This country’s national Under-17 players gave a better account of themselves but still went under to visiting Venezuelan counterparts at the Ato Boldon Stadium, in Couva yesterday.

The T&T youngsters, beaten 4-1 by the South Americans in the first meeting on a heavy ground at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya, on Friday night, were hoping of reversing the result.

But the Venezuelans got off to the better start and took a 15th minute lead through Leonardo Colmones.

Five minutes before half-time, Yan Salazar got the second for the visitors.

In the second-half, the Venezuelans again enjoyed most of the possession, but failed to add to their tally, while Shastri Spencer, who missed the first match, netted an injury time goal for the “Soca Warriors.”

In yesterday’s second match, the T&T Under-20 players were also hoping to get the better of their Venezuelan counterparts. Venezuela won the first meeting 1-0.

The T&T players were using the matches as part of their preparations for the CONCACAF Under-17 home-and-away second round qualifying matches against Cuba, on November 19 and 25.

T&T advanced to the second round home-and-away series with Cuba by finishing at the top of CONCACAF’s Caribbean Football Union Zone’s Group “A” first round qualifiers, which involved St Lucia, Barbados and the Bahamas.

In that four-team Group “A” series, T&T scored comfortable wins over St Lucia (8-1), Barbados (6-2)and the Bahamas (14-1).

The winners of the T&T/Cuba and Jamaica/Haiti pairings will be the two CFU representatives in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, to be held in New Brunswick (Canada) and Costa Rica, in May next year.

The two group winners will then automatically qualify for the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championships in Peru, while the group runners-up will contest a home-and-away play-off for the third CONCACAF berth for the world final.