Trinidad and Tobago's Under 20 footballers scored a resounding 6-2 win over a US-College based T&T team in Thursday's training match at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
An opening goal by Cordelle Samuel and a penalty by skipper Radanjah Abu Bakr left T&T ahead 2-1 at the break with Nigel Daniel's curling free kick away from goalkeeper Thorne Holder pulling one back for the College XI.
But T&T pulled away from their opponents in the second half with some persistant pressure and composed football. A double strike by Abiola Sandy, one a brilliant strike past goalie Allan Crane after beating his man on the left of the box, another by powerfully-built striker Kevin Crooks and one by Devon Maxwell did the job for the Anton Corneal coached team.
Some of the players in the College-based team included senior team striker Scott Sealy, former St Anthony's College midfielder Keeron Benito who pulled back a second half goal, Kurt Borel, former Princes Town Senior Comprehensive striker Dean Logan, ex-Naparima College defender Fabien Lewis and fellow teammate Atiba McKnight, ex-QRC player Sterling Rivers, former St Mary's College midfielder Brendon Barry and former Naparima College skipper Leon Brown among a host of others.
Nigel Daniel of San Juan Jabloteh appeared as a guest player. English-born goalie Andre Charles kept goal for T&T in the second half, also making an appearance in the second half for T&T was US-based defender Kareem Smith, who was born in the United States, has been previously attached to the Under-14 and Under-16 United States teams, but he is now trying to claim a spot here having joined the rest of T&T players in training last week. His father Carl Smith is a past Trinidad and Tobago footballer attached to the Midvale Club. The dreadlocks player is also a member of the University of South Florida team.
The win for the Under-20s was their third straight against local teams in 10 days. Today, the team will hold its final practice session on the Queen’s Park Savannah from 9.30 am before breaking camp at noon.
The players will resume training on Monday, after which the final 18-man squad for the USA will be named, before they depart on January 8 for California. England-born striker Ricky Shakes of Bolton Wanderers will join the team in California three days prior to the opening match against United States on January 12.
In the qualifying series, scheduled from January 12 to 16 in the USA, T&T will meet the host team (January 14), Costa Rica (January 16) and Panama, two days later.
Group “B” of the CONCACAF series in Honduras from January 26 to 30 will involve Mexico, Canada, Jamaica and host side Honduras, and will be played at the Francisco Marazan Stadium.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships finals in the Netherlands from June 10 to July 2.