Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Men’s Team, preparing for their upcoming Caribbean Football Union final round in Curacao, won their opening practice match of their training camp in Panama City on Monday.
The Brian Williams-coached team defeated Panama First Division club Leones de America Reserves 2-1 at the Maracana Stadium.
In the match played on artificial surface, T&T got goals from captain Jabari Mitchell in the 9th minute and Kathon St Hillaire struck the winner in the 72nd minute.
Following the match, head coach Williams credited his side for their efforts.
“It was a good test for us. We have been here for the past couple of days, settling in and really getting down to some solid work before we head over to Curacao,” Williams told TTFA Media.
“The conditions here are good for the preparations. Being able to play on the artificial surface at the Maracana is a big plus for us because our games in Curacao will be on a similar surface. And the venue here is pretty decent. I know the national senior team trained here last year as well.
“The match itself turned out to be competitive. We got on the scoresheet early and then we were able to get the winner in the second half for a needed confidence booster. The opposition gave us a good, competitive match which is welcomed at this time of our preparations,” Williams added.
Three members of the final squad selected for the tournament will join the contingent in Curacao and they include North American-based trio Jacob Sooklal, Jarred Dass and Andrew Rullow.
T&T will face off with Cuba in their opening match of the Caribbean Football Union Final Round of Under 20 World Cup qualification on October 22nd in Curacao.
T&T, the CFU defending champions, have been grouped with previous runners up Haiti, Cuba and St Lucia in Group B which will be contested at the Ergilio Hato.
Following their opening game with Cuba, T&T then faces St Lucia on October 24th and Haiti on October 26th.
Group A comprises of hosts Curacao, Bermuda, St Kitts/Nevis and Antigua/Barbuda.
The top two teams will advance to the semi finals as well as gain automatic passage to the CONCACAF Final round which will be played in Costa Rica in February. The semi-finals will be played on October 28th and the final and third place match will take place on October 30th. The top five teams from the CFU Final round will advance to the CONCACAF stage.