Mexico tops TTFA Youth Invitational

Trinidad and Tobago completed their three-match campaign in the 2019 TTFA Youth Invitational with a 4-1 defeat to eventual tournament winners Mexico at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday night.

T&T started brightly as the Stuart Charles-Fevrier coached team tried to make up some lost ground after opening losses to Panama and Venezuela. They would open the scoring in the 6th minute as  Molik Khan scored for the second time in the series pouncing on low ball which eluded the Mexican defense from a left sided free kick and he made no mistake hitting home from inside the penalty area.

Mexico would respond shortly after in the 16th minute. After a corner, David Cedillo found André in acres of space on the right hand side.

He fired a cross to Jésus Moreno, who attempted a bicycle kick toward TT’s goal. He didn’t make full contact, but it managed to find its way to Alejandro Alcalá for Mexico to draw level.

Jaheim Faustin went close with a shot that missed the upright in the 20th and Nathaniel James forced the Mexican custodian Jose Eulogio to save four minutes later.

Photo: Allan V. Crane/CA-images

Both sides would have their opportunities but the first half ended with the scores level.

T&T stayed in the match and should have done better with further scoring opportunities in the second half.  Three minutes in Ja-shwn Thomas sent his effort wide of the left post after being sent through to the dismay of the home fans.

But Mexico kept playing and Miguel Avalos saw his header crash off the upright on 51 minutes.

Mexican substitute Raúl Chávez then received a pass on the break into the right side of the penalty area and delivered a backheel pass to an incoming Javier Guerrero to give the Mexicans their second goal of the evening.

Chávez wasn’t done serving the table, however. Another counter attack saw the wide player dribble into the penalty area on the left side this time and put it on a platter for Miguel Carreón for Mexico’s third goal in the 86th minute as T&T faded.

Mexico’s final goal came with a bit of role reversal. This time it was Guerrero providing a penetrating pass to Chávez to slot it past Lazarus for their fourth and final goal of the tournament.

In the earlier game, Venezuela and Panama played to a scoreless draw after 90 minutes.

Trinidad and Tobago  1.Kanye Lazarus (GK); 2.Christian Bailey,Dawn St Rose; 4.Jaron Pascall, 6.Jaheim Marshall (captain), 3.13.Kassidy Davidson (16.Caleb Borneo 84); 10.Nathaniel James, 8.Molik Khan, 117.Jaheim Faustin (15.Dantaye Gilbert 79); 9.Ja-Shawn Thomas (7.Abdul-Quddoos Hypolite 75),9.Isaiah Thompson (14.Jovonn Gomes 79),

Unused substitutes: 18.Triston Edwards (GK), 5.Tyrik Trotman, 12.Tristan Stafford,

Head Coach: Stuart Charles-Fevrier

Post-Match Comments

Stuart Charles Fevrier

“To match Mexico for 70 minutes, I think is very, very good. The boys showed a lot of heart, a lot of fight.

“In Mexico, school is for education. If you don’t want to play for the school, it’s no problem. So that’s why most of them are attached to a club. They go to school and then after school they play for the club, so they are growing up as professionals. It’s a culture.”

When you watch the foot­ball tonight, for Un­der-15s I think the lev­el was high, the qual­i­ty was high. You could see those play­ers knew what they were do­ing, they know the game, and that is why I give the play­ers a lot of cred­it be­cause we matched them tac­ti­cal­ly and we matched them in men­tal­i­ty. But in the last 15 min­utes, you could see we got tired, and they were still go­ing.

“You could see they were still go­ing be­cause it is nor­mal for them be­cause it’s 10 months of foot­ball for them. They al­ready have a pro­fes­sion­al men­tal­i­ty, it’s in them. Our play­er still play­ing Col­lege foot­ball, they play­ing for this acad­e­my here, they play­ing for this club here, they play­ing for all dif­fer­ent clubs, they play­ing all about. These play­ers play for pro­fes­sion­al clubs, that’s their club, that’s the club that de­vel­op­ing them, when they reach adult­hood, if they can’t make it, an­oth­er pro club will take them.

Jaheim Marshall – T&T captain

“This tournament was really helpful to the team. As a team, we needed to know where we are and where we needed to be before we go to the [Concacaf] tournament.At this point, the most we can do is work toward the future, keep our heads up and keep pushing to get the result we want in the future.

Nathaniel James – T&T midfielder

“I knew we could’ve competed with them in these games. I think their professionalism was too much for us to handle in the closing stages  of the match. They were fitter than us, and more experienced. We really want to improve on our defending.

Juan Carlos Ortega – Mexico head coach

“We started losing the match, but we managed to overcome. It was a very good match for us. We respect T&T a lot. They were a good team and a good driver for us. We had to be very calm because sometimes when you’re not getting your way, you become desperate.