Trinidad and Tobago men’s Under 17 team will look for a second win today when they take on Curacao in their Caribbean Football Union group qualifier in St Lucia.
The junior Soca Warriors won 2-0 over Grenada in their opening match on Wednesday night at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia.
St Ann’s Rangers midfielder Tekay Hoyce and San Juan Jabloteh’s Dareem Daniel scoring on either side of halftime. T&T will end the competition on Sunday against host St Lucia.
The group is being contested by T&T, Grenada, Curacao and host St Lucia. The group winners along with the top two second placed teams from the four preliminary groups will advance to the Caribbean final round in Haiti in September. The CONCACAF Finals takes place in San Pedro Sula, Honduras in February leading up to the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Chile.
The T&T team is coached by Shawn Cooper. Captained by W Connection midfielder Kareem Riley, the national team includes eight other Connection players, five from San Juan Jabloteh, four from St Ann’s Rangers with the others coming from Santa Rosa FC and Point Fortin Civic Centre.
T&T got off the mark quickly through a goal by centre back Hoyce in the fourth minute. Hoyce slotted home from a left side corner.
T&T maintained their advantage through to half time but could not pull further away as the match progressed after the break. But San Juan Jabloteh forward Dareem Daniel would make sure of the three points for T&T with a strike in the 65th minute.
Cooper later admitted his team did not take control of the match but he was nevertheless pleased with an opening victory.
“We played well below our full potential,” Cooper told TTFA Media after the match.
“The boys took too long to adjust to the pitch which was fast being a cricket surface. We tried to play to fast although being on top early which resulted in some erroneous passing . We looked the better team once we started taking the extra touch. But too many times we tried to play one touch and never really looked like the team with the lead.
W Connection and St Benedict’s College forward Anthony Herbert was a standout for T&T on the evening. T&T lost its captain Kareem Riley through injury and he has to be replaced by Nate Brooks
“Anthony Herbert played out of his skin and was easily the man of the match. We’ll try to settle down a lot earlier in the next match. The positives for us were the goals came straight out of the training pitch,” Cooper added.
T&T will face Curacao today from 6 p.m. at Beausejour, while St Lucia battle Grenada from 8 p.m.