TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s beach soccer unit defied odds on their way to being crowned 2015 Lucayan Cup champions when the three-day competition climaxed along the white sands of the Beach Soccer and Futsal Facility in Malcolm Park, Bahamas, on Sunday.
The short round-robin tourney featured CONCACAF’s top-ranked beach soccer team, Mexico, and sixthranked hosts, Bahamas, vying for honours alongside the region’s sixth-rated team, TT .
In their opening match against front runners Mexico on Saturday, the ‘Beach Soccer Warriors’ emerged with a narrow but pivotal 5-4 victory.
Two goals each from Munchin Mc Dougall and Kevon ‘Showtime’ Woodley, partnered with a lone goal from Victor Thomas was just enough to oust the mighty Mexicans on day two.
Up against the hosts and obvious favourites on Sunday, the red, white and black, still high off their opening win, rallied to another nail-biting 5-3 triumph and this year’s Lucayan Cup.
Ryan Augustine netted twice for the national outfit while Woodley, Mc Dougall and Lemuel Lyons bagged one each.
Speaking after TT ’s victory over CONCACAF giants Mexico, coach of the national squad Benny Astorga expressed pleasure with his bunch of players.
He was however, especially happy that the guys were able to boost their confidence against the dominant Central Americans.
“It feels good and it’s a great victory for the team,” said Astorga.
“My team needed it.
We’ve been in this for about four years and the first team we ever played was Mexico, and they gave us 9-1.
So it’s good to see that we’ve closed the gap and the men were victorious. They fought really hard today (Saturday).” Astorga also held in high regard the all-round efforts of Woodley in their opening win and credited the young man on a job well done. Woodley is also a member of TT Pro League club, Club Sando, and exercises his competitive consistencies on both the sand and grass pitches.
“We don’t call him ‘Showtime’ for nothing,” Astorga added.
“He steps up when he has to and is a very experienced player on grass and a bit new to beach (soccer). But he brings that senior leadership and he’s our go-to man when we need to get things done. We incorporate singing in the warmups to give them (players) that energy that they need and to show the world who Trinidad (and Tobago) is in beach soccer.
We came to win this tournament. We’re in this business to go far.
We want the points to move up the rankings and the men are hungry.” Returning for TT ’s Lucayan Cup performance was Zane Coker, having just finished a two-month stint in the Swiss Beach Soccer League, and US-based players Lyons and Victor Thomas, who were both assisted in their timely arrival by sport agent Narada Wilson.
The team was scheduled to return home last night.