Trinidad & Tobago kept its hopes up of reaching the quarterfinals of the 2013 CONCACAF Under-17 Championship by recording a 2-0 Group B victory over Costa Rica on Monday night.
Andre Fortune scored in the first half and Brent Sam added an insurance goal for the Soca Warriors in the second half at Estadio Agustin Muquita Sanchez.
Goalkeeper Johan Welch, who plays for the Houston Dynamo Academy team, recorded the shutout for the Caribbean side.
Trinidad ended group play at 1-1-0 and three points. The Costa Ricans (0-1-0, none) face Canada (1-0-0, three), 2-0 winners over Trinidad in its Saturday opener, in the final group match on Wednesday night.
The Ticos squandered a golden opportunity to take an early lead after Trinidad's Brendon Creed took down Arington Torres in the penalty area. Referee Armando Castro of Honduras had no hesitation pointing to the penalty spot.
On the ensuing kick, however, Costa Rica's Rory Rivera sent his attempt high over the net in the the seventh minute.
The Soca Warriors broke the ice in the 33rd minute with a goal from Fortune, who unleashed a low, 28-yard shot, a left-footed effort that he tucked just inside the right post and goalkeeper Jorge Jara for a 1-0 lead.
After coming up empty in the opening 45 minutes, the Costa Ricans came out of the locker room with much more energy to start the second half.
In search of the equalizer, Torres broke through the Trinidad backline and sent a shot that barely missed the right post in the 48th minute.
The Central Americans came close to knotting things up in the 65th minute when Torres headed a left-wing cross by Fernando Segura off the left post.
Trinidad made most of one of its few scoring opportunities in the second half. Segura fouled Aikim Andrews at the right edge of the penalty area. Sam launched an 18-yard free kick with his left foot that beat Jara to the near post and a two-goal advantage in the 79th minute.
T&T 2 v Costa Rica 0
Andre Fortune 33, Sam Brent 79
T&T: - 1.Johan Welch, 2.Shannon Gomez, 3.Maurice Ford (Yellow 68), 4.Josiah Trimmingham, 5.Leland Archer, 6.Brendon Creed (capt), 7.Kishun Seecharan (8.Aikim Andrews 73rd), 9.Akeem Garcia, 14.Andre Fortune (11.Jarred Dass 76th), 15.Brent Sam (17.Martieon Watson 90th), 16.Levi Garcia.
Unused Subs: - 10.Matthew Woo Ling, 12.Jabari Mitchell, 13.Anderson Toussaint. 18.Sterling Noreiga, 19.Weah Adams, 21.Stephon Seepersad.
Coach: - Shawn Cooper.
Costa Rica: - 1.Jorge Jara, 2.Jordan Segura (10.Berny Burke 46th), 3.Esteban Marín, 5.René Miranda, 6.Fernando Segura (Yellow 78), 8.Andrey Mora, 9.Rory Rivera, 12.David Valverde (16.José Ruíz 69th), 15.Jeison Seas, 17.Arlington Torres, 20.Neeuro Shaquille (7.Fabricio Rosales 54th - Yellow 88).
Coach: - Edson Soto.
Referee: - Armando Castro (Honduras).
Venue: - Estadio Agustín Muquita Sánchez, Panama.
P W D L F A Pts
Canada 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
T&T 2 1 0 1 2 2 3
Costa Rica 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
By Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).
Trinidad and Tobago stunned Costa Rica 2-0 in their Group B CONCACAF Under 17 World Cup qualifier on Monday night to keep alive their chances for qualifying for the 2013 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
An opening goal by US-based midfielder Andre Fortune pushed T&T ahead in the 32nd minute and Brent Sam sunk the Costa Ricans with a left footed free kick strike in the 79th minute to leave T&T on three points, same as Canada heading into Wednesday’s final group game between the Canadians and Costa Rica. (See tournament rules below). The four-semi finaiists will qualify for the U-17 World Cup in October
The victory by the junior Soca Warriors was the first for any T&T team over Costa Rica in competition since the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup when goals by Arnold Dwarika and Mickey Trotman sent T&T in the semi-finals. T&T have never beaten Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier at any level.
To defeat a Central American nation that has gotten the better of them for most parts, was certainly a bright moment for T&T football, moreso after the string of disappointments in recent times.
“It’s a brilliant result for us and it shows that we can compete with these teams,” Cooper told TTFF Media moments after the win for his team which has been supported during this campaign by the Ministry of Sport.
“We worked our legs off coming into this tournament and I still felt we didn’t get the right kind of preparation because we got things going a bit late. But with the bit that we got in terms of match preparation added to the fight, belief and effort that we gave, brought us to this victory tonight,” he added.
Team captain Brendon Creed was elated.
“This is what we worked hard for… to come here and show teams like Concacaf that we too can win matches. We were disappointed with the loss to Canada but the boys knew that this could be our last game together in the competition if we didn’t pull it off and we came into the game knowing it was all or nothing.
We still have one more game to win to make it to the World Cup and we will do stay focused and achieve what we set out to,” he added.
Costa Rica got a gift in the 8th minute when Honduran referee Armando Castro ruled that Creed fouled the Costa Rica just inside the box. It was a harsh call but the football Gods stayed on T&T’s side as Rory Rivera blasted the penalty over bar.
Prior to that, T&T started the game with much purpose and looked more business like than their opponents.
After a couple of attempts which caused little trouble for the Costa Ricans, T&T picked up the pace and Fortune picked his spot nicely, firing a low left footer into the right corner of the goal after collecting from about 25 metres out and advancing goalwards.
It was the ideal scenario for T&T but the Central Americans were not to be outdone and controlled the following few minutes before the break as T&T tried to maintain their lead. Fortune had another effort close to the break which he dragged wide of the right post from outside the area.
At the start of the second half, three minutes in, Arington Torres saw his header go inches wide of the mark. The same player had another header bounce off the upright in the 65th minute.
But T&T kept their composure and worked their way back into the match, frustrating the Costa Ricans at times, forcing them into some untimely challenges.
Kishun Seecharan should have done better after being put through on the right but he sent his shot wide of the far post. At the other end, wing back Shannon Gomez was enjoying another solid game and goalkeeper Johan Welch was in no mood to let anything get past him.
Akeem Garcia missed a wonderful opportunity to put T&T 2-0 ahead when his glancing header went wide of the left post in the 73rd.
Substitute Aikim Andrews replaced Seecharan and like he did against Canada, woke up T&T’s right side attack. He was hacked down on the right of the box and Sam made sure with a perfectly taken left foot free kick which beat Jorge Jara all ends up on his near post.
Sam was forced off the pitch near the end after suffering a cut to the mouth that required stitches on receiving an elbow from a Costa Rican that went unnoticed by the match officials.
T&T kept their opponents at bay, playing smart and avoiding any late flusters for the remaining minutes to keep their World Cup dreams alive.
T&T line up: - 1.Johan Welch, 2. Shannon Gomez, 3 Maurice Ford, 4. Josiah Trimmingham, 5. Leland Archer, 6. Brendon Creed (capt), 7. Kishun Seecharan (8. Aikim Andrews, 73’) 9. Akeem Garcia, 14. Andre Fortune (11.Jarred Dass, 76’), 15. Brent Sam (17. Martieon Watson, 90’), 16. Levi Garcia.
Subs that did not play 10. Matthew Woo Ling, 12. Jabari Mitchell, 13. Anderson Toussaint. 18. Sterling Noreiga, 19. Weah Adams, 21. Stephon Seepersad
Tournament Technical Rule
At the end of group play, if two or more teams are equal on points (including ties among third place teams), the manner in which teams will advance to the next round will be resolved as follows and in the order indicated:
a. Greater number of points in matches between the tied teams.
b.Greater goal difference in matches between the tied teams (if more than two teams finish equal on points)
c.Greater number of goals scored in matches among the tied teams (if more than two teams finish equal on points)
d.Greater goal difference in all group matches.
e.Greater number of goals in all group matches.
5. Drawing of lots