Trinidad and Tobago’s quarterfinal aspirations were extinguished today when they faced Portugal at the IMG Academy in Bradenton FL. The European guest team maintained its fine form in the Concacaf Boys U15 Championship with a tough 3-0 victory over Stuart Charles-Fevrier’s squad in varying weather conditions.
A torrential downpour accompanied by lightening delayed the start of the match but when it got going T&T looked a group determined to redeem themselves for a mediocre tournament showing thus far, despite regular starting midfielders Nathaniel James and Molik Khan sitting with the substitute contingent. The first half was generally even with some good moments for T&T, the most memorable being an Abdul Quddoos-Hypolite free kick from the left side of the penalty area which Portugal’s Diogo Pinto did well to keep the scoresheet blank at the half.
The second half started in much the same vein as the first but with three substitutes coming on at the break the Europeans started to come into their own. They came close in the 45th minute with a snapshot from Herculano Nabian hitting the cross bar, then he made sure with a header two minutes later to give his team the lead. Fevrier’s team held their own as play continued but with three minutes remaining on the clock the effort fell apart as the other substitutes Marcos Cruz and Ricardo Marquez hit the net in the 67th and 71st minutes respectively to make the final score 3-0.
T&T Coach Fevrier expressed his thoughts on the match to TTFA Media, “I am hoping that we could continue the work we have started, we obviously need a continuous strength and conditioning program for these boys and we also need to continue playing international games similar to the level we played today”
The back to back games took a fitness toll on the players and this must be addressed, “In the last five minutes of the game I could see they were getting tired and they lost concentration and conceded two goals but generally speaking I was quite pleased with the performance given the quality and level of the opponents.” Fevrier said in closing.
The result means Trinidad and Tobago finished third in the group behind Portugal and Costa Rica with Barbados in 4th spot on goal difference.
Trinidad and Tobago starting line up
- Kanye Lazarus (GK), 2. Christian Bailey, 4. Jeron Pascall, 6. Jaheim Marshall (Captain) 7. Abdul Quddoos Hypolite (10. Nathaniel James 42’), 9. Ja-Shawn Thomas, 11. Josiah Wilson (16. Isaiah Thompson 48’), 12. Triston Stafford, 13. Kassidy Davison, 15. Dantaye Gilbert, 17. Jaheim Faustin (8. Molik Khan 48’)
Unused Substitutes: 18. Triston Edwards, 3. Dawn St. Rose, 5. Tyrik Trotman,
- Deshawn Brown.
Portugal starting line up
- Diogo Pinto (GK), 3. Antonio Teixeira, 4. Gabriel Costa (Captain), 6. Joao Faria (Marco Cruz 67’) 11. Lucas Rodriguez (7. Ricardo Marques 35’), 13. Dario Essugo, 14. Diogo Monteiro, 15. Tiargo Octavio (8. Diogo Priosts 63’), 16. Goncaio Esteves (5. Francisco Silva 35’), 17. Diego Moreira, 18. Youssaf Chermiti (9. Herculano Nabian 47’)
Unused Substitutes: 1. Andre Gomes (GK), 2. David Monteiro