The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team finished their Concacaf campaign on a winning note this afternoon, as they downed the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) 3-0 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The young Soca Warriors had no chance of advancing from their group and return home on Monday, after ending in fourth place on the six team Group A standings. They trail leaders United States by three points and are behind Suriname and Puerto Rico on goal difference, while St Vincent and the Grenadines and USVI are fifth and sixth respectively.
USA and Suriname close off the group tonight with the host nation heavily favoured to secure their fifth straight win.
USVI conceded 37 goals in their first four matches and Trinidad and Tobago coach Russell Latapy selected his most attack-minded midfield combination to date, as Portugal-based playmaker Che Benny got his first start alongside Judah Garcia, John-Paul Rochford, Kishon Hackshaw and Nickel Orr.
Within seconds of the opening whistle, the Warriors were ahead, as Orr drove past hapless USVI custodian Connor Querrard off a Benny throughball. But the expected avalanche of goals never materialised.
It was still 1-0 at halftime and Latapy replaced Orr with forward Isaiah Lee, who already has three goals in the competition and is expected to make his senior international debut next Thursday away to Iran.
Lee made it four goals from five appearances—despite just one start—in the 77th minute with a tap in from a Rochford freekick. And Trinidad and Tobago’s third goal came from a speculative Benny attempt in stoppage time, which Querrard farcically fumbled over his own goal line.
It was, arguably, scant reward for the Warriors who enjoyed 61 percent possession and outshot USVI by 23 attempts to eight.
Trinidad and Tobago: 20.Jabari Brice (GK); 18.Kerdell Sween, 5.Justin Homer (7.Mark Ramdeen 74), 2.Mikel Mieres (8.Jabarry Francis 57), 17.Matthew Beal, 10.Judah Garcia, 15.John-Paul Rochford, 12.Kishon Hackshaw, 11.Che Benny, 13.Nickel Orr (6.Isaiah Lee 46), 9.Jaydon Prowell.
Unused substitutes: 1.Denzil Smith (GK), 3.Derron John, 4.Jerrin Jackie, 14.Ethan Bonaparte, 16.Luke Singh, 19.Shaqkeem Joseph.
Coach: Russell Latapy