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Trinidad and Tobago Men's U-20 team engage in a huddle before the second half of a Concacaf U-20 qualifier against Canada at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on Tuesday, February 27th 2024.
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CANADA proved a hurdle too high for Trinidad and Tobago’s Young Soca Warriors, the North Americans coming away with a 3-0 victory in their CONCACAF Men’s U-20 Championship, Group D qualifier, last night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

Winning Group D and handing the home team its first loss, Canada (9 points) advance to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship scheduled for July in Mexico. T&T (6 points) ended the series second with St Vincent and the Grenadines (3 points) securing third, following a 3-2 win yesterday over win-less Dominica.

Truth be told, Canada was the superior team, and restricted T&T to having just a single shot at their goalkeeper Gregoire Swiderski, coming through Crystal Palace midfielder Rio Cardines, who spent the night mostly defending, before finally getting a shot at goal, with Canada already up three goals.

With both teams having defeated SVG and Dominica in their respective opening two matches, the Canadians went into last night’s showdown with a better goal-difference. And so would have won the group with just a draw.

Needing a win, it got doubly difficult for the Young Soca Warriors when Myles Morgan gave Canada a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.

The dangerous first-half moments all belonged to the Canadians. Morgan put in a low shot from close up for the opening item, and only a coat of paint and the upright prevented them from getting a second goal, when Santiago Lopez’s free-kick skipped pass the dive of goalkeeper Ailan Panton and bounced off the far post in the 21st minute. Forward Jesse Costa had another gilt-edged scoring opportunity for Canada in the 36th minute, but hit his shot straight at goalkeeper Panton, who had initially parried a low cross straight to the Canadian captain.

And just three minutes later, Lopez had an even easier chance. He intercepted a bad backward pass and with only the T&T ‘keeper to beat, Lopez chipped the ball, but missed the entire goal.

Trinidad and Tobago were starved of the ball as attackers Lindell Sween and Larry Noel both picked up yellow cards after a rush of blood and late tackles, in trying to retrieve the ball. Sween’s attempted bicycle-kick on the half-hour mark was T&T’s only first half attempt at goal, but his shot went harmlessly wide.

At a goal down, there was still hope for the home team. But, once Lopez gave Canada a second goal in the 54th minute, it was effectively over. Taking the ball in their own half, Canada strolled through a stationary T&T team, before Lopez roofed a powerful shot for the second goal.

T&T never gave in and while they had a couple of brief looks at the Canadian’s goal, those looks resulted in no shots at Canadian goalkeeper Gregoire Swiderski.

Canada solidified their advantage when substitute Kevaughn Tavernier got a third in the 79th minute, walking the ball into the net, following slack defending and a naive rush out of goal by goalie Panton. And but for Russel Francois’ goal-mouth clearance, Canada would have had a fourth in the dying minutes.

Teams

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 1.Ailan Panton (GK); 7.Rio Cardines, 3.Russel Francois, 4.Cody Cooper (captain), 2.Duhrell Young (5.Lyshaun Morris 59); 8.Abayomi George, 6.Levi Jones (15.Josiah Ochoa 55); 13.Michael Chaves (19.Malachi Webb 78), 10.Lindell Sween (14.Tyrell Moore 78), 11.Derrel Garcia; 9.Larry Noel.

Unused substitutes: 18.Bryan Gafiuk (GK), 21.Makaya Taylor (GK), 12.Jeremiah Cateau, 16.Akil Henry, 17.Jaden Williams, 20.J’lon Matthews.

Coach: Brian Haynes

Canada (3-1-3-3): 1.Gregoire Swiderski (GK); 15.Adam Pearlman, 6.Lazar Stefanovic, 3.Christian Greco-Taylor (14.Ethan Schilte-Brown 83); 4.Alessandro Biello; 10.Jesse Costa (captain), 8.Jeevan Badwal, 20.Santiago Lopez (17.Kevaughn Tavernier 68); 2.Theo Rigopoulos (12.James Cameron 83), 21.Myles Morgan (19.Tavio Ciccarelli 61), 9.Oumar Diallo (11.Kimani Stewart-Baynes 46).

Unused substitutes: 16.Ivan Pavela (GK), 18.Nathaniel Abraham (GK), 5.Sergei Kozlovskiy, 7.Tiago Codinha, 13.Mattei Schiavoni.

Coach: Andrew Olivieri

Referee: Shavin Greene (Guyana)


ABOVE SOURCE: T&T Express

RELATED NEWS

Masterful Canada beats T&T U-20s 3-0 to advance.
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian).


An outstanding performance by the Canadian Under-20 team earned them a 3-0 victory over the T&T counterparts in the Concacaf U-20 World Cup Qualifiers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain, on Tuesday night.

With the win, Canada advanced as the Group D winner into the other phase of the qualifiers.

A 10th-minute goal from midfielder Myles Morgan handed Canada the advantage, much to the dislike of the fans who flocked to the facility. The T&T team needed to win to progress.

Despite changes coach Brian Haynes made to his starting team, bringing in midfielders Lindell Sween, Derrel Garcia and Levi Jones, their attack seemed muted due to the Canadians' decision to play a close-marking game. The visitors, in fact, took early possession of the game with Morgan, Oumar Diallo, captain Jesse Costa and Santiago Lopez leading an attack that pegged the home team back.

The Canadians might have had another in the 19th as poor T&T marking allowed Diallo to take the ball from centre to the edge of the box before he was brought down by Duhrell Young for a free kick. However, Lopez's fierce low shot crashed against the T&T upright before bouncing out to safety.

The usually attacking Rio Cardines and Michael Chaves were forced to make way for a dominant Canada midfield but still, Sween with a rare chance at goal in the 31st minute hit an overhead shot from a bouncing ball in the box, but it failed to trouble Gregoire Swiderski in the Canadian goal.

Instead, the Canadians could have scored in the 36th. Morgan down the right flank from a previous build-up, quickly centred for Diallo's first-time shot to be saved by goalkeeper Ailan Panton. And when Costa quickly pounced in the rebound, Panton was again in spot to keep it out.

Canada led 1-0 at the half and when the teams returned, T&T's Garcia gave the fans some hope when he raced on to a Sween through ball, however, his shot was deflected wide in 47th.

The Canadians got their second item in the 55th. Another build-up on the right side put Lopez inside the T&T box, and despite being at an acute angle, Lopez's rasping shot beat Panton into the top left corner.

Haynes then sought to strengthen his attack by bringing in Josiah Ochoa in the midfield, but it did not prevent the masterful Canadians from moving three goals ahead.

From another defensive blunder, Canada's Kevaughn Taverrier got a simple opportunity of tapping the ball into an empty net for a 3-0 margin.

The Canadians might have scored more goals in the moment that followed but lady luck was not on their side.

In the earlier game on Tuesday, which bore no significance, St Vincent and the Grenadine (SVG) edged Dominica 3-2.

Frankroy Cain, Kirtney Franklyn and Steven Pierre were the scorers for the SVG team, while the Dominicans got their goals from Ajani Richards and Keeyan Thomas.

(Teams)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-2-3-1): 1.Ailan Panton (GK); 7.Rio Cardines, 3.Russel Francois, 4.Cody Cooper (captain), 2.Duhrell Young (5.Lyshaun Morris 59); 8.Abayomi George, 6.Levi Jones (15.Josiah Ochoa 55); 13.Michael Chaves (19.Malachi Webb 78), 10.Lindell Sween (14.Tyrell Moore 78), 11.Derrel Garcia; 9.Larry Noel.

Unused substitutes: 18.Bryan Gafiuk (GK), 21.Makaya Taylor (GK), 12.Jeremiah Cateau, 16.Akil Henry, 17.Jaden Williams, 20.J’lon Matthews.

Coach: Brian Haynes

Canada (3-1-3-1): 1.Gregoire Swiderski (GK); 15.Adam Pearlman, 6.Lazar Stefanovic, 3.Christian Greco-Taylor (14.Ethan Schilte-Brown 83); 4.Alessandro Biello; 10.Jesse Costa (captain), 8.Jeevan Badwal, 20.Santiago Lopez (17.Kevaughn Tavernier 68); 2.Theo Rigopoulos (12.James Cameron 83), 21.Myles Morgan (19.Tavio Ciccarelli 61), 9.Oumar Diallo (11.Kimani Stewart-Baynes 46).

Unused substitutes: 16.Ivan Pavela (GK), 18.Nathaniel Abraham (GK), 5.Sergei Kozlovskiy, 7.Tiago Codinha, 13.Mattei Schiavoni.

Coach: Andrew Olivieri

Referee: Shavin Greene (Guyana).

RELATED NEWS

Canadians down Trinidad 3-0 to qualify for CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
By The Canadian Press.


PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad And Tobago - Canada booked its ticket to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship with a 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, completing a perfect 3-0-0 run in Group D qualifying play.

The young Canadians outscored their opposition 15-0 across their three games at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Myles Morgan, Santiago Lopez and Kevaughn Tavernier scored for Canada, which was up 1-0 at the break and had chances to add to that lead throughout a chippy game that saw some full-blooded challenges from the host side.

"Job done, that's the first thought in my mind," said Canada coach Andrew Olivieri.

"Maybe we made it look a little bit easy (at the tournament) at moments but it wasn't easy," he added. "The boys really put in an effort. I'm really excited about some of the young boys coming through."

Morgan opened the scoring in the 10th minute, capping a long passing sequence that ended with Jeevan Badwal finding the former Toronto FC academy player behind the defence in front of the goal. The ball was so good Morgan knocked it in without breaking stride.

Morgan, currently on trial with a team that Olivieri declined to identify, scored a hat trick in Canada's opening 8-0 win over Dominica on Friday.

Lopez made it 2-0 in the 54th minute, roofing a powerful shot past Trinidad goalkeeper Ailan Panton, whose mother Wendy Fitzwilliam was Miss Universe in 1998.

Tavernier, a Forge FC forward who turned 18 on Saturday, added to the lead in the 79th minute, knocking home a Kimani Stewart-Baynes cross with Panton out of position.

CONCACAF U-20 qualifying runs through Saturday across five venues in Central America and the Caribbean. Twenty-seven teams have been split into three groups of five and three groups of four with only the six group winners advancing to the main CONCACAF championship July 19 to Aug. 4 in Irapuato and Celaya, Mexico.

Olivieri said the plan is to get the team together in advance of the CONCACAF competition. But that comes with a cost for cash-strapped Canada Soccer.

"It comes at the cost of preparing other age-groups but this is the one we've targeted," he said.

The U.S., Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic have received byes into the CONCACAF main tournament.

The four semifinalists qualify for the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile. Canada has not taken part in the FIFA U-20 soccer showcase since it hosted the event in 2007.

Canada went into Tuesday's game with a healthy edge in goal difference, meaning it would qualify with a win or a tie.

Guyana referee Shavin Greene showed four yellow cards to Trinidad players for some ugly challenges.

Lopez had a couple of good scoring chances for Canada in the first half, hitting the goalpost with a free kick and then chipping just wide after a Trinidad turnover. Lopez is with Pumas UNAM in Mexico.

Morgan exited in the 61st minute replaced by Tavio Ciccarelli, who had a hat trick of his own in Canada's 4-0 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday. Ciccarelli is with Sheffield United's under-18 team in England.

Lopez came off in the 68th minute after receiving treatment on the field.

The Canadians outshot their opposition 63-4 (26-3 in shots on target) in their three outings. The host Soca Warriors edged St. Vincent 3-2 and blanked Dominica 5-0.

Canada won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in 1986 and 1996 and reached the round of 16 in 2022.