Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team striker Nicholas Dillon grabbed a hattrick this evening as the young Soca Warriors cruised to an emphatic 4-0 win over St Lucia in Caribbean Cup action at the Ergilio Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curaçao.
Versatile United States-based full back, Noah Powder, got the other goal for the Trinidad and Tobago team, which scored their opening item in the fifth minute of play and did not give up so much as a corner kick until 14 minutes from time.
The Under-20 outfit now have four points from two Group B outings, after a goalless draw with Cuba on Saturday night, and are well placed to advance. The top two teams progress automatically to the Caribbean Cup semifinals and the CONCACAF qualifying round. However, the third placed team still has a chance of getting to the CONCACAF leg.
Haiti lead the group at present after whipping St Lucia 5-1 on Saturday and edging Cuba 2-1 tonight.
Coach Brian Williams’ national youth team is unbeaten so far, after five qualifying games, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw with St Lucia when the two teams met in Couva this June.
Revenge was sweet in Curaçao, though, as Williams’ team edged closer to a CONCACAF spot, which eluded the National Under-17 Team last month. Once the young Warriors avoid a heavy loss to Haiti on Wednesday night, they are guaranteed of advancing to the CONCACAF Championship with Group A likely to have three qualifying spots due to the heavy results against St Lucia.
“I was pleased with respect to how the boys settled early and took control of the game,” Williams told the TTFA Media. “They went out there knowing that it would be up to them to make the game their own and the early goal from Dillon helped. We were up 2-0 at half time but we all know a 2-0 lead is a dangerous one to have it’s critical that you get that third goal and don’t give the team any hope of coming back into the match.
“We got that [third] goal at a critical time in the match and then went on to finish them off. This was a pleasing display for us and now we have to focus on putting down a strong, positive performance on Wednesday against the Haitians so that we can go through to the next phase.”
Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Denzil Smith (GK), 3.Kori Cupid, 2.Andrew Rullow (19.Morgan Bruce 60), 5.Taryk Sampson, 6.Noah Powder, 11.Kareem Riley, 12.Shane Sandy, 7. Isaiah Hudson (15.Kathon St Hillaire 66), 10.Jabari Mitchell (16.Micah Lansiquot 79), 17. Keston Julien, 9. Nicholas Dillon.
Unused substitutes: 20.Jabari Brice (GK), 8.Jarred Dass, 13.Isaiah Garcia, 14.Taofik Lucas-Walker, 18.Josh Toussaint.
Injured: 4.Kierron Mason.
Coach: Brian Williams
Under-20 Caribbean Cup
(Saturday 22 October)
Haiti 5 (Raberto Louima 6, Ronaldo Damus 23, 83, 86, Kenley Dede 78), St Lucia 1 (Keeroy Lionel 80) at Willemsted, Curaçao;
Trinidad and Tobago 0, Cuba 0 at Willemsted, Curaçao;
(Monday 24 October)
Trinidad and Tobago 4 (Nicholas Dillon 5, 28, 70, Noah Power 65), St Lucia 0 at Willemsted, Curaçao;
Haiti 2 (Jimmy Shammer Shannon 6, Joel Desire 80), Cuba 1 (Lazano Tuero 68) at Willemsted, Curaçao;
(Wednesday 26 October)
Cuba vs St Lucia, 5pm, Willemsted, Curaçao;
Trinidad and Tobago v Haiti, 7.30pm, Willemsted, Curaçao;
(Friday 21 October)
Bermuda 3 (Knory Scott 26, Tevahn Tyrell 30, 37), St Kitts and Nevis 1 (Tahir Hanley 17) at Willemsted, Curaçao;
Curaçao 0, Antigua and Barbuda 1 (Javorn Stevens 86) at Willemsted, Curaçao;
(Sunday 23 October)
Antigua and Barbuda 2 (Javorn Stevens 23, Luther Wildin 86), St Kitts and Nevis 2 (Delano Hodge 9, Tahir Hanley 48) at Willemsted, Curaçao;
Curaçao 1 (Leery Schores 32), Bermuda 1 (Tevaghn Tyrell 79) at Willemsted, Curaçao;
(Tuesday 25 October)
Antigua and Barbuda v Bermuda, 5pm, Willemsted, Curaçao;
Curaçao v St Kitts and Nevis, 7.30pm, Willemsted, Curaçao.