Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 15 Boy team displayed good temperament and fight as they came from two goals down to snatch a late 2-2 draw with Manchester City in their opening game of the Cayman Airways Invitational Under 15 Youth Cup at Truman Bodden Sports Complex in Grand Cayman on Tuesday night.
Trailing by two goals, T&T pulled a goal back in the final minute through Justin Araujo Wilson and then grabbed the tying goal two minutes into added on time from substitute Josiah Edwards.
The 70-minute match was well played by the T&T starlets which head into their second game today against the Houston Dynamo Academy.
Manchester City’s James McAtee missed a 23rd minute penalty but his club would take the lead 11 minutes later when Charlie McNeil found the target. Owen Hesketh made it 2-0 with 20 minutes to play before T&T stormed back.
T&T head coach Russell Latapy credited his team for their late comeback but pointed out that there were aspects of his team’s play that were unsatisfactory, particularly when it came to closing down the opposition.
“I think this was a good exercise for the boys for them to understand the level they have to get to,” Latapy told TTFA Media.
“But must say I am just a bit disappointed in the performance as the way we have been training and the intensity, we never showed it tonight. We had a long day traveling the previous day and I don’t know if that had something to do with the way we performed..But we never really passed the ball well and we never made the angles that we normally do. We never got close enough to put pressure on them,” Latapy added.
“The key factor was that for whatever reason coming down to the end of the game we decided that we should get the ball down and pass it and when we did that we were abel to create the two chances and a good finish with Justin and Josiah Edwards we got two goals. We try to not let people play and we want to play when we get the ball and tonight we were just a bit lethargic in terms of getting close to players and putting pressure on them,” Latapy continued.
This was the team’s first assignment away from home as they continue the build up to the CONCACAF U-15 Boys Championship in Florida in August. And Latapy is seeing the current tournament as a good way to prepare the squad.
“It is a always good to come out with a result. Credit must go to the boys with five minutes to go, if you are losing 2-0 and you are able to pull it back to 2-2 then you know that is a never say die attitude.
“It is a process we are working on in preparation for a tournament we have later on in the year. My intention is for the boys to play football the way that we train. It is their first real international game against a proper team and it is a process we will continue to work on.”
In other matches on the opening day, Cuba’s national under 15s defeated Bahamas Tottenham Hotspur 8-0, Jamaica’s Harbour View lost to La Ceiba FC 2-0, Cavalier Soccer club defeated IMG Academy 4-1 and MLS’ Houston Dynamo and DC United played to a 2-2 draw.
T&T Line Up: 1. Jahiem Wickham 4. Anthony Chee Ting (16. Luke Savery, 19’), 20. Tristan Caesar, 5. Jarique Williams (cap) (13. Zachary Wilson, 44’), 18. Tyrese Pierre (12. Justin Araujo Wilson 35’), 19. Darian Bradshaw (10. Josiah Edwards 56’), 9. Ezekiel Kesar,7. Jean Heim McFee, 14. Micki Peters, 11. Jaime Sheppard (21. Matthew De Souza 56’), 15. Daniel Lake.