Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 17 men’s team produced a spirited second-half display to give themselves a late lifeline as they completed a come from behind 3-2 victory over Bermuda in their second Group A contest in the Caribbean Football Union U-17 Finals at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday.
The result left T&T in third spot in the table with three points behind leaders Jamaica (4pts) and Haiti (4pts) after those two countries played to a 0-0 stalemate in Sunday’s earlier encounter.
A win on Tuesday over Jamaica will assure T&T a place in next April’s CONCACAF Final qualifying round in Panama and the young “Warriors” will be looking to keep the momentum of Sunday’s two-goal comeback to push themselves ahead of the “Reggae Boyz”.
T&T head coach Russell Latapy handed the armband to frontman Jayden Prowell, opting to leave midfielder and first choice skipper John Paul Rochford on the bench. And after Bermuda seized a 2-0 first half advantage after some untidy work in the back by T&T, it appeared that T&T’s campaign was heading for a miserable ending. But Latapy pulled his troops together and they took control of proceedings after the break to produce their best bit of football in only their second international outing.
Substitute Che Benny, wearing the number 10, was introduced in the second half by Latapy and brought some stability and creativity to the T&T midfield. He pulled a goal back in the 70th minute and Prowell tied the scores to set the stage for a nerve wracking finish. Bermuda would miss an open goal in the 92nd minute and T&T would seize a lifeline with another strike in the 93rd from Prowell to spark wild celebrations among the team and supporters at the venue.
T&T faces Jamaica at 7:30pm on Tuesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium with Haiti meeting Bermuda from 5pm.
Latapy comments after the match
“I’m delighted with the first three points. We knew that after we lost the first game that we had to get three points to keep us in the competition. It was a game that we made very difficult for ourselves but the reality is that we got the three points and we are still in the competition and if we win the next match then we are through to the next round and that is all that matters now.
“There is a lot of work to do with these players. We have a very talented bunch but we keep making simple defensive errors and offensive errors and we just need time to get their minds right.
“The truth is I asked them to trust in me. I said to them at half time that I’ve got more years of professional football than they have in life. I said to them that if they trust in me then I could tell them how to win the game. A lot of the times we asked them to do things and as soon as they go over the white line they just get back into their old habits and do whatever they feel like. I said to them that the game depends on them, if they want to win it or not because if you lose this game, that football is finish for them at this level and I am happy that they trusted in me and I am happy that we got the victory.”
T&T Starting XI – 1. Emmanuel John (GK), 2. Kerdell Sween, 4. Tyrike Andrews, 5. Jesse Williams, 7. Isaiah Hudson, 8. Jodel Brown, 9.Jaydon Prowell (capt), 11. Tyrese Bailey, 12. Jerrin Jackie, 14. Kishon Hackshaw, 16. Nickel Orr.
Head Coach: Russell Latapy
Referee: Ricangel De Leca (Aruba)
U-17 player Jaydon Prowell reacts after leading T&T to 3-2 win over Bermuda
Post Match Comments - Latapy reacts after 3-2 victory over Bermuda