T&T U-17s bow out of Concacaf qualifiers

Trinidad and Tobago’s Men Under 17 team bowed out of the CONCACAF Under 17 World Cup qualifiers with a 4-1 defeat to Honduras in their Round of Listen clash at the Championship at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida on Wednesday.

Jeffry Miranda powered Honduras to the win with a hattrick. The fireworks began in the second half, with Miranda scoring his first in the 46’. T&T got themselves back into the contest after failing to settle in the opening half. Jaiye Sheppard had a tidy finish in 57’ for his third goal in the tournament. But there was little else for T&T to brag about as marksman Justin Araujo-Wilson was kept quiet for most of the evening. Before either team found the net, winger Tyrese Pierre was adjudged to have fouled José Aguilera in the box on six minutes. But Honduran captain Steven Bonilla’s penalty was saved low by T&T goalkeeper Kahlil Oliver.

Honduras regained the lead four minutes later in the 61’ with a Jose Aguilera goal, which set the table for the Miranda show. The Honduras dangerman found his second in the 76’ and then capped his hat trick with a score in the 88’ to seal Honduras’ quarterfinal spot.

T&T head coach Stern John later admitted his team was second best on the day but credited his players for valiant effort at the tournament.

“We didn’t find our rhythm today and in the end Honduras pulled away from us. I thought we weathered the storm in the first half and it was evenly matched. After they went ahead we got ourselves back in the game with the equalizer but we didn’t get anytime to really build on that because they grabbed the lead again a few minutes after,” John told TTFA Media.

T&T players in a huddle before kick off against Honduras. Photo at top shows the Starters for the match.

“All in all it was disappointing but I have to give my players credit for coming here and winning two out of four matches. We managed to qualify for the second round.  The last two games were big learning experiences against top Concacaf teams and generally we showed what we are capable of.

“We came here and beat Jamaica in a competition something that we haven’t done in sometime at any level and that was a good sign for us. That was fantastic in terms of bragging rights but for me, I think we have to start looking beyond teams like Jamaica. I think now we have to build on this. Hopefully we’ll find a way to keep the boys together and have them working for the next set of qualifiers which will be at the under 20 level and hopefully some of the boys from here will continue to develop and move on to teams at a higher level outside of Trinidad and Tobago and also back home,” John added.

Listen to John’s comments here

Trinidad and Tobago U-17  20.Kahlil Oliver (GK); 2.Nigel Carraby, 4.Jordon Britto, 5.Cephas St Rose (14.Jerrell Nixon 78′), 7.Jaiye Sheppard, 3.Luke Savery;  6.Zachary Welch (captain) (12.Curtis De Leon 63), 19.Ajani Fortune; 8.Tyrese Pierre, 9.Justin Araujo-Wilson.17.Kevan Kahoussi (10.Andrew De Gannes 85′),

Unused substitutes: 1.Isaiah Williams (GK), 11.Jean-Heim Mc Fee, 13.Gary Griffith III, 15.Jeremy Lashley, 16.Keilon Burnett-Acevaro, 18.Isa Sayeed.

Coach: Stern John

Honduras U-17 (4-3-3): 1.José Banegas (GK); 4.André Orellana, 5.Jafeth Chávez, 17.Luis Vega, 3.Steven Bonilla (captain); 16.Miguel Carrasco, 8.Carlos Palacios, 13.José Aguilera (10.Marvin Ávila 86′); 2.Roney Bernardez, 20.Jeffrey Miranda (9.Héctor Medrano 89′), 14.Michael Rosales.

Unused substitutes: 12.Isaac González (GK), 6.Elix Gómez, 7.Brian Sierra, 19.José García.

Coach: José Valladares

Haiti vs. Dominican Republic

Haiti topped neighbors Dominican Republic 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Haiti did all its damage in the first half and broke the deadlock with an Alejandro Jimenez own goal in the 28’.

Haiti then capitalized on its momentum and doubled its lead in the 34’ through Fredler Christophe. From there the Haiti defense took over and battened down the hatches to secure the clean sheet victory.

Mexico vs. Puerto Rico

Mexico overcame an early first half deficit to reach the CU17 quarterfinals with a 2-1 win over Puerto Rico.
The Boricuas certainly fancied their chances after Jose Luis Lopez struck in the 7’ for a 1-0 Puerto Rico lead, but Mexico would respond and a Jesus Gomez free kick in the 42’ brought El Tricolor level shortly before halftime.

There were chances for both sides in the second half, but in the end it was Mexico who was able to take advantage, as Israel Luna found the winning goal in the 68’ to send Mexico to the final eight.

El Salvador vs. Jamaica

El Salvador fended off a late charge from Jamaica to punch its ticket to the 2019 CU17 quarterfinals with a 2-1 win.
The Cuscatlecos got a big boost right before halftime with a Luis Vasquez score in the 45’. El Salvador then doubled its lead in the 70’ through Jorge Flores, but the Reggae Boyz would launch a comeback bid and cut the deficit to one after Rajay Wright scored his fourth goal of the CU17 in the 80’.

In the end, though, El Salvador would hang on to earn a spot in the next round.