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MVP Corbin impresses

KADEEM CORBIN impressed all the way in being named Most Valuable Player at the 2014 Caribbean Under-20 Championship football tournament, which ended with Trinidad and Tobago beating Haiti 3-0 in the final before just under 4,000 fans at Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday night.

 The former St Anthony’s College striker got all three goals, taking his tournament tally to five, and making him the tournament Golden Boot winner.

 Aruba had the tournament’s best goalkeeper, USA-born Jean Marc Antersun. The Arubans also won the Fair Play trophy.

 Corbin provided the exclamation point in a T&T team, which had great wing play from Aikem Andrews, 16-year-old Levi Garcia, Kishun Seecharan and Akeem Garcia. The central midfield provided sublime touches, with Jabari Mitchell and Akeem Humprey coming off the bench and winning a starting spot, while vice-captain Neveal Hackshaw and Kevin Goddard worked their socks off.

The defenders, captain Shannon Gomez, the calm Martieon Watson, Maurice Ford, Jesus Perez and Cuban match saviour Josiah Trimmingham did all that was necessary to keep out the opponents, while despite a couple of early tournament lapses, goalie Johan Welch looked competent.

Of the group, Corbin stood out, his speed, tenacity and finishing making the T&T No.9 a target for all opponents. “Corbin is a special player,” T&T coach Derek King said after the final. “He is really a number 10 but we used him as a number nine. We are looking to bring him up to the senior team.”

King also said “job well done” to his young footballers after they beat Haiti 3-0 in the Championship decider.

“We came up against a good Haitian team, a solid team,” King said. “Both teams were more or less cautious in approach. Second half we realised we could penetrate behind the back of the Haiti team and we took our chances.”

There was also great big smile afterward on the face of T&T captain Gomez, who had high appreciation for the the Football Association, his coaches, the national stadium staff, and even Alicia’s Palace Hotel “for the good food.”

Gomez and his players revelled in the rare attention paid to them by supporting fans..

“This was the game of the tournament,” Gomez declared.

“The rhythm section was really good tonight. I wanted to dance on the field,” the captain added. “Once we get that support, I guarantee you that we can qualify for the Under-20 World Cup.”

Meanwhile, Haiti’s French coach Jerome Velfert did not believe his bunch were three goal worse off than T&T. Speaking through a translator, Velfert rated T&T a very good team and said they got three chances and converted them all.