It was a tale of two halves for Trinidad and Tobago, both of which the National Under 15 team will have to put behind them as the competition is continuing at a rapid pace in the Concacaf Boys U15 Championship. The youngsters were down 3-0 in the first 20 minutes of their 70 minute encounter with Costa Rica as action in the tournament got underway at the IMG Academy in Bradenton FL.
They never recovered from the early onslaught despite a spirited second half effort. The Central Americans got on the board as early as the 5th minute through Creichel Perez who capitalized on a flat-footed T&T defence to put the ball well out of the reach of goalkeeper Triston Edwards. Ten minutes later it was Josimar Alcoceri who made it 2-0 for Costa Rica with Perez making it 3 in the 19th.
T&T had some good looks at goal in this period and even had a Nathanial James effort questionably disallowed for offside but their love affair with uprights also continued in this match with Jahiem Faustin disturbing the right post with a well struck attempt and as the half time whistle beckoned, Captain Jahiem Marshall hit the right post following a fine run from deep.
Stuart Charles Fevrier’s team was a much-improved unit in the second half when it came to keeping Costa Rica at bay but many-a-chances went abegging in their efforts to get something out of the match. James in particular caused a lot of problems with some penetrating runs into the penalty area one of which result in a penalty for Trinidad and Tobago but once again the post was found when Josiah Wilson powerfully blasted the spot kick into the woodwork.
The loss was a difficult one for the coach especially after witnessing his players quality play in the second half.
“Personally, I thought the first fifteen minutes we were very sluggish in terms of coping with the intensity of Costa Rica. I thought when the game settled, we definitely matched them and created goal scoring opportunities but unfortunately we did not capitalise on them.” The Coach also pointed out a major area of concern, “In terms of the defence, we definitely have to recruit to create some more competition, because most of the defenders I have at present were midfield players I transformed” Fevrier added.
This recruitment is expected to be conducted at home and overseas as the focus on World Cup qualification intensifies.
Recovery is the key for the U15s as they go into action again on Monday to face Barbados with just over 24 hours between games. The Bajans also had a tough opening match when they went down 6-0 to European guest-team Portugal, which makes the all-Caribbean clash all the more interesting. (Wayne Cunningham at IMG)
Trinidad and Tobago starting line up
- Triston Edwards (GK), 2. Christian Bailey, 3. Dawn St. Rose (7. Abdul Quddoos Hypolite 51’), 4. Jeron Pascall, 5. Tyrik Sampson (14. Deshawn Brown 61’), 6. Jaheim Marshall (Captain)(12. Tristan Stafford 61’), 8. Molik Khan, 9. Ja-Shawn Thomas (16. Isaiah Thompson 51’), 10. Nathanial James, 11. Josiah Wilson, 17. Jaheim Faustin (13. Kassidy Davidson 51’).
Unused Substitutes: 1. Kanye Lazarus, 15. Dantaye Gilbert
Costa Rica starting line up
- Abraham Madriz (GK), 4. Julian Gonzalez, 5. Brandon Calderon (Joseth Peraza 42’) 6. Ricardo Pena (16. Kenneth Gonzalez 52’), 7. Josimar Alcocer (3. John Ruiz 52’), 8. Creichel Perez (17. Marcos Escoe 36’), 9. Kishurn Gouldbourne (Andrey Salmeron 36’), 11. Jewison Bennette, 13. Sabastian Rodriguez (12. Steven Cerdas 53’), 14. Santiago Van Der Putte (Captain), 15. Sabastian Salas
Unused Substitute: 18. Dylan Carvajal (GK).