TRINIDAD and Tobago’s Under 20 footballers defeated El Salvador 2-1 yesterday but it was still not enough to qualify for the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Championships being held in Costa Rica.
The young Trinis, playing with their backs against the wall and needing victory to have a chance to qualify, took a 47th minute lead when skipper Jabari Mitchell took a pass near the edge of the penalty area, dribbled past one defender and smashed a left-footed shot past the El Salvador goalkeeper.
But a goal by the El Salvadorans temporarily dampened the T&T boys spirits.
They however rejuvenated themselves and Kathon St Hillaire was sent through the El Salvador defence in the 72nd and he drilled a first time right footer past the ‘keeper.
Despite their victory which put them on four points, T&T were made to wait on the result of the game between hosts Costa Rica and Bermuda.
A draw or a win for Bermuda would have sent T&T through along with El Salvador (six points) who topped the group. But Costa Rica, who found themselves trailing 0-1 early in the first half, drew level before the break and got the go-ahead goal after the interval to squeak through 2-1.
T&T drew their opening game with Bermuda 1-1 before losing 1-0 to Costa Rica on Thursday.
“This was by far our most positive game and result in the tournament so far and I am very pleased for the entire squad. They worked very hard for it and they went into this match with the right mindset and it showed out there on the pitch. They gave everything and got the just reward with the victory,” Head coach Brian Williams told TTFA Media.
“Now it’s for us to see if Bermuda can put on a strong performance and cause the upset against Costa Rica in the second match,” he added after T&T’s match.
Group C Results
Trinidad and Tobago 2 (Jabari Mitchell 46, Kathon St Hillaire 71) v El Salvador 1 (Jose Contreras 49).
Costa Rica 2 (Tehvan Tyrell 43 Own-Goal, Randall Leal 50) v Bermuda 1 (Oneko Lowe 26).
El Salvador vs Trinidad & Tobago Highlights
Trinidad and Tobago: 20.Montel Joseph; 2.Isaiah Garcia, 5.Taryk Sampson, 4.Shane Sandy, 3.Kori Cupid; 8.Kierron Mason (11.Noah Powder 68th), 13.Micah Lansiquot; 16.Rushawn Murphy (7.Morgan Bruce De Rouche 79th), 10.Jabari Mitchell (capt), 14.Josh Toussaint (15.Kathon St Hillaire 71st); 9.Nicholas Dillon.
Unused substitutes: 1.Denzil Smith (GK), 6.Simeon Bailey, 12.Joshua Sitney, 17.Stephon Marcano, 18.Joshua Leach, 19.Taofik Lucas Walker.
Coach: Brian Williams
El Salvador: 18.Alan Carrillo; 2.Oscar Menjivar (19.Josue Rivera 73rd), 3.Roberto Dominguez (capt), 4.Ronald Gomez; 16.Diego Chavez, 6.Diego Cartagena, 17.Walter Ayala, 20.Amilcar Bermudez; 11.Jonathan Aguilar (14.Marcos Rodriguez 14th [8.Hector Quinteros 62nd]), 10.Marvin Marquez, 12.Jose Contreras.
Unused substitutes: 1.Mario Gonzales (GK), 5.Josue Santos, 7.Kevin Reyes, 9.Brayan Paz, 13.Fernando Castillo, 15.Denilson Vidal.
Coach: Eduardo Lara.
P W D L F A Pts
El Salvador 3 2 0 1 5 3 6
Costa Rica 3 2 0 1 3 2 6
Trinidad and Tobago 3 1 1 1 3 3 4
Bermuda 3 0 1 2 3 6 1
Jabari and Kathon strike in win over El Salvador; but T&T out after C/Rica triumph.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).
The Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team managed their first win of the 2017 CONCACAF Championships today with a 2-1 triumph over El Salvador at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose.
But it was not enough to stave off elimination from the Korea Republic 2017 Under-20 World Cup qualifying series, as hosts Costa Rica advanced at their expense with a 2-1 win over Bermuda in the later outing.
El Salvador, who qualified on Wednesday after successive wins over Costa Rica and Bermuda, are the other nation that goes through from Group C.
The result means that, with just six teams eliminated from the CONCACAF group stage, all five Caribbean nations—Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Bermuda and the two island republic—were sent home. North American outfit, Canada, join them in the departure lounge.
An opening draw against Bermuda put coach Brian Williams’ troops in trouble from day one and they were as good as gone after a 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in midweek.
Today, Trinidad and Tobago needed to beat group leaders El Salvador and hope that table proppers, Bermuda, managed an unlikely upset over the host nation.
El Salvador coach Eduardo Lara made things a bit easier for the boys in red, white and black strip as he made six changes to his squad in an effort to preserve legs for the second round.
Despite their weakened team, El Salvador created the better chances for much of the first half as attacker Jose Contreras rapped the bar with a wicked 30 yard free kick in the 28th minute. And Trinidad and Tobago defender Shane Sandy showed his alertness to keep out a goal bound stab from opposing captain Roberto Dominguez, after goalkeeper Montel Joseph dropped an El Salvador corner kick.
El Salvador had another decent scoring chance in the 35th minute, as central Taryk Sampson allowed Contreras to slip away from him, only for recovering Trinidad and Tobago right back Isaiah Garcia to pressure the attacker into a wayward header.
The Caribbean team got their first clear sight of goal in the 40th minute and, from inside the opposing six yard box, captain Jabari Mitchell opted to pass off responsibility to striker Nicholas Dillon who was quickly closed down.
Mitchell atoned in fine style though, just two minutes into the second half, as he glided past El Salvador defender Oscar Menjivar with a feint before driving a sweet left footer into the far corner to put the young Soca Warriors ahead.
The lead lasted just three minutes before the ever-dangerous Contreras—in his first start of the competition—equalised as he ran clear through the centre, with the opposing defence in disarray, to prod home.
Williams had a trick up his sleeve, though, as he introduced wingers Noel Powder and Kathon St Hillaire off the bench after both started in the two earlier group matches.
And, within 30 seconds of his introduction, St Hillaire was beating his chest as he ran on to a threaded pass from Micah Lansiquot and buried past opposing goalkeeper Alan Carrillo. It was his second goal of the tournament and Trinidad and Tobago’s third.
It might have gotten better still if Powder was able to get on the end of squared passes from St Hillaire or Dillon in the final 10 minutes. But the young Warriors held on for a 2-1 result.
In the end, it was no more than a consolation for Trinidad and Tobago though, as Costa Rica eliminated two Caribbean nations with one result as they came from behind to edge Bermuda 2-1.