T&T U-20 Men aim to end campaign on a high

Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Men will be aiming to finish their 2018 CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Championship campaign on a positive note when they come up against cellar placed US Virgin Islands in their closing group encounter from 4pm TT Time at the IMG Academy, Bradenton on Friday.

The encounter follows a disappointing 2-0 loss to Suriname on Wednesday, two days after a 6-1 loss to defending champions United States.

Shaquille Cairo (29’) and Brian Elshot (70’) did the damage against T&T while United States completed it’s fourth straight win, 6-0 over St Vincent/Grenadines to sit atop the group.T&T have six points from four games.

Puerto Rico continued its resurgence by picking up an 8-0 victory over the U.S. Virgin Islands. A hat trick from Jaden Servania (52’, 72’, 88’), braces by Kevin Hernandez (26’, 56’) and Alejandro Rabell (46’, 85’) and a goal from Kevin Montanez (88’) earned the Boricuas the three points.

After the match, T&T captain John Paul Rochford said his team failed to demonstrate the qualities needed to bounce back from the loss to the US.

“The game tonight we didn’t get the result we wanted. We wanted the victory to show people that we had the strength and ability to bounce back from the defeat we suffered on Monday. That was not the case. Some of the players in the camp didn’t have it, the vibes was not the same as it usually would be before a game. The team on a whole, we weren’t ourselves. I believe that had a key part to play in the defeat that we suffered today,” Rochford told TTFA Media.

“Let’s not forget that we didn’t have the necessary preparations that we needed. Knowing the players on the team, for some of them, this is the first time playing an international tournament so the experience is a fresh one. They don’t know what the feeling is like to suffer a loss, then play two days after to try and come back and fight again. It is a first time experience for them whereas for some of us we understand that it takes a lot to bounce back from a 6-1 defeat. As one of the key players in the team, I will try my best to fix it(negative vibes) as best as I can, talk to the players, bring positivity and get us on a high going into the final game on Friday,” he added.

Photo/Marrisa Homer.

Head Coach Latapy did not have the services of midfielder Judah Garcia due to a double yellow card suspension. He didn’t see his other players rise to the call.

“It was a difficult game to pick ourselves up after the US game. There were a lot of disappointed young men in that dressing room after the 6-1 loss. Just at the start tonight we warned them about being flat. We knew that we needed high energy levels and we needed to have better organisation. Credit to Suriname as I thought they played well but I thought it was because of the mistakes we made that really cost us the game.

“We played against a team that was dropping off and letting us have the ball and playing from behind the ball and when it’s like that we ask them to get the ball into wide areas and play from wide areas. We were tying to play little intricate passes through the middle of the field and things were breaking down quite a lot and we were being countered. I am disappointed that we didn’t create enough chances. We were asking the wingers to play high and wide and it was difficult today because they were dropping back to get the ball and in situations like that you just need to be a bit more disciplined and let the ball come to you and I don’t think we were good at that tonight,” Latapy added.

“When we play organised teams and Suriname were organised enough in the middle of the field, you need to let the ball do the work a bit faster. We were taking two and three touches and playing the same ball instead of doing it just a bit quicker, to get more movement so our forward players could create more room in the pockets for themselves. Again these are things that would come in preparation.

“We are trying to fix things during the game and the level and experience these players are calling on is really Schools football and not international level and it is very different. With the quality of players we have here in relation to the level they play at at home, even when they make mistakes in schools football they can get away with it but at international football it is a totally different story,” Latapy said.

Trinidad and Tobago 1.Denzil Smith (GK); 4.Jerrin Jackie,  2.Mikel Mieres, 3.Derron John; 8.Jabarry Francis (9.Jaydon Prowell 71′), 16.Luke Singh,14.Ethan Bonaparte (19.Shaqkeem Joseph 46′); 7.Mark Ramdeen (13.Nickel Orr 55′), 15.John-Paul Rochford, 12.Kishon Hackshaw; 6.Isaiah Lee.

Subs not used – 20.Jabari Brice (GK), 5.Justin Homer,11.Che Benny, 17.Matthew Beal, 18.Kerdell Sween.

Head Coach: Russell Latapy