Vesprey bites the hand, as T&T U-17s edge Jamaica 1-0 in Kingston

Jamaica-based attacker Akel Vesprey got the decisive goal against the nation he now calls home today, as he steered Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Under-17 Team to a 1-0 win away to the young “Reggae Boyz”.

Vesprey got a last gasp winner for the Soca Warriors who prevailed, despite spending long periods of play on the backfoot at the Jamaica Football Federation’s Technical Centre in Kingston.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Akel Vesprey (left) tries to keep the ball from Jamaica midfielder Duwayne Burgher during under-15 international friendly action at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on 25 July 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Coach Shawn Cooper travelled without several of his more experienced players, such as midfield playmaker Cayden Trestail, utility player Criston Gomez, defender Sheridan McNish and goalkeeper Makaya Taylor.

And he gave four teenagers their first international starts this evening: defenders Antonio Hills, Jimally Renne and Jaydon Caprietta, and midfielder Alejandro Harper.

Flanker Dimitre Jones and midfielders Adasa Richardson and Antuan Louison also wore national colours for the first time, as they saw action off the substitutes’ bench.

Richardson, a Naparima College student and Cox Coaching School player, is just 13-years-old and is expected to represent Trinidad and Tobago in the 2024 Concacaf Under-15 Championship, which kicks off in August.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Riquelme Phillips (centre) tries to hold off Jamaica opponent Kai Myles (right) during under-15 international friendly action at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on 25 July 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

It was the more seasoned Vesprey who decided the match, though.

In the final minute of regulation time, the Jamaica defence failed to clear a corner kick from Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Seth Hadeed. And Vesprey was on spot to lash the loose ball past the opposing goalkeeper.

The former St Benedict’s College flanker moved to Jamaica earlier this year to represent Munro College. And he punished the local team to help Trinidad and Tobago get their tour off on a positive start.

The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-17 team pose in Jamaica on 3 May 2024.

The two nations meet again from 10am on Sunday in their second and final friendly, while Trinidad and Tobago are due to meet an unspecified club team on Tuesday.

(Squad)

Trinidad and Tobago (5-4-1): 1.Mikhail Clement (GK); 2.Jeremiah Daniel, 3.Salim Soanes (Keston Richards), 6.Jimally Renne, 4.Antonio Hills (15.Dimitre Jones), 5.Jaydon Caprietta; 7.Jasai Theophilus (18.Antuan Louison), 10.Nikosi Foncette (captain), 8.Alejandro Harper (23.Seth Hadeed), 11.Riquelme Phillips (20.Akel Vesprey); 9.Jonathan Mason (16.Adasa Richardson).

Unused substitutes: 21.Necose Moore (GK), 19.Eran Mc Leod, 17.Kyron Baptiste, 12.Jayden Christophe, 14.Josiah Simmons.

Coach: Shawn Cooper

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