T&T Under-20 footballers will be hoping to settle a score with United Arab Emirates (UAE) when both teams face off in a Fifa Under-20 World Cup Finals Tournament warm-up encounter in Antalya, Turkey, today.
The young Warriors, coached by Yugoslav-born Zoran Vranes, arrived at the Sural Resort on Monday afternoon from England and have so far held four training sessions ahead of today’s match.
When the young Soca Warriors take to the field, they will be seeking to avenge two defeats to their opponents. Earlier this year T&T Under-20’s went under to the UAE in two friendly matches in Dubai (1-0 and 5-0) on an Asian and African tour which also included matches against the Under-20 teams of South Korea and Nigeria. However, this time around, Vranes’ youngsters, who have been boosted by the inclusion of England born utility player Jake Thomson of Southampton FC will out to get a better result.
The European-based duo of midfielder Khaleem Hyland who is attached to Belgium club, Zulte Waregem and striker Jamal Gay of Germany’s Rot Weiss Oberhausen are expected to join the team on Friday ahead of matches against Costa Rica Under-20’s, Cameroon and another against UAE before moving on to Cyprus. In two meeting’s with the Costa Rica, T&T drew 0-0 in their opening match of the Concacaf Final Round Championship here in T&T, while the Central Americans won the other 4-1 in a warm-up tournament in Venezuela recently. The clash with Cameroon will be the first between both countries.
On arrival in Cyprus, the Under-20s will play two matches against, USA and Australia before arriving in Egypt three days before they meet the host in the opening match of the 24-team Under-20 World Cup on September 24 in Alexandria. T&T also meets Italy (September 28) and Italy (Paraguay October 1) in its other pool matches. Prior to arriving in Turkey on Monday, the T&T squad and technical staff enjoyed a one-week camp in England where they edged a Sheffield United XI 2-1 at Bramell Lane before going under by a similar margin to Bradford Park Avenue.