Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 men’s national football team begun their quest for a place in the 2013 FIFA Under 20 World Cup with an opening 2-1 victory over Guyana in the Caribbean Football Union Group 4 qualifier at Victoria Park, Kingstown.
The T&T team under interim head coach Ross Russell and captained by 1st FC Santa Rosa midfielder Duane Muckette took an early 10 minute lead via' W Connection midfielder Jomal Williams before T&T based striker Trayon Bobb of Caledonia AIA equalised for Guyana in the 42nd minute.
At the resumption T&T was again early off the blocks this time another W Connection player Adan Noel scored in the 52nd that would be the eventual game winner as T&T held on for the slim victory.
Up next for the young Soca Warriors will be a meeting with second place team Suriname on Friday. The group winner will advance to the CFU Final round in November in Jamaica.
Trinidad & Tobago: - 21.Quesi Weston; 5.Damani Richards, 2.Anthony Charles, 3.Alvin Jones, 7.Neil Benjamin (Yellow 26), 10.Jomal Williams, 11.Xavier Rajpaul, 6.Adan Noel, 8.Duane Muckette (capt) (4.Kerron Bethelmy 85th), 19.Marcus Gomez (Yellow 60) (14.Akeem Garcia 74th), 9.Dwight Quintero (17.Shackiel Henry 80th).
Coach: - Ross Russell.
Guyana: - Darius Frank; Ashley Harding, Emmet Leacock, Les-Charles Critchlow, Jushua Brown, Pernell Schultz (Aloysius Edwards 25th), Trayon Bobb, Daniel Wilson (Yellow 25), Jermine Junor (Jamal Booker 76th), Andrae Hector, Jeffery Pereira (Beneakaman Smartt 81st).
Referee: - Adrian Skeete (Barbados).
Attendance: - 300
Trinidad & Tobago 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
Suriname 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3
Guyana 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
St. Vincent 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0
U-20s start with 2-1 win over Guyana.
By Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
A 52nd minute goal ahead goal by W Connection midfielder Adan Noel turned out to be the game winner as Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 men’s team secured a 2-1 victory over Guyana in their opening Caribbean Football Union Group 4 Under 20 World Cup qualifier at Victoria Park, Kingstown on Wednesday evening.
Noel’s goal gave T&T a deserved winning start as they controlled much of the proceedings against a stubborn Guyana outfit which got an equalizer four minutes from half time through Caledonia AIA’s Trayon Bobb.
Noel’s W Connection teammate Jomal Williams had earlier given T&T just the start coach Ross Russell had ordered when on ten minutes he volleyed home with his right foot after Dwight Quintero headed on a left side cross.
Coach Ross Russell credited his players for their winning display on the opening day.
“I thought the guys fought hard for the win. We dominated about 75 percent of the match but we looked a bit tired at the end. That’s what happens when you dominate so much of the possession,” Russell told TTFF Media.
“The ground itself was a bit heavy but the key to our win was the speed of our game. I don’t think Guyana expected us to be so fast on the ball and so quick to it. The attack was brilliant with Jomal Williams playing his role and the skipper (Duane Muckette) did well preparing the ball and the midfield worked hard all match.
Maybe we could have done some more dropping off because we pressed for most of the match. They were a little tough to break down at times but we won the battle in the midfield.
“We’ll have a look at Suriname in their first match and take things from there for Friday’s match. We’ll be looking to win all three matches here,” Russell added.
T&T settled early on the slippery outfield with Xavier Rajpaul and Muckette combining well in the T&T midfield while Alvin Jones, Anthony Charles, Neil Benjamin and Damani Richards marshaling the T&T back line.
Quintero was used as the lone striker up top with second forward Shackiel Henry appearing late in the match. Marcus Gomez also did well with the ball at his feet but needed some more power on a couple of his tries at goal from the edge of the box.
Muckette had an effort flash wide of the upright in the 39th minute and Quintero also headed over on the stroke of half time. But Guyana kept themselves in the game and punished T&T for mistake at the back. A left side corner was mis-handled by goalkeeper Quesi Weston off his line and Bobb was on spot to bury the loose ball.
T&T started the second half just as brightly as they did in the first and got the go ahead goal when Williams crossed from the right of the box and Noel ran in to power his effort into the corner of the goal past goalkeeper Darius Frank.
Rajpaul later had a low drive sent wide of the right post and Quintero muffed a glorious chance to put the game a bit beyond Guyana’s reach in the 61st minute but he hurried a right footed shot over bar from well inside the area.
Guyana had a late surge against a tiring T&T side and almost grabbed an equalizer when Jeffery Pereira got into a one on one with Weston but the custodian stood his ground well to push away the attempt in the 75th minute.
Russell replaced Muckette with Kerron Bethelmy who made a couple vital interceptions in the closing ten minutes as T&T assured themselves of three points to go top of the group ahead of Suriname on goal difference following their 1-0 win over hosts St Vincent/Grenadines in the second encounter.
T&T will face Suriname from 5:30 pm on Friday at Victoria Park with the hosts coming up against Guyana two hours later.