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T&T vs St Vincent (U-20) - 29-Oct-2006.
Mon Oct 30, 2006 06:41

T&T stay alive....U20s to meet Jamaica in playoff.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).

Trinidad and Tobago’s under 20 footballers will have to go through the back door and may still need to pick an extra lock to progress in their qualifying bid for the 2007 FIFA World Youth Championship. All this was determined as the Brian Williams coached team showed some guts in a 3-0 victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday to secure second spot in the group and a place in the playoff with Jamaica in two weeks time.
St Kitts/Nevis proved the odds wrong as they outlasted Dominican Republic 2-1 in the first game of the double header on a muddy pitch. The result meant they moved to six points and that T&T would have had to win by three clear goals to edge Dominican Republic for the second spot.
A 27th minute header goal by Radanfah Abu Bakr and a double by Matthew Bartholomew in the 70th and 81st minute paced T&T to the much needed victory in front a few hundred fans who turned up in desperate hope of something good from their boys.
A couple days earlier, the Spanish-speaking players were cheering on the Kittitians from the stands and on Sunday they were quiet and left disappointed with the eventual outcome.
T&T started with more purpose than they did in the two previous encounters as it appeared they finally realised that they weren’t that good as they may have been made to feel. Defenders Marvin James and Brendon Boucaud were left out of the start team this time while Corneal Thomas returned from injury and Stefan De Las got his first start.
The Vincentians actually had the first attempt on goal on 15 minutes when Cornelius Stewart tried from long range without any direction and a couple minutes later T&T’s Javed Mohammed had no control over his skied effort from the top left of the box under no pressure.
The chances were coming for T&T but the goals were what they needed. First time starter Stefan De Las’ left side ball led to Bartholomew’ try with the outside of the right foot going inches wide on the near left post. And moments later Bartholomew failed to make contact with Mohammed’s quicker grounder across the goal. The ball seemed to be following the W Connection striker throughout that he would have had many sleepless nights if he hadn’t converted later on.
The deadlock was finally broken just before the half hour mark when Keon Daniel, who continued with his dangerous looking deliveries from the right, floated one over for Bakr to clinically head home.
After the break, T&T continued to press for more goals as the Vincentians found it hard to even testing T&T’s Adrian Foncette in goal. They ran hard though and tried even harder to deny the hosts.
Mohammed’s left side corner preceded a Bakr header which went straight to goalie Dwaing Peters Sandy on 53 minutes and seven minutes later the same provider saw his corner headed wide by Bartholomew.
Lester Peltier wasn’t penetrative and was replaced by Carlyle Mitchell in the 68th minute and Downing came on for Mohammed.
It wasn’t long before Downing chased a loose ball on the left and timed his cross perfectly for an onrushing Bartholomew to stab home from the six yard. Two goals ahead and T&T began to see more light on the night.
At that stage, youth development director Anton Corneal, who sat on the bench for the first time in the series, was now on his feet sending out instructions. And the rest of the T&T faithful too were doing their own spurring on.
The goal that kept T&T alive then came when Atullah Guerra’s shot was partially blocked by the ‘keeper and the ball ended to the left of the goal for a busy Downing to square back for Bartholomew’s make sure connection.
The scorer had a chance to grab a hattrick but he alone could explain how his right footer ended up behind the goal after a breakaway down the left near the end. St Vincent lost a man for a second bookable offense but T&T had already done enough by then that not even that mattered at that point.


– 1.Adrian Foncette, 5.Radanfah Abu Bakr (capt), 13.Stefan De Las, 4.Corneal Thomas, 18.Christon Thomas (14.Elton John 74th), 7.Khaleem Hyland, 16.Javed Mohammed (11.Aaron Downing 68th), 8.Keon Daniel, 12.Atullah Guerra, 9.Lester Peltier (20.Carlyle Mitchell 68th), 10.Matthew Bartholomew.

SVG – 22.Dwaing Peters-Sandy, 19.Olean Hannaway, 3.Keith James, 6.Shemol Trimmingham, 7.Iziah Sam, 8.Tiron Miller, 10.Quillian Tash, 12.Seinard Bowens, 11. Cornelius Stewart (Japheti Garrick 29th), 13.Amon Bascombe, 14.Romano Snagg.
Head coach to work on improving U20 team before playoff.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).

Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 head coach is hopeful of securing the services of captain Radanfah Abu Bakr and US-based defender Stefan De Las for their upcoming Caribbean Football Union playoffs for a spot in the CONCACAF final round of Under 20 World qualifiers.
T&T, by virtue of finishing runners up in their second round group after a 3-0 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday, must face Jamaica in a playoff. Jamaica also finished second in their group after tying 0-0 with group winners Haiti on the weekend.
The dates for the playoff were not confirmed but is carded to be in a month's time and must be completed before year end. T&T will play away in the opening leg, CFU General Secretary Kerri Alleyne relayed on Monday.
Williams must now reassemble his team for competitive football and this means that Abu Bakr, who attends Kingston College in London and De Las of Graceland College in the USA will have to get further time off from their teams. Both players were scheduled to return to their respective destinations early this week.
The head coach added that he may even look at the possibility of adding some new faces out of the USA if he has a chance to observe the available talent in time for the playoffs.
Looking back at the win, Williams commented “We know we had a quality squad but we just had to put it together. Today I have to give all credit to the guys for a spirited performance. We have to take it from here and maintain the focus. The World Cup is our main objective but we know we have another hurdle to climb with the playoffs.”
He didn’t hide the fact that he felt needing a three goal marginal win would have been an uphill task for his team.
“It was a doubtful but it wasn’t beyond our team. We just had to go all the way and ensure we controlled the midfield and execute up top. Our boys responded well..”
And having campaigned with national teams in the past as a player, Williams knows what the pressures can be like and even though the crowds at the recent matches were poor, he is also getting accustomed to handling the game under high expectations as a coach.
“Obviously the expectation playing at home is always great. I will say that at least in the past we have been known as the mecca of football in the Caribbean and we are expected to easily go through the teams now. But I know that is a bit difficult because the gap has closed in the world today and it won’t come easy without preparation over time. Playing like home is like anywhere else as well with regards to the pressure.”
And looking ahead to meeting Caribbean rivals Jamaica, Williams said that again preparation will be the key.
“It’s more about us needing to be mentally ready as well. We know our potential and we need to play with that in mind. I will say to them (T&T players) to get back on the training field and keep everything on the ground.
“Preparation is the key we will be back in training on November 6 in which time we will work on our weak areas. We will try to get a couple more friendlies and maybe some stiffer opponents,” he said.
About the availability of Abu Bakr and De Las and possibly some additional faces, the former Trintoc player said: “We will have a discussion and see how possible for them to get released from their schools again. We may even look at a couple players from the USA once we can get that chance to strengthen the squad even in time for the playoffs.”
The dreadlocks southerner also spoke of his little pep talk with striker Matthew Barthlomew who had failed to deliver the goods before Sunday’s win in which he netted a vital double.
“I had a personal talk with Matthew and let him know our expectations of him and also what is expected of him in Trinidad here as a professional player. He has been getting goals in the Pro League so I said to him ‘Matthew you have to step up and work hard in this one.” So it was good and I congratulate him for taking up the challenge and getting the two goals.”
And the manner in which T&T turned it on and persisted in the second half was a welcomed sight.
“This is what we decided in that we would leave this kind of strength coming off the bench. Javed (Mohammed) is a very disciplined player in doing his task so he felt we could start with him and then bring (Aaron) Downing on when things got weary and he could run for us which is exactly what he did. The team plan worked well for us and I want to compliment the guys for this,” Williams concluded.

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