but selection is critical.

  2. For once, someone who is honest. Honest self-assessment is one of the critical keys to managing performance effectively. I hope this is a sign of change because I have grown tired of T&T officials and fans lying about our mediocre performances. When we lose, I have grown tired of hearing, they did their best and they did us proud. T&T sports need strong and honest management, effective leadership and accountability.

  3. I am wondering what was the selection process. You never really see or hear a call for youth players for national trials. I am not saying that these boys are not talented, but it would be nice to give all youth players a chance and not just those who play for teams with TTFA connections. When there is transparency in the selection process and we finally get a proper developmental program in place and we will see our football excel at all stages.

  4. Hmmm, Kion S Williams that’s a really good point

  5. I wish somebody would tell me why Latas would even want this job? Take control of a side in an out training a month before a tournament, no intl games to prepare and we have Haiti and Jamaica in our group? Why would he expose his already shake managerial career to that kind of risk for an organisation who not even guaranteed to pay him.

  6. well to be fair 2 latas he only got the team about 5 to 6 weeks if so much once again ttfa has 2 take blame for lack of prepartion once again what amazes me is every 2 yrs is cfu and a youth wc which are facts but preparation always begins a few months before each tournament

  7. Well this is what will happen when you replace a longstanding coach with a new one just two weeks before the game. Even little magicians aren’t superhuman.

  8. The centre backs need some work. Chemistry is lacking as well as a fear of passing the ball to the midfield which contributed to a several scares. Singh (with the Valderama hair) is solid but needs to read air balls better and #9 needs to start cuz he brought life into the attack. He has to work a bit on his positioning and transition play but will be a force to be reckoned with. The left back # 16 also did well coming on. Lets get those two wins against Bermuda and Jamaica!

  9. I agree Brian. I think this team has some decent individual quality. Mostly in the attacking end though. But preparation is undoing them. And we will see if Latapy has enough magic as a coach to get them through. Because that’s his job.

  10. Hmm, you said it Praim Harripaul

  11. We need coaches/managers , not great players who feel they can coach. T.I.C. must be from.. before Intercol days

  12. Now I only saw the 2nd half but I could tell Latas wants the team playing the ball out from the back but the players clearly were not comfortable doing so…and based on the performance of the subs Id say he got the selection wrong too…to be fair he is still learning as a young Coach himself….but he took the job and its about RESULTS…I expect we will rout Bermuda but am afraid what will happen when we meet Ja.
    Positives would be Orr his work-rate and passion is phenomenal…he was the one who prevented goal #3 As for #13 he’s an exceĺlent passer and rarely gave the ball away Im reading comments that he didnt fight hard enough when we lost the ball but to me the young man put in a decent shift….also our keeper is faitly good as well…he was not at fault for either goal…but our perennial problem remains…horrible finishing! The big defender had a virtually open goal near the end and as the commentator Gordon? said it was more of a defensive clearance for Haiti than attempt on their goal…I see some potential for the future but this TEAM as a Unit is nowhere near ready…At this point they should aim to beat Bermuda by 5 clear goals preferrably without conceding any.

  13. All the hype was on the coach outside of it we continue to bring in foreign players last minute with out proper preperation.

  14. Can’t fault Latapy for this, he did not know the players and only had 3-4 weeks for preparation. Latapy did not select the squad, they were selected by before he was hired. General thoughts on game day player selection/positioning:

    1. Hackshaw should NEVER be on the bench unless injured.
    2. Singh(Valderrama) is not a midfielder, he is a clinical finisher with both feet who makes good diagnol runs in behind. Knowing the player he looked to be playing the part instructed
    3. Rochford probably needs to be in the middle of the park to create not on the wing
    4. 5 defenders, 10 midfielders and 5 forwards on the roster…not at least 6 defenders?
    5. Hackshaw and Hudson need to be on the pitch at the same time.

    The removal of Elie without proper transition will be the reason we do not qualify for CONCACAF.

    But, I am still unrealistically hopeful for a win against Bermuda and draw with Jamaica for a best 3rd place to reach CONCACAF.

  15. Undoubtedly, the group that was U-17 with Shawn Cooper and U-20 with Derek King is the best bunch of youth players we have had in about six or seven years.
    That’s players like: Levi Garcia, Kadeem Corbin, Shannon Gomez, Akeem Garcia, Aikim Andrews, Ricardo John, Duane Muckette, Neveal Hackshaw, Akeem Humphrey, Martieon Watson, Matthew Woo Ling… A team so good that even Brent Sam couldn’t keep his place.

  16. Here we go again. Good thing I stopped following. Too much heart break

  17. ..That was part of the problem last night and for the life of me I cannot understand why Latapy stuck a player built exactly in his own mold out on the wing in a position and role he does not possess the characteristics for – speed and defensive combativeness. So the most creative player, instead of being played behind the central striker, was a virtual passenger on the flank, while the team lack the least scintilla of creation…

  18. Our U-20 Team beat Haiti two years ago. I forgot that. That was my error…

  19. lasana that’s a problem been going on decades now where coaches pick the 4 or 5 best individual midfielders and force 2 out wide even though their not natural wingers cause he wants those individuals on the field at the same time

  20. Keith, what about reasoning for using Rochford wide? I always find it interesting when coaches favour the completely approach to what worked for them.
    Because Latas certainly was not handicapped by his size in central midfield.
    But then, of course, Latas was a one in a million player. Or maybe one in 20 million…

  21. my academy played against the u17 and they had a few good players hackshaw and jp rochford and judah garcia stood out why judah was dropped baffles me he is a very good center mid with great technique and football instaincts that you can’t coach

  22. hard to be tough on the young fellas but jeez an ages….that fella Singh #13 is a pure waste….never won a header in the middle and watches players go by without a tackle….on the flip side Orr #16 is a boss. he was clearly the most intelligent player in the game last night

  23. Good shout Michael Ian Wansley Lewis

  24. I Agree totally but again he is no noncence and we like Mediocrity in our Sports and Make Pronouncing before Results I will say this to WE EH GOING NO DAME WC With Hart still in Charge..saying this for over 2yrs Now Hockey and Football DKW mix plus he has no control over many of the Players FAVTS

    • I would say the team has made great improvements and showed real promise with Hart’s guidance. So I say he knows what he is doing and needs space to do his job.

    • Absolute bollocks!! …he’s done well with what he has …he faces challenges like any other coach in his position and is working it out.

    • Best coach we’ve had in ages is Hart. He’s brought a professionalism to the team in terms of how we prepare for opponents. Our practice sessions no longer look like a stroll in the park, and the players have bought into his philosophy. Don’t know what some people really seeing, but the man has done a very good job, considering the lack of international friendlies he’s been afforded.

  25. Lack of preparation again…T&T football jus going nowhere as there is no long term planning….we want to prepare a team just days b4 a tournament…no system of development in TT football from under 13’s, uder 15’s , under 17’s, under 19’s etc…no youth development programme in place….yet we feel our football will improve….stop dreaming or hoping it will….put the programmes in place …otherwise…we jus making up nos in all these tornaments…

    • Team had been training and preparing for almost two years with Head Coach Ken Elie. They had players from Tobago, Canada and USA in training. Coaching change happened less than 2 months before the tournament, giving Latapy 4 weeks to prepare.

  26. Smh, I’ll say it now and I’ll say it again, the best development coach in the country presently (Terry Fenwick) who have been living in Trinidad over 16yrs, is married and have a baby recently to a Trinidadian woman. He’s probably closer to all of our past and present professional players that have been representing our country between the past 10-12 years and is the only coach on the island to have an UEFA (A) license badge, equivalent to Barclays Premier League coaches qualification and up to now haven’t gotten a chance to coach from the National U15 – Senior team, smh. He’s the only coach to win the TT pro League with two (2) different clubs (CENTRAL FC & SAN JUAN JABLOTEH) and we ignore that. Lord be with us.

  27. Apart from technical deficiencies in our squad, the article sums it up perfectly with this excerpt: “…they ar fast, strong, aggressive and usually play at a very high tempo…”

  28. Keith, the official breakdown for seating is: 3,000 covered. wings 800 + 800. uncovered 5,400.
    How many do you feel we had? I think 1,200 is too small personally.

  29. That sounded inaccurate to me keith i was like burrr when i heard the announcement

    • The number 13 and number 8 were the only two players who looked assured on the ball…Rochford is not a winger, he isn’t an asset to this team out wide. Ive seen this team play for the better part of a year under Ken Ellie and they always struggled to move the ball confidently. They met a Haitian team that had a very distinct game plan which involved playing the ball consistently behind the T&T back 4. In reality the score could have been 4 or 5 in favor of Haiti. Locally, at youth level, we are struggling to produce players who are very good coming out of the back in possession. If you’re defenders cannot pass the ball consistently under pressure then “is best you kick it long….”

    • I agree with you Anthony. And we take kicking it long as comfort until that inability hurts us

  30. ..The official attendance was announced as 1200 odd..

  31. By my guess, we had about 2,500 fans at the Ato Boldon Stadium last night. I’m not sure if more people would have attended if it was in Port of Spain.
    That crowd would have looked like a pittance in POS though.

  32. So the choice of home venue is really the least of our problems?

  33. Haiti has been beating Trinidad and Tobago consistently for years now eh. We accept that Jamaica are number one in the Caribbean… But are we really number two? Or are we a bit lower down the table than that?

  34. If Hackshaw is healthy, he needs to play. One of the most versatile youth players we have in my opinion.

  35. Hope they have better luck in their next game and I pray they are match fit.

  36. Honestly we were outplayed and out hustled in every department. We got what we deserved from a performance like that. I wish them the best against Bermuda and Jamaica

  37. So what’s our excuse? Just rely on Latapy’s name to get us there? Plus look what Haiti accomplished under dire circumstances. Our mind set is party as evidenced by the three senior players who broke curfew to go on a boat cruise three days before a crucial game. Some example they set for the younger players.

  38. ..This team fell victim, not to “Haitian voodoo”, but to administrative bungling, poor coaching, and just too much politics and every level. And I don’t want to hear about “kids learning the game”Lasana. The Haitians are the same age and thoroughly beat us. I expect selection changes for the next match but God alone knows if that will help..

  39. Latapy is not a coach !!!…he failed at national team job

  40. Top report by the way Roneil! And nice shots Chevaughn. 😉

  41. That number 13 was so casual in that game…no hustle….doesn’t rochford play centre mid? He seemed up for the fight but we were losing d midfield battle. Was d #7 Hudson? Lasana Liburd Vachel ‘tallo’ Thompson

  42. You can argue for and against I guess. Stephen Hart had the same amount of time before the 2013 Gold Cup when he just took over. And he took team to quarterfinals.
    On the flip side, Hart might have inherited a stronger team. And the senior squad then is made of full pros as opposed to kids who are still learning the game.
    So I won’t say that argument is conclusive… Although it shouldn’t be a debate really. Latapy has his job to do and Hart has his. I hope!

    • I don’t gough we had magic.

      Good coaches teach organisation,structure shape in all parts of the field with the resources they have in the time they have. At least in international football that is priority.
      All may have knowledge and experience but do they have the skills to transfer to others?

  43. hope this puts a wrap on that Latas for the big team talk.