This country’s Under-17 boys’ football team will go into their final match in the Caribbean Football Union Group E Qualifiers tomorrow needing a draw to reach the Concacaf Final Round series.
They will face Bermuda at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Stadium, Macoya from 5 pm.
The Ross Russell-coached Under-17s were held to a 0-0 by Cuba in their second match at Macoya yesterday as both teams stayed on course to reach the next stage of qualifying for next year’s Fifa Under-17 World Cup Finals in Mexico.
With the point earned, both T&T and Cuba improved to four points, however, the young Soca Warriors head the table on superior goal-difference following their 8-0 win over St Kitts/Nevis on Wednesday at the same venue.
In yesterday’s first match, St Kitts/Nevis edged Bermuda 3-2 for its win to keep its hopes alive ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Cuba from 3pm.
At the end of tomorrow’s matches, the top two teams will qualify for the Concacaf Final Roound qualifiers.
T&T: - 21.Quesi Weston, 2.Tarik Nicholls, 3.Nicholas Marcano, 4.Dario Holmes, 5.Damani Richards, 7.Neil Benjamin, 8.Karl Muckette (capt), 9.Shackiel Henry, 10.Jomal Williams, 11.Garvin Samaroo (Dwight Quintero 67th), 17.Kiel Pierre (Adan Noel 86th).
Cuba: - 1.Sandy Mustelier, 2.David Solier, 3.Emmanuel Aliaga, 4.Arturo Diz Pe, 6.Andy Ruiz, 7.Leonel Perez, 9.Dairon Perez (Javier Domelcete 70th), 10.Frank Garcia (Yolexis Mora 80th), 11.Daniel Saez, 15.Adriel Reyes, 17.Lazaro Collado.
Yesterday’s CFU Under-17 Boys Group E Results
St Kitts/Nevis 3 (Talmal Nisbett 15th, Khyron Phillips 45th pen, Glenroy Samuel 67th) vs Bermuda 2 (Jair Minorf 2nd, Zeiko Lewis 90th).
T&T 0 vs Cuba 0
Teams P W D L F A Pts
T&T 2 1 1 0 8 0 3
Cuba 2 1 1 0 3 1 3
St Kitts/Nevis 2 1 0 1 3 10 3
Bermuda 2 0 0 2 3 6 0
Cuba hold junior Warriors goalless.
By Ian Prescott (T&T Express).
Trinidad and Tobago's Under-17 men's footballers need to win by as many goals as possible tomorrow against Bermuda to advance to the next round of qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Under-17 World Cup after drawing goalless with Cuba last night at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Both T&T and Cuba now lead the series on four points, however the junior Soca Warriors have a six-goal advantage following their opening 8-0 win over St Kitts-Nevis on Wednesday.
St-Kitts Nevis have three from two matches, and are still in with a chance should they upset the Cubans and T&T lose.
The series will end tomorrow at the Marvin Lee, with Cuba playing St Kitts/Nevis at 3 p.m. while two hours later, T&T meet the winless Bermudans who went down 3-1 to Cuba in their opening match. And with just one team advancing to the next round of qualifying, both Cuba and T&T first need a victory, and then to score as many goals as possible.
In the earlier match yesterday, St Kitts/Nevis bounced back from a 8-0 drubbing against T&T in their opening match to beat Bermuda 3-2.
Jair Minors gave Bermuda the lead in the second minute, before Tulmal Nesbitt pulled the scores level at 1-1 in the 20th. St Kitts/Nevis then completed the turnaround when Kyron Phillips converted a 45th minute penalty to see them leading 2-1 at the end of the first half, and Glenroy Samuel then scored in the 67th from long range to put St Kitts/Nevis further ahead.
However, Zeiko Lewis pulled Bermuda closer at 3-2 when he rounded the keeper and scored two minutes into added-on time.
The match between Wednesday's winners saw the Cubans pinning T&T back for the opening 10 minutes and they were almost gifted the lead following a mix-up between the Warriors keeper Quesi Weston and big Scarborough Secondary central defender Dario Holmes, which allowed lanky Cuba captain Daniel Saez a free header, which he turned wide.
T&T seemed to be overly dependent on captain and QRC playmaker Duane Muckette. And although the defence held solid, it took almost a half hour before T&T started to string a few passes together.
Even so, they hardly troubled Cuba keeper Sandy Mustelier, except for two weak shots from outside the box. Cuba too, hardly looked menacing but they were well-organised and so found it a little easier to get forward than than T&T.
The Cubans also started the second half aggressively. But even so, they defended in large numbers, offering little chance of the Warriors hitting on the break.
With just one qualifying spot up for grabs, the two top teams in the competition fought a protracted battle for the lead and the Cubans almost got the breakthrough when goalie Weston aggressively challenged Saez for a looping cross, then dropped the ball. A real moment of panic, but the Soca Warriors keeper sprung to life and quickly clutched the ball on the second attempt.
At the other end, Joe Public midfielder Dwight Quintero then seemed set to totally breach the Cuban defence in the 74th when running onto a pass from St Benedict's College striker Shackiel Henry, but a heavy final touch gave the ball to the Cuban keeper.
Captain Muckette then fed a wide pass to St Benedict's Neil Benjamin in the 87th, but with the crowd beckoning the player to shoot from a wide angle, he tried to dribble. No success.
U-17 head coach credits T&T team.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 17 men’s head coach Shawn Cooper credited his team for their 0-0 draw with Cuba on Friday at the Marvin Lee Stadium which put the hosts in the driver's seat to seal the lone spot In next year’s Concacaf Final round towards the 2011 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Mexico.
The result on Friday left T&T top of the four-team table with four points ahead of Cuba on a superior goal difference. T&T will still need to muster a win over Bermuda in their final match on Sunday from 5pm to stay clear at the top but will have prior knowledge of the requirements as Cuba battles St Kitts/Nevis in the first game from 3pm. St Kitts are on three points after beating Bermuda 3-2 on Friday.
T&T, with several players appearing on the international stage for the first time in this tournament, are yet to concede a goal and that was one of the pleasing factors for Cooper.
“We had to dig deep this evening. We didn’t play our natural game and I thought a point coming out of this game would have been a good result. We will are on top and we hope to improve in the other games, The main goal at this time is to qualify out of this group for the Concacaf Final round,” Cooper told TTFF Media after the match.
“For most of the guys, this was only their second international so I don’t want to be too harsh on them and I thought they have played with a lot of heart so far.
“Our Trinidad teams have been leaking goals at the back and we have focused on our defensive approach for the past two months. Even though Cuba had more possession in the midfield when it came to the last third, they had to shoot from outside and it limited their opportunities.
“I think we are in the driver seat and I think we have the ability to win our last game and get the required result. I would like to get two or three goals against Bermuda and seal the spot.”
Cooper hopes to see his team led by captain Karl Muckette settle faster at the beginning of matches .
“We have quality in the team but we lacked some international experience and the more we play at this level then we will grow. The boys were disappointed with not winning the second game. I think we need to have more patience because Cuba pulled off and played deep.
Our defence tried to play the ball over the top, behind their backs to try and stretch them and then settle down and start to play the ball around in the first fifteen minutes. But with the lack of experience, the guys still continued to play the ball that way and we needed to settle down faster and make better choices,” he added,
Cooper and Hutson Charles returned last week from a coaching course with the Netherlands Association.
“It was a real stepping stone experience because I learned a lot of stuff that I think I can implement back home in local football. We had a chance to visit the Ajax Amsterdam and Vitesse training camps and did a lot of match analysis and team preparation. It was an excellent learning curve for us,” Cooper concluded.