T&T Under 20s look for second win over Puerto Rico

Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Men’s Team will be looking to pull off a second consecutive victory in the CONCACAF Under 20 Men’s Championship and World Cup qualifiers when they face Puerto Rico on Saturday from 3:00pm at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. T&T came from two goals behind to defeat St Vincent/Grenadines 3-2 on Thursday through goals by Jayden Prowell, substitute Mark Ramdeen and Judah Garcia. Puerto Rico meantime, were hammered 7-1 by United States on Thursday night.

Head Coach Russell Latapy will have his full compliment of players for the match after Portuguese-based midfielder Che Benny joined the team camp on Thursday night. Latapy had his first training session with the full squad at 2pm on Friday as matches in the other groups continued at the IMG.

“We’re pleased to finally have everyone together. It’s always good to get in a solid session and of course we’ll go after our next opponents looking to build on what we have coming out of the first game,” Latapy said. John Paul Rochford, who started the tournament as team captain, said he was grateful for the opening win but not particularly pleased with the level of the performance against “Vincey Heat”.

“I’m grateful for the fact that the boys dug deep and we came out with the victory in the end. We fought hard for 90 minutes straight ‘till the end and it happened that we scored two goals in one minute and I thank God for that. I thank the players for fighting for the win. “The turning point was when the players realised we had little time and everything was on the line. We are in a position where we are fighting for ourselves and fighting to make the country proud, as proud as we can make them,” Rochford said. “We spoke to ourselves and said we had to win don’t matter the situation.”

The T&T starting eleven vs St Vincent/Grenadines. Photo at top shows John Paul Rochford talking to his teammates before the start of the second half. Photos/TTFA Media.

The former Santa Rosa FC and current Portland Timbers player added that the players took Latapy’s instructions on board. “He just told us that we needed to fight a little more. We needed to stick to the plan, we needed to listen and follow the instructions and once we did that everything would fall into place. We followed the instructions for the first goal, we did what he advised and it work so we saw that as a testimony so we realised that once we followed the instructions we would get the desired result. We fought ‘till the end and got the desired result, Rochford added. Some of the other results in the 34-nation tournament over two days of action include a 7-1 win for Honduras over Dominican Republic, Guatemala defeating Guyana 4-0, Cuba 6-1 over Belize, Haiti 1-0 over St Lucia and Costa Rica defeating Bermuda 5-0.

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