In what was described as an even encounter at the Estadio Cachamay Stadium in Venezuela, Cameroon and Trinidad and Tobago played to a 2-2 draw.
T&T were leading at the half through Jabloteh's talented striker Jerrel Britto who scored on the stroke of half-time, however, on the resumption Mounngue Otelle scored a penalty in the 58th minute and then Nsi Amdugou got the go-ahead goal as the Africans took the lead 2-1.
Kenaz Williams had the final say though. The Joe Public midfielder scored a well taken free-kick in the 84th minute to earn the young Warrior a well deserved tie.
The group leaders are Venezuela and Panama, with six points each, face each other on Sunday. Ecuador is third with three points, followed by Trinidad & Tobago and Cameroon with one each and Nicaragua who is yet to earn a point.
The hexagonal competition is being played in the city of Port Ordaz for the purpose of preparation for the Under 20 World Cup which will be staged in Colombia next year.
T&T Line-Up: - 21.Jamaal Francois, 5.Akeem Adams, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 3.Reshad Wint, 12.Akil Clarke, 2.Dinell Lopez, 14.Jerron Quashie, 10.Jerrel Britto, 18.Ross Russell Jr., 9.Johan Peltier, 17.Marcus Joseph.
Subs From: - 22.John Thomas, 6.Joshua Bachan, 15.Dwight Ceballo, 19.Donelly Gopicharan, Brandon Simpson, Kenaz Williams, Kevin Raymond, Jerron Morris, Stephen Kerr, Vernell Ramirez.
Williams 84th minute item gives U-20s draw with Cameroon.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago's Under 20 footballers got a late equalizer from to secure a 2-2 draw with Cameroon in their second outing of the Invitational Bolivar Cup at the Cachamay Stadium in Puerto Ordaz on Friday night.
Having lost 2-1 to Panama last Wednesday, T&T pulled out the early stops and led their African opponents 1-0 at half time through a goal by Jabloteh striker Jerrel Britto in the 45th minute.
A long clearance from goalkeeper Jamaal Francois was flicked on by Dinell Lopez on to Jeron Quashie. He in turn beat two defenders before picking out Britto and the striker pushed past his man before slotting home for the opening item
T&T were not forced on the backfoot for any said period during the first half but conceded an equalizer in the 57th minute Mounngue Otelle stepped up to convert a penalty.
T&T then found themselves trailing 2-1 after Nsi Amdugou broke the deadlock. The Zoran Vranes-coached team gave up a second goal late to lose out against Panama but this time around they were the one delivering the spoils on Cameroon as Kenaz Williams notched the equalizing goal six minutes from full time from a well worked free kick to earn T&T its first point of the tournament.
“I’m happy about the fact that we came back to equalize. This told me that our players were able to find the strength and had the desire to come back and draw the game,” Vranes told TTFF Media. Vranes’ previous Under 20 team which qualified for the 2009 FIFA Under 20 World Cup also held Nigeria to a 2-2 draw in Abuja during the build up to the Finals that year.
“Generally it was okay, we didn’t lose the game and it’s a good point for us. The performance was good in the first half and we scored just before the half time to give us some more confidence but then we had two goals against us in the second half and defensively we have to improve because of course if you don’t give up goals then you have a better chance to win matches.
We are getting chances and we scored two of them in this game. We must now try to fix our problems and try to win the remaining games,” he added.
Goalscorer Britto would have preferred that his goal contribute to a victory but was nonetheless willing to accept the draw. He is doubtful for T&T’s next match against Ecuador after sustaining an injury on the play that led to his goal and had to be replaced at half time.
“I was glad to have found the net but a win would have been great for us. But I’ll take the draw. It’s all a learning process for us and I think we came out of this match feeling good about the performance and we can move forward with this,” Britto told TTFF Media.
“In the game itself we started a bit slow but we picked up our game and started to pressure them before half time and we took the lead. But they didn’t make it easy.
They came back really strong and scored two goals and then we knew we had to come out of this game with something. The boys put in their best effort in the second half and thankfully we got the equalizer just before the end.”
Prior to Friday’s match, T&T’s ambassador to Venezuela Razia Ali made the journey from Caracas to pay a visit to the team in Puerto Ordaz and was a proud witness of the encounter.
On the other matches on Friday, Venezuela trounced Ecuador 4-1 and Panama easily got past Nicaragua 5-0. T&T will meet Ecuador at 8:30pm TT time on Sunday..
T&T line-up: - Jamaal Francois, Akil Clarke, Reshard Wint (Kevin Raymond 75th), Akeem Adams (Dwight Ceballo 80th), Sheldon Bateau, Dinell Lopez, Ross Russell Jr. (Donelly Gopicharan 82nd), Marcus Joseph, Jeron Quashie (Brandon Simpson 90th), Johan Peltier, Jerrell Britto (Kenaz Williams 46th).