Trinidad & Tobago head coach Jason Spence realized that Canada would prove a difficult opponent for his team, when they met in opening match of the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship on Thursday.
After all, the Canadians came in with a perfect 15W-0D-0L all-time record in CU20W group stage play.
In order to limit the North Americans’ scoring chances and the goal difference, Spence set-up his team to defend. Even though the final result, 2-0, was in Canada’s favor, the disappointment quotient was kept to a minimum.
“I think coming off 2-nil certainly showed that we had some good character,” the 44-year-old said. “I told the team that I was quite proud of them and what they showed.”
The tactic also worked from a standings perspective as host Honduras and Jamaica played to a 2-2 draw afterwards, leaving both teams with a single point.
“Now, they (Canada) are out of the way and I can now focus on the next six points that are there to get,” Spence commented.
T&T will next face the Hondurans on Saturday knowing that even a point keeps it in contention heading into the last day of group play. A loss, however, would mean an early elimination.
“Definitely, we have to open up a little bit more offensively,” noted Spence. “We have to go for the win now because it comes down to the last two games of the round. We’re going to take a little more risk.”
In the 2014 CU20W, Trinidad advanced past the group stage for a first-ever time, ultimately falling to Costa Rica in the third place match. Along the way, it defeated Honduras, 2-0.
Spence has reviewed that game as part of his scouting approach for the Catrachas.
“We have been consistently doing our homework,” he finished. “Definitely, we’ll be approaching the game from some history.”