Sidebar

20
Sat, Apr

Trinidad and Tobago's Abayomi George (R) and St Vincent and the Grenandines' Mackellie Ferdinand battle for the ball during the Concacaf Under-20s Championship Group D qualifier match, on Friday, February 23rd at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain. PHOTO BY: Daniel Prentice
Typography

Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 men's football coach Brian Haynes and his players commended the team's fighting spirit until the final whistle, which earned the junior Soca Warriors a 3-2 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the Concacaf Under-20 Championship qualifiers at Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Friday night.

A goal deep in second-half stoppage time by Michael Chaves gave T&T the Group D win. T&T will aim for another win against Dominica tonight, followed by their last match against Canada on Tuesday. Both matches will be played at Hasely Crawford Stadium from 7 pm. Only the top team from the group will qualify for the 2024 Concacaf Under-20 Championships.

T&T were trailing 2-0, but goals from captain Cody Cooper, Larry Noel and Chaves led the response.

"The fact that we fought and we kept fighting until the end...it's good to see the team has the know-how to fight back and win the game like that," Haynes said in a media conference following the match. "I give credit to them, not myself, because they did exactly what they needed to do to get the three points. So that is what impressed me the most, the fact that they had fight all the way until the end."

Midfielder Rio Cardines also applauded the battling spirit of his team-mates. "It was a good game. We left it out all on the pitch. As a team to get those goals, to keep our heads up and not let ourselves drop and keep fighting because that is what it is all about. We are proud to be Trini and keep fighting until the end."

Chaves said the winning goal was one of his best moments in football. "I think this could be one of my proudest moments right now. I can't even put into words how I am feeling. I am just so happy right now."

The small, but lively crowd erupted after Chaves's goal.

"That was one of my best feelings. That noise, that happiness, that joy was just amazing," Chaves said.

He felt he would have scored on Friday and even told assistant coach Marvin Gordon that before coming on as a substitute. Chaves said, "When I was on the bench, I actually spoke to assistant coach Marvin and I said, 'Coachman, I am coming on and I am scoring.' So that's what I was thinking on the bench."

Chaves also commended the determination of T&T during the match. "We knew what we wanted which was the victory and the three points and everybody just really dug deep and got the result."

T&T player Lindell Sween seemed to be struggling, before being substituted at the end of the first half. Haynes said he was experiencing discomfort as his calves were tightening up.

On the possibility of not having Sween for the remaining matches, Haynes said, "We're going to miss his technical ability, he's a special player. That, yes we will miss, but we think his health is more important than him pushing himself when we have other guys that could bare the load for him until he gets back."

Looking ahead to the Dominica match, Haynes said, "We need to win and we need to win without giving up any goals. We've given up enough goals with the two (on Friday), so we need to win this game coming up."