The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team remain unbeaten after four competitive matches under head coach Brian Williams. But their mission of advancing from their Caribbean Cup group got marginally more difficult tonight after a goalless draw with Cuba at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curaçao.
Haiti top Group B at present after whipping St Lucia 5-1 and the young Soca Warriors will need all three points when the face the St Lucians on Monday night at the same venue.
St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago met in an earlier qualifying round at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, which finished with a 1-1 tie. Trinidad and Tobago meet Haiti in their final Group B encounter on Wednesday 26 October.
“I think this was a good start for us,” Williams told the TTFA Media. “It was a difficult game, very physical and well contested by both sides but our boys handled it very well. We knew it was going to be tough heading into the match and I think Cuba also had to put in a decent shift on the evening.
“The first half was pretty balanced. We had one good chance and Cuba also had a chance on goal after a defensive blunder on our part.
“We had three second half substitutes, Jarred Dass, Kathon St Hillaire and Kori Cupid all coming on and making a good contribution. There’s always room for improvement and we are still growing as a unit.”
The top two teams advance to the Caribbean semifinals and progress automatically to the CONCACAF round of 2017 Under-20 World Cup qualifying competition. The best third place team from the two groups can still squeeze into the CONCACAF round.
Trinidad and Tobago advanced unbeaten to this stage after wins over Guadeloupe and Turks and Caicos and a draw with St Lucia during the Caribbean qualifying rounds in Couva.
Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Denzil Smith (GK), 13.Isaiah Garcia (3.Kori Cupid), 5.Taryk Sampson, 6.Noah Powder (8.Jarred Dass), 17.Keston Julien, 11.Kareem Riley, 12.Shane Sandy, 7.Isaiah Hudson, 10.Jabari Mitchell (captain), 14.Taofik Lucas-Walker (15.Kathon St Hillaire), 9.Nicholas Dillon.
Unused substitutes: 20.Jabari Brice (GK), 2.Andrew Rullow, 4.Kierron Mason, 16.Micah Lansiquot, 18.Josh Toussaint, 19.Morgan Bruce.
Coach: Brian Williams