Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Men’s team closed off their three-match campaign at the Guadeloupe six-nation tourney with a come from behind 3-1 victory over French Guiana on Monday in Guadeloupe.
Midfielder John-Paul Rochford came off the bench for the second straight match to notch a double and assist on another item to lead Russell Latapy’s troops to their first win of the tournament after suffering 2-0 and 2-1 defeats to Costa Rica and Martinique on Saturday and Sunday.
French Guiana took a 20th minute lead but T&T hit back through Rochford in the 46th minute before Shaqkeem Joseph scored the go ahead goal in the 60th minute on Rockford’s assist. The Santa Rosa FC player then grabbed T&T’s third item six minutes later. T&T had a couple further chances but settled for the 3-1 victory at the final whistle.
Costa Rica defeated Haiti 4-3 on penalty kicks after both teams played to a 1-1 draw in regulation time in the Final. Martinique earlier got the better of Guadeloupe 2-1 in the the third place match.
Head Coach Latapy spoke about the team’s showing afterwards, saying he was somewhat pleased with being able to come away with a win in the closing match but nothing that there was much room for improvement.
“We started with some players who hadn’t played as much over the first two games as I wanted to give every player some time to gain experience and show what they are capable of,” Latapy told TTFA Media.
“We didn’t pass the ball as well as we can but I thought we had the better of the first half, creating a few chances on goal. But another lapse in concentration saw us concede and we had to come back and work ourselves back into the match which I thought we did well in by showing character and taking charge of the match.
“With the changes at half time we started to take control of the midfield and created better chances which we took with two really good finishes,” Latapy added.
The T&T team will continue its preparations at home with the CONCACAF Qualifiers set for November and Latapy mentioned that there were a few positives to take away from the tournament.
“We could take away a few things which is obviously the experience for the team at this level. Players are now understanding that international football has some key elements which includes hard work, desire to give everything and tactical awareness. It’s not only about technical ability which we are fortunate to possess but with still work to do to get up to the level at which we want to be at,” Latapy concluded.
Full T&T Results
T&T 0 vs Costa Rica 2
T&T 1 (John-Paul Rochford) vs Martinique 2
T&T 3 (Shaqkeem Joseph, John-Paul Rochford ) vs French Guiana 1
P W D L F A Pts
Costa Rica 3 3 0 0 9 3 9
Martinique 3 2 0 0 4 5 6
Haiti 3 1 1 1 4 4 4
T&T 3 1 0 2 4 5 3
Guadeloupe 3 0 2 1 2 3 2
French Guiana 3 0 1 2 2 5 1
T&T: – 20.Jabari Brice, 5. Jessie Williams, 12. Darnell Hospedales, 2. Kerdell Sween, 3. Deron John (4. Jabari Graham, 53’) 14. Darnell Charles (8.Anthony Samuel,60’) 16. Isa Bramble (10. Judah Garcia, 46’) 17. Shaqkeem Joseph, 11. Jordan Riley (6. Brandon Semper, 30’) 13. Kishon Hackshaw, 7. Shem Clauzel (15. John-Paul Rochford, 46’)
Subs not used – 1. Denzil Smith; Jaydon Prowell (was not in squad)
Head Coach: Russell Latapy.