LESTON PAUL reckons that the current national Under-20 football team has many more talented players than the one he captained to two FIFA Youth World Cups, but he cautions that they need to become a strongly-knit team.
Paul was captain of the Trinidad and Tobago teams at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 and 2009 FIFA Under-20 tournaments, which included Kevin Molino, Daneil Cyrus, Marcus Joseph, Jamal Gay, Khaleem Hyland, Robert Primus, Jake Thomson among others.
“I played with them actually in Tobago, for the game against Guadeloupe. I think they are a great bunch of guys,” Paul said of the current Young Warriors.
Twenty-four year-old Paul and 29 year-old senior national goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams lined up with the youngsters for a friendly international which ended 1-1 at the Guadeloupe senior national team on September 6.
“I think the team has better individuals than our team actually,” Paul added. “But, the only thing is that they need to gell as a team.”
Paul said that if the footballers in the current team adapt their individual talent into a team framework, there is no reason why they cannot emulate his squad and qualify for a World Cup.
“As young guys it’s hard (because) everyone is trying to be the superstar in the team. But I think its about being a team and putting in the hard work. Being a team is the main goal to get the result,” he said.
Haiti-T&T Caribbean final today.
By Ian Prescott (Express).
The final of the 2014 Caribbean Under-20 Championship will be decided tonight, when hosts Trinidad and Tobago meet Haiti from 7.15 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Also to be decided is the third-placed playoff, where Cuba will play Aruba from five o’clock for third spot.
T&T reached the final on Tuesday night, when a 1-1 draw with Cuba put them top of Group A. The Young Warriors had also beaten Suriname (2-1) and Curacao (4-0) earlier. Meanwhile, Haiti beat Aruba and Dominican Republic by 2-1 margins before ending Group B unbeaten when defeating St Kitts-Nevis (SKN) 5-2 on Wednesday night at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
The Haitians’ latest victory over St Kitts-Nevis was not as straight forward as the score suggested. St Kitts-Nevis (SKN) coach George Issac made the catastrophic error of resting several starters and giving the others, including a new goalkeeper Ian Best, a run in their final match of the tournament.
Consequently St Kitts-Nevis were run over in the first half, before getting two second half goals.
The match was over after half hour, with Haiti up by four goals and in total control.
Cherenfant Woodensky scored from atop the penalty area after uncertain handling by the SKN goalie Best and Monpremier Fredlin slid the ball past the advancing custodian as Haiti led 2-0 within 10 minutes.
Desire Jonel curled the ball to the far post for a third in the 16th minute, and Woodensky collected his second in the 27th minute when walking the ball into the penalty area and stroking a low shot into the goal in the fourth minute.
Haiti also struck the post and had two goals disallowed before Jonel got his second by adding a fifth Haitian goal on the stoke of halftime, with another low shot, after shrugging off SKN defender Hasani Flemming.
But, similar to their 2-1 victory over Aruba, the Haitians wilted in the second half, where St Kitts-Nevis gathered composure and looked more like the team which had been very competitive despite two earlier defeats.
Striker Carlos Bertie got St Kitts-Nevis two goals within 20 minutes of the second half, the first a penalty, and later he headed past Haitian keeper Sanon Steve after a lofted ball had bounced past a defender.
And when they had St Jean Sandino sent off in the 76th minute, Haiti went into a defensive shell, ensuring they conceded no more goals. Admission:$60. Children 12 & under free.
2014 CFU UNDER-20 MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES:
3RD PLACE PLAYOFF - Cuba v Aruba, 5p.m., Hasely Crawford Stadium
FINAL - Haiti v St Kitts-Nevis, 7.15p.m., Hasely Crawford Stadium
CONCACAF U20 CHAMPIONS STANDINGS:
TEAMS P W D L F A GD PTS
T&T 3 2 1 0 7 2 +5 7
CUBA 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
SURINAME 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 3
CURACAO 3 1 0 2 3 7 -2 3
TEAMS P W D L F A GD PTS
HAITI 3 3 0 0 8 3 +5 9
ARUBA 3 2 0 1 5 4 -1 6
D/REPUBLIC 2 1 0 2 4 5 0 3
ST KITTS-NEVIS 3 0 0 3 4 9 -5 0