DESPITE an unexpected scare, the Trinidad and Tobago men’s under-17 team advanced to the Round-of-16 of the Concacaf Under-17 Championship following a 1-1 draw with Caribbean neighbours, Barbados, at the Estadio Pensativo in Guatemala last evening.
Heading into the match, the young Soca Warriors needed just a draw to advance to the first knockout round as the third-placed team in Group F – behind the United States and Canada – due to their superior goal difference to their Caribbean counterparts.
The four semifinalists of the tournament will qualify for the 2023 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru.
Head coach Shawn Cooper had Rio Cardines back and available for selection after the Crystal Palace midfielder served his suspension for a sending-off in the opening match against Canada. The T&T boss made four changes from the team that lost to the US two days prior – bringing in Cardines, the recovered Jaden Williams, Jeremiah Cateau and Dominic Wilson. Samuel Duncan, Tau Lamsee, Derrell Garcia and Michael Chaves were dropped to the bench.
Barbados showed signs of early promise as they were the ones in control in the early stages of the match. The Tridents were rewarded for their efforts in the 38th minute when Shamari Harewood put the ball past T&T goalkeeper Ailan Panton to give Barbados a shock lead.
Stunned after the concession of the goal, the Warriors were forced to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves for a much-needed equaliser. This tactical change reaped dividends as the match turned in their favour and they became the dominant force.
Cooper also made attacking substitutions in the second half to bolster the Warriors’ attack – bringing on Michael Chaves, Derrel Garcia and Malachi Webb.
The coveted ‘winning’ goal was attained eight minutes from full-time as Lindell Sween heroically rescued T&T with an excellent finish to help the Warriors claim the point they set out for, and book their tickets to the next round of the competition.
T&T will go on to face either Haiti or El Salvador in the round-of-16 on February 19. Both Group H teams will have their destinies determined on Thursday evening.
Sween scores late to take Soca Warriors into 2nd round 1-1.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).
Lindell Sween scored late in the 82nd minute to assure T&T a 1-1 tie with regional rivals Barbados, as well as entry into the second round of the CONCACAF Under-17 Championships on Wednesday at the Estadio Pensativo in Antigua, Guatemala.
Both teams found themselves in a similar position following losses to Canada and the United States, however, the young Soca Warriors had a slim advantage courtesy of a superior goal difference that ensured they only needed a draw to advance.
Last night, both teams were balance in the opening half as they traded attacks at each other’s goals. For T&T Dominic Wilson, Lyshaun Morris and Lindell Sween tried in vain but failed to trouble the Barbadian goalie Jireh Malcolm, while on the other side the pair of Harewood and Rovaldo Massiah kept the T&T defensive structure on its toes.
However, the Bajans broke the deadlock from Shamari Harewood in the 38th minute and enjoyed that advantage at the half-time interval. Despite challenges from the T&T team in the second period of play the Barbadians appeared to be heading to the finish with the win, until Sween, who had been threatening all match got the saving item for the Warriors.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-4-1-1): 1.Ailan Panton (GK); 6.Aydon Caruth (11.Derrel García 71), 2.Jaden Williams, 3.Joshua Figaro, 4.Lyshaun Morris; 7.Rio Cardines, 12.Jeremiah Cateau (10.Michael Chaves 63), 8.Josiah Ochoa (captain), 18.Dominic Wilson (16.Jeremiah Niles 89); 9.Lindell Sween (15.Armani Rowe 89); 19.Tyrell Moore (17.Malachi Webb 71).
Unused Substitutes: 20.Jaden Ottley (GK), 5.Samuel Duncan, 13.Vaughn Clement, 14.Tau Lamsee.
Coach: Shawn Cooper
Barbados (4-3-3): 18.Jireh Malcolm (GK); 20.James Moore, 4.Warren Trotman (captain), 3.Ajani Banton, 19.Ajanie Payne; 12.Kiaros Greaves (17.Ronan Lee 59), 6.Amego Jordan, 10.Rovaldo Massiah; 7.Shamari Harewood, 9.Che Millington (13.Kobe Burges 63), 11.Christian Gill (14.Ephraim Gill 76).
Unused Substitutes: 1.K’den Hee Chung (GK), 2.Micaiah Clarke, 5.Kamari Johnson, 8.Joshua Husbands, 15.Jayden Greenidge, 16.Zachari Yard.
Coach: Fabian Massiah.
Referee: Adonis Carrasco (Dominica).
WATCH - HIGHLIGHTS of Trinidad and Tobago Men's U-17's 1-1 draw with Barbados
Concacaf Under-17 Championship Yesterday Results
Trinidad and Tobago 1 (Lindell Sween 82) v Barbados 1 (Shamari Harewood 38)
United States 1 (Keyrol Figueroa 64) v Canada 0
P W D L F A Pts
United States 3 3 0 0 9 1 9
Canada 3 2 0 1 5 3 6
Trinidad & Tobago 3 0 1 2 4 7 1
Barbados 3 0 1 2 1 8 1
U-17s into the knockout phase.
A draw was needed and that’s exactly what was achieved as Lindell Sween’s 82nd minute equalizer held off a stubborn Barbados as Trinidad and Tobago’s U-17 Men’s team secured a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Pensativo on Wednesday. The result pushed T&T through to the knockout phase where they will meet the Group H second placed team on Sunday.
Either team could break down each other’s defence until late in the first half when Shamari Harewood’s effort bounced past goalkeeper Ailan Panton to push the “Bajans” ahead.
ForDominic Wilson, Lyshaun Morris and Lindell Sween all had attempts on goal but could not find the target. But Sween had the final say with a low left footed effort into the far right post with eight minutes left in regulation.
Cooper: Was never going to be easy
“I said from the start Barbados is no walk over. They have some quality players within their squad and they were a stubborn bunch. The difference in this match was who wanted it more with all the cards on the table. They (Barbados) were purposeful in their play and had the belief of going to the second rounds. We on the other hand was trying to put on a full 90-minute performance to have the perfect game. But we struggled to settle down not for the first time and went a goal behind by some poor decision making and defensive organisation.
Changes to the Approach
“We had to make some decisions in the starting team with a slight injury to Derrel Garcia coming from the goal he scored against the US. He struck the ball so hard that he injuried his right ankle, so I decided not to use him. But fate had it we had to throw on our offensive threat off the bench to bring a change to the game. Our conditioning program has been second to noneso we were relentless in the second half to get the equalizer.
It wasn’t Pretty but…
“It wasn’t pretty and we know we can play much better football than we are doing at this time. But the boys are learning on the job and their efforts cannot be questioned. They are giving there all for the country at the moment. But we must be better going forward in the future. We have several players on the day who can deliver goals. Today was Sween and day before was Garcia. It was a team effort and a member doing his part when asked to do so. Before the goal he had his personal struggles in the field, but his talent came to the party at the end,” Cooper said.
“Now we will recover over the next couple days and prepare for our next opponent. Again, we are one step towards achieving our mission. It will certainly be a challenge but it’s one we are looking forward to,” Cooper concluded.