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Trinidad and Tobago’s Men’s Under 17 team have advanced to the CONCACAF Final round of qualification for the 2015 FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup after capturing the best third place spot at the Caribbean Finals in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

After going down 3-0 to the hosts on Thursday, T&T were dependent on the result of the Martinique versus Guadeloupe match yesterday which the latter won 1-0. It meant T&T finished on three points with a better goal difference than Guadeloupe.

Speaking in light of the team’s passage through to the Final round in Honduras, T&T head coach Shawn Cooper was  grateful but didn’t hold back from expressing his disappointment over Thursday's result.

“I think the most important thing is that we are alive in the campaign still and we’ve got some work to do to get this team up to a level to be able to compete at the CONCACAF Finals next year,” Cooper told TTFA Media.

“We are not happy with having to sneak in through the back door in this manner but being in it still is something which we are grateful for and it gives us an opportunity to come better for the next phase.”

Cooper said he opted to play deep after 70 miutes after T&T conceded their third goal.

“I took a decision to play deep to ensure we didn’t concede more goals because Haiti were fully in charge of the game at that stage of the match. Our boys were overwhelmed by a packed stadium with the hostile home fans who definitely had an impact as the twelfth man. It’s good experience for our boys who haven’t played in an atmosphere like this before but of course it worked in the home team’s favour,” Cooper added.

“The early goals at the start of the second half killed the team spirit and threw us off.

“Now we will regroup. We have a few more players from the US and back home to get involved in the preparations  and we’ll work towards fixing the areas that need addressing. We conceded several soft goals in this tournament and this is a concern which we will address," Cooper added.

The nine of twelve teams already through CONCACAF Finals in Honduras in February include Mexico,USA, Canada, Honduras, St Lucia, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and T&T.

This timea new format favoring development and competition will be introduced to the Under-17 Championship. The twelve qualifying teams will be divided into two groups of six, to play a round-robin format on the first five match days. The resulting top team from each group will earn a direct berth to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, and a place in the championship match on the final day.

The second- and third-place teams from each group will be re-seeded into a four-team table, based on points obtained during group play.

The top team from that table will play the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face off against the third-ranked nation in a pair of one-off matches, with the winners of each of those two final-day games securing one of the two remaining tickets on offer to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

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Trinidad and Tobago’s Men’s Under-17 team have advanced to the CONCACAF Final round of qualification for the 2015 FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup after capturing the best third place spot at the Caribbean Finals in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

After going down 3-0 to the hosts on Thursday, T&T were dependent on the result of the Martinique versus Guadeloupe match yesterday which the latter won 1-0. It meant T&T finished on three points with a better goal difference than Guadeloupe.

Speaking in light of the team’s passage through to the final round in Honduras, T&T head coach Shawn Cooper was  grateful but did not hold back from expressing his disappointment over Thursday’s result.

“I think the most important thing is that we are alive in the campaign still and we’ve got some work to do to get this team up to a level to be able to compete at the CONCACAF Finals next year,” Cooper told TTFA Media.

“We are not happy with having to sneak in through the back door in this manner but being in it still is something which we are grateful for, and it gives us an opportunity to come better for the next phase.”
Cooper said he opted to play deep after 70 minutes after T&T conceded their third goal.

“I took a decision to play deep to ensure we didn’t concede more goals because Haiti were fully in charge of the game at that stage of the match. Our boys were overwhelmed by a packed stadium with the hostile home fans who definitely had an impact as the twelfth man. It’s good experience for our boys who haven’t played in an atmosphere like this before but of course it worked in the home team’s favour,” Cooper added.

“The early goals at the start of the second half killed the team spirit and threw us off.

“Now we will regroup. We have a few more players from the US and back home to get involved in the preparations  and we’ll work towards fixing the areas that need addressing. We conceded several soft goals in this tournament and this is a concern which we will address,” Cooper added.

The nine of 12 teams already through to the CONCACAF Finals in Honduras in February include Mexico, USA, Canada, Honduras, St Lucia, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and T&T.

This time, a new format favouring development and competition will be introduced to the Under-17 Championship. The 12 qualifying teams will be divided into two groups of six, to play a round-robin format on the first five match days. The resulting top team from each group will earn a direct berth to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, and a place in the championship match on the final day.

The second and third-place teams from each group will be re-seeded into a four-team table, based on points obtained during group play.

The top team from that table will play the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will face off against the third-ranked nation in a pair of one-off matches, with the winners of each of those two final-day games securing one of the two remaining tickets on offer to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.