Tue, Oct

Munoz hat-trick sinks T&T.

A hat-trick for Mex­i­can mid­field­er San­ti­a­go Munoz con­fined the T&T un­der-17 foot­ball team to its first de­feat in Group E of the CON­CA­CAF Un­der-17 Cham­pi­onship 0-5 in Flori­da, Unit­ed States yes­ter­day af­ter­noon at the IMG Acad­e­my.

How­ev­er, the de­feat did not pre­vent the ju­nior So­ca War­riors from pro­gress­ing to the next round of the cham­pi­onship, along with their Mex­i­can coun­ter­parts from the group. T&T's gut­sy de­fence pre­vent­ed what could have been a wider mar­gin of de­feat against a dom­i­nant Mex­i­can out­fit.

Af­ter two con­fi­dence-boost­ing vic­to­ries over Bermu­da and Ja­maica, the T&T lads went in­to the match in search of a win to top the group, but they met a more-than-con­fi­dent Mex­i­co team, which prized its de­fence open as ear­ly as the eighth minute. Munoz de­liv­ered a pin-point cross from the right side for an un­marked Bryan Gon­za­lez to head home for a 1-0 ad­van­tage.

Mex­i­co's pen­chant for ball pos­ses­sion lat­er led to more goals, while pre­vent­ing fur­ther T&T at­tacks which were scarce on the day. The Munoz show be­gan in the 27th minute when Gon­za­lez curled the ball in­side the box from a right-side free­kick, for him to rise un­chal­lenged and head past goal­keep­er Isa­iah Williams.

Ten min­utes lat­er the T&T de­fence failed to get rid of an­oth­er cross ball from the right side, and the ball rolled invit­ing­ly for Munoz to calm­ly fire it past the TT cus­to­di­an in the 37th minute.

The young So­ca War­riors who were forced to come from be­hind against the Ja­maicans on Fri­day, strug­gled to mount any re­al mean­ing­ful at­tack for most of the pro­ceed­ings, as their lack of con­fi­dence rather than their abil­i­ty, kept them away from the Mex­i­can goal area.

T&T coach Stern John's de­ci­sion to re­place pro­lif­ic strik­er Justin Arau­jo-Wil­son with Gary Grif­fith III, son of Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith, did not bear any fruit, as Grif­fith and com­pa­ny were al­ways slow­er to the ball than their Mex­i­can de­fend­ers dur­ing at­tacks. Mex­i­co went to the half-time in­ter­val with a 3-0 ad­van­tage and was just as ag­gres­sive when the match re­sumed.

Two more goals how­ev­er com­plet­ed Mex­i­co's dom­i­nant dis­play and put them through as one of the favourites to qual­i­fy for the Un­der-17 World Cup in Brazil.

Efrain Al­varez, who came in as a late sub­sti­tute, in­creased his team's tal­ly to 4-0 on on­ly his first touch of the ball in the 58th minute. Gon­za­lez on an­oth­er sweep­ing runs down the left flank, cen­tred per­fect­ly for him to head home.

And with the ref­er­ee's eyes on his watch, Munoz re­ceived his third goal of the match in the 88th minute, when Al­varez thread his pass through an open T&T de­fence, for him to calm­ly slot be­yond the on­rush­ing goal­keep­er for a 5-0 vic­to­ry.


Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Isaiah Williams; 18.Isa Sayeed, 2.Nigel Carraby, 5.Cephas St Rose (captain), 7.Jaiye Sheppard; 16.Keilon Burnett-Acevaro, 17.Kevan Kahoussi (8.Tyrese Pierre 74), 10.Andrew De Gannes; 11.Jean-Heim Mc Fee (19.Ajani Fortune 60), 13.Gary Griffith III (14.Jerrell Nixon 56), 12.Curtis De Leon.

Unused substitutes: 20.Kahlil Oliver (GK), 3.Luke Savery, 4.Jordon Britto, 6.Zachary Welch, 9.Justin Araujo-Wilson, 15.Jeremy Lashley.

Coach: Stern John

Mexico: 1.Eduardo Garcia; 3.Victor Guzmán, 4.Jesús Gómez (2.Jose Ruiz 46), 5.Rafael Martínez, 13.Emilio Lara; 7.Luis Gustavo Martinez, 11.Bryan González, 15.Edgar Martínez, 16.Kevin Mariscal (8.Kevin Ortega 65); 10.Israel Luna (18.Efrain Alvarez 57), 19.Santiago Muñoz.

Unused substitutes: 12.Arturo Delgado (GK), 6.Eugenio Pizzuto, 9.Leonardo Correa, 14.Abraham Flores, 17.Luis Carlos Martinez, 20.Bruce El Mesmari.

Coach: Marco Ruiz.

CU17 TRI 0-5 MEX | Highlights

Group E Standings

P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
Mexico  3  3  0  0  11  0  9
Trinidad & Tobago  3  2  0  1  6  8  6
Jamaica  3  1  0  2  6  6  3
Bermuda  3  0  0  3  3  13  0

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