Shackiel Henry scored a pair of second-half goals to give Trinidad a 2-2 draw with Caribbean rival Jamaica on Tuesday at the CONCACAF Under-17 Championship.
After Jamaica led on Jason Wright's first-half penalty, Trinidad surged ahead before Andre Lewis equalized for the "Young Boyz" in the 70th minute.
Jamaica had the better of play, outshooting Trinidad 16-7, and went ahead on Wright's penalty in the 42nd minute.
It was unclear if Mexican referee Ricardo Arellano whistled for a handball or another foul against Trinidad's Neil Benjamin, but the 16-year-old Wright converted easily, leaving goalkeeper Quesi Weston with no chance.
Trinidad, one of only two Caribbean teams to advance through qualifying undefeated, started the second half brightly and wasted a chance to equalize in the 49th minute when Jomal Williams' header flashed wide.
Eight minutes later, Trinidad tied the match when a free kick by Nicholas Marcano was fumbled by Jamaica goalkeeper Richard Trench into the path of Henry, who scored easily.
Henry put Trinidad ahead in the 64th minute, taking advantage of a lapse in the Jamaican defense.
Jamaica recovered and with 20 minutes remaining Williams unleashed an effort that Weston got a hand on, but could not prevent from entering the net to the delight of the partisan crowd of 4,400 at Catherine Hall Stadium.
Jamaica 16, Trinidad & Tobago 7
Shots on Target
Jamaica 8, Trinidad & Tobago 4
Jamaica 2, Trinidad & Tobago 6
Jamaica 12, Trinidad & Tobago 9
Jamaica 7, Trinidad & Tobago 2
Jamaica 0, Trinidad & Tobago 2
Henry double earns T&T U-17s draw with host Jamaica.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 17 men’s team and Jamaica battled to a 2-2 draw in their opening Concacaf World Cup qualifier at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay on Tuesday evening.
T&T, after going a goal down in the 42nd minute, came back strongly to dominate the second half and were rewarded with a double by W Connection striker Shackeil Henry in the 58th and 65th minutes to earn a well deserved point.
Honduras came from behind to defeat Barbados 2-1 with an injury time goal in the first game of the double header.
Jamaica started the brighter of the two teams but had to wait until the 42nd minute for Jason Wright to convert the penalty following a dubious call by the referee.
Falling a goal behind so close to the interval did not deter the T&T team and they came back strongly in the second half, dominating the opening 30 minutes of the half.
Striker Garvin Samaroo was introduced by head coach Shawn Cooper in place of Dwight Quintero in the 48th.
Henry notched the double within ten minutes of each other. But Jamaica got their equalizer in the 78th minute through Andre Lewis.
Both teams went in search of a winner in the closing minutes and the hosts had a couple close chances but goalkeeper Quesi Weston stood tall between the uprights for T&T.
The T&T backline also held firm to ensure a share of points. Jamaica had much of the defending to do in the second half as skipper Duane Muckette and company controlled proceedings with some well orchestrated plays as the game progressed after the break.
T&T coach Shawn Cooper was pleased with the point against the hosts who were considered favourites going into the match particularly following their extensive preparation which included ten matches in Brazil as well as two games against the United States and one each versus Costa Rica and Haiti in the last couple weeks.
T&T camped in Colombia last year and then lost 2-1 to Barbados and defeated the T&T U-20s 3-1 earlier this month.
“It was a great effort from the guys and I’m pretty satisfied with getting a point from the game. Of course we went into the match aiming for a victory. Jamaica settled before us and they got into the game and were given a penalty just before the break. That was a setback for us but we regrouped and we never dropped our heads,” Cooper told TTFF Media.
“Our boys kept playing and we pressed on and we were rewarded with two well taken goals by Henry. Unfortunately Jamaica fought back and got the equalizer.
A point on the table for us after the first game is a promising start and now we have everything to play for against Guatemala on Thursday,” Cooper added.
T&T faces Guatemala on Thursday as they seek a win to keep alive their hopes of a spot at the 2011 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Mexico in mid-2011.
Game Recap With Flex.
Trinidad & Tobago: - 21.Quesi Weston; 4.Dario Holmes, 5.Damani Richards, 3.Nicholas Marcano, 17.Kiel Pierre; 8.Duane Muckette (capt), 19.Adan Noel, 7.Neil Benjamin (Yellow 41'), 10.Jomal Williams (Yellow 52') (13.Tevonne Morris 86th); 12.Dwight Quintero (11.Garvin Samaroo 50th), 9.Shackeil Henry.
Subs: - 1.Tevin Dodds; 2.Tariq Nicholls, 6.Rondell Phillip, Anthony Charles; 16.Glen Sutton; Akeem Garcia, Isaiah Noreiga.
Coach: - Shawn Cooper.
Jamaica: - 1.Odean Clarke; 12.Patrick Palmer (16.Ramone Brown 69th), 5.Alvas Powell, 2.Oshane Jenkins, 3.Kemo Wallace (Yellow 36') (19.Cordel Benbow 69th); 6.Quante Smith, 9.Omar Holness, 11.Andre Lewis, 18.King Beckford; 10.Jason Wright, 17.Javia Roberts (Yellow 45') (7.Romario Williams 48th).
Coach: - Wendell Downswell.
Attendance: - 4400.
Referee: - Ricardo Arellano (Mexico).
Venue: - Catherine Hall Sports Complex, Montego Bay.
Game Type: - CONCACAF U-17 World Cup Qualifier.
Standings (Group C):
P W D L F A Pts
Trinidad & Tobago 1 0 1 0 2 2 1
Jamaica 1 0 1 0 2 2 1
Guatemala 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nervous start for Jamaica.
By: Adrian Frater (JA Gleaner).
Jamaica surrendered a first half 1-0 lead and were then forced to play catch-up to secure a 2-2 draw against Caribbean neighbours Trinidad & Tobago, in the first-round Group C CONCACAF Under-17 Championship fixture at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall yesterday.
The Wendell Downswell-coached Jamaica took the lead when Jason Wright converted from the penalty spot.
However, T&T took charge in the second half and actually went 2-1 up via a double strike by Shackiel Henry.
But Andre Lewis saved faced for Jamaica with a well-taken equaliser.
"We played well in patches as being the first game, the players were a little bit nervous," said coach Downswell. "We will definitely be looking to give an improved performance in our next game with a view to taking all three points."
JA took lead
Jamaica had the better of the early exchanges, but they had problems piercing the T&T defence. For their part, T&T's attacks were limited to mostly long-range efforts, which posed very little problems for the Jamaica custodian.
With time running out in the first half, Jamaica took the lead in the 43rd minute when T&T defender Neil Benjamin handled the ball and the referee ruled penalty.
Wright made no mistake from the spot, making the half-time score 1-0.
T&T started the second half looking quite purposeful and drew level courtesy of some help by Jamaica's goalkeeper, Odean Clarke. A tame long-range effort by Nicholas Marcano was spilled by the goalkeeper and Henry fired home the ball that fell loose, making the score 1-1.
With the Trinidadians seemingly energised, they gradually began to take control, forcing back Jamaica for long periods.
Not surprisingly, they took the lead in the 64th minute when the wily Henry fired home a powerful grounder from the edge of the penalty area, making the score 2-1.
Jamaica increased the tempo of their play following T&T's goal and thankfully, found the equaliser in the 78th minute.
Lewis controlled a ball elegantly on his chest, turned sweetly and fired past the diving goalkeeper, making the final score 2-2.
There are four groups of three teams participating in the 12-nation championship. The top two in each group will advance to the quarter-finals, with Group B winners and runners-up battling those from Group A, and those from Groups C and D doing the same.
The winning quartet in the quarter-finals will move on to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico later this year.