Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 men secured a point after playing to a 1-1 draw with Bermuda in their opening match of the CONCACAF Under 20 Men’s Championship in at the Ricardo Saprissa Stadium in Costa Rica today.
T&T went ahead in the 22nd minute when Kathon St Hillaire shot home following a clever assist by Nicholas Dillon but Bermuda grabbed an equaliser in the 69th minute through Oneko Lowe.
El Salvador stunned hosts Costa Rica in the other group game later today with Roberto Dominguez snatching a 65th minute winner.
T&T would be thinking that the three points was theirs for the taking after creating the better openings of the two teams. Skipper Jabari Mitchell had two decent chances but couldn’t find the target. First he saw a failed volley attempt and then a decent crack from a free kick which clipped the crossbar.
After the match head coach Brian Williams didn’t hide his disappointment with his team being unable to take three points from their opening fixture.
“We came into the match with a lot of expectations of taking the three points but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way for us today. What this means it we have made things harder for us and after the game we had a chat and the players realise that. It is important they know that going into the next two games,” Williams told TTFA Media.
“But I cannot fault the players for a lack of effort and hard work. I thought they gave that in the game but unfortunately it didn’t bring us the result we would have all liked. Now we will recover from this and approach the next game with a strong sense of belief that we can get the job done.” Williams added.
T&T faces host nation Costa Rica on Wednesday.
Trinidad and Tobago: 20.Montel Joseph; 2.Isaiah Garcia (Yellow 82), 3.Kori Cupid, 4.Shane Sandy, 5.Taryk Sampson, 8.Kierron Mason; 11.Noah Powder; 13.Micah Lansiquot (19.Taofik Lucas Walker 81st), 10.Jabari Mitchell (capt), 15.Kathon St Hillaire; 9.Nicholas Dillon (14.Josh Toussaint 62nd).
Subs not used – 1.Denzil Smith (GK), 6.Simeon Bailey, 7.Morgan Bruce De Rouche, 12.Joshua Sitney, 16.Rushawn Murphy, 17.Stephon Marcano, 18.Joshua Leach.
Coach: Brian Williams.
Bermuda: 12.Detre Bell; 15.Mikiel Thomas (Yellow 42), 5.Tahzeiko Harris (Yellow 79) (19.Knory Scott 80th), 18.Zenawi Bowen (14.Paul Douglas 51st), 9.Liam Evans (capt), 16.Jahnazae Swan, 20.Kacy Butterfield, 3.David Jones, 10.Osagi Bascome, 7.Oneko Lowe, 9.Tehvan Tyrell (17.Jaz Ratteray Smith 66th).
Coach: Kyle Lightbourne.
U-20 Men 2017: Bermuda vs Trinidad & Tobago Highlights.
U-20 2017: Bermuda vs Trinidad & Tobago Interviews
St Hillaire strikes early but T&T U-20s held 1-1 by Bermuda; Costa Rica are next
The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team stumbled at the first CONCACAF hurdle today, as they were held 1-1 by Bermuda in 2017 Under-20 World Cup qualifying action at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Juan de Tibás in Costa Rica.
Kathon St Hillaire, a St Ann’s Rangers winger and St Anthony’s College student, opened the scoring for Trinidad and Tobago in the 23rd minute, after a clever assist by striker Nicholas Dillon.
But the teenaged Soca Warriors failed to build on that platform and paid the price in the 69th minute when giant goalkeeper Montel Joseph was second to a long ball and Bermudan substitute Jaz Smith rounded him and squeezed the ball past opposing defender Shane Sandy for Oneko Lowe to tap home.
It was Bermuda’s only shot on target for the game.
Warriors captain Jabari Mitchell muffed one attempted volley from inside the area and then clipped the bar with a delicious free kick that dipped and swerved in the 81st minute. But Trinidad and Tobago could not get the three points at stake.
Coach Brian Williams’ troops now need at least one win from their remaining two fixtures against hosts Costa Rica and El Salvador—on 22 and 25 February respectively—to have any chance of advancing to the final qualifying round.
El Salvador stunned Costa Rica 1-0 in this evening’s second Group C affair, as the hosts ended with 10 players following the late ejection of defender Esteban Gonzales in a fiery contest.
Trinidad and Tobago’s outing against with Bermuda was much more tranquil. It was the second meeting of the two Caribbean nations in the past four months, after they squared off in the CFU third place contest in Curaçao.
The boys from the two island republic lost 2-1 then, although Williams had rested Dillon and then first choice goalkeeper Denzil Smith.
There was more at stake today and Williams’ troops were marginally better. But not by enough against a nation long considered Caribbean minnows.
Although Trinidad and Tobago had five shots on target to one from Bermuda, the possession was almost dead even with the Warriors shading it with 51 percent.
And, despite a wicked late Mitchell free kick that struck the intersection of the bar and post, T&T could not pull off a win.
For the second successive competition, Williams might be worried too about the health of his star striker, Dillon, who hobbled off in the 62nd minute and was replaced by Josh Toussaint. Dillon was signed by Belgium second division team, K.Patro Maasmechelen, just before he joined his national teammates in Costa Rica.
Trinidad and Tobago’s next outing should be a searching examination of their World Cup ambitions as they face Costa Rica from 9pm at the Estadio Nacional on Wednesday 22 February.