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T&T vs Cuba (26-Nov-2004) - U-17.
Sat Nov 27, 2004 08:51
205.174.22.27

Cuba U-17s win first-leg over Trinidad & Tobago.
Issued By: Shaun Fuentes.


Under 17 coach Nigel Grosvenor would have hoped for a stronger finish from his team which, according to reports, were not outplayed by the Cubans but lost it at the end.
Following a 10:30am kick off, T&T fell behind against the run of play when Adrian Hernandez slotted past goalkeeper Kevin Mussio who was under pressure to collect a pass back and T&T paid the price for the mishap at the back after 35 minutes.
T&T still pressed forward but had to wait until substitute Kyle McIvor met a left side cross and hit home from 12 yards for the equalizer in the 64th minute. T&T then looked the more dominant team but then the match slipped away from them.
Adrian Hernandez collected a through ball and made no mistake with his shot past the advancing goalie and then two minutes into added on time Onai Martinez punished T&T again when he latched on to a loose ball and got it over the line for a 3-1 Cuban win. The return legs will be played on December 9.
The CFU Series 1 victor will progress to the Group A of the 2005 CONCACAF U-17 Final Round Qualification along with the USA, the host Costa Rica and the winner of the Central Zone Triangular 1 (El Salvador/Guatemala/Nicaragua).

Possible Line-Ups:

T&T:

Kevin Mussio; Khaleem Hyland (Jevon Morton 89th), Marvin James, Brendon Boucard, Nyron Orr; Stephen Delas, Shastri Spencer, Silas Spann, Javed Mohammed (capt); Matthew Batholomew, Lester Peltier (Kyle McIvor 62nd).

Cuba:
José M. Sellez; Felix Guerra, Armando Trejo, Osmany Torres (capt), Jesús Fontes; Miguel A Lopez, Yosmany Bernal (Leonardo Vila 74th), Denis Suarez, Alberto Gomez (Yuri Altaba 89th); Adrian Hernandez, Luis A Villegas (Onai Martínez 86th).

T&T Coach remarks with: Ian Prescott:

Nigel Grosvenor-said they will be looking to score early in a bid to repair the damage of their 1-3 away loss when the both teams in in Trinidad. "Our aim is we (are) going to try and score early... all-out attack. There is no holding back now, it's either we beat them or they beat us. We need three goals to qualify, and we are going all out to qualify. I don't know how they (are) coming, but I know how we are going," said Grosvenor. The St Anthony's College coach felt all was not well during the first leg in Cuba and now his charges will be making their first effort to reach the final round of qualifying in Costa Rica from April 12-16. "People would think I am making excuses, but you have to be realistic. There are certain things that went against us. It all started when we left for Cuba, up to game time.
We left home from about four in the afternoon, and we were left until two, three (a.m.) sitting at the airport. "When we reached the hotel, we had to stay another hour on the bus waiting for rooms to be assigned. We missed breakfast the day before because they went to bed half (past) six in the morning, and we were supposed to play a World Cup qualifier at ten the next morning. "In the match they scored on us first and I brought on McIvor and we equalised, and really started pressuring them. We had the better of the second half. I would take the responsibility, because it was 1-1 and we took charge of the game, and I went for the win.
I wanted to leave Cuba with a win, with eight minutes to go, instead of closing up shop, and they scored two quick counterattacks. "I was thinking let's try and win. They (the team) were down, because they were disappointed. They knew they could've done better. After the game they realised we should've beaten them."
And according to a report off the T&T Newsday Newspapers. "Also giving their views on the retun game were captain Javed Mohammed and fellow midfielders Stefan De Las and Shastri Spencer. “Right now, we’re confident that we can do it (at) home by three clear goals,” said Mohammed. “Once we come out positive and get a good start, we’re good to go.” Mohammed added, “the game in Cuba, we came out a bit slow and the tempo of the game changed. But now we have our home support so that’ll be a good thing.” De Las, who had a recent training stint at English Premiership team Birmingham, stressed: “we just have to play positive football, keep (our) defence strong and put away our chances.” “We have to be prepared for everything,” added the lanky midfielder. “We play to win so that’s how we have to do it.” Spencer, the team’s playmaker, admitted that during the first leg clash, “it was hard coming down to the end because we relaxed.” “We thought we had the game (secured) but we feel we have them where we want right now,” added Spencer. As far as the return game is concerned, he noted, “I feel they’ll come to play defensive because of the lead they have over us.”

Cuba Coach:

On the other hand, the Cuban coach expressed satisfaction by his team performance and added that they had studied a little of T&T, who had an excellent first stage. "We had to leave yet in house, and in the return game we will go with more precaution. When we were tying we reinforced the attack with offensive changes and obtained our objective ".
Finally, he emphasized that he trusted the good preparation although it was not until the end that his team shaped in and mark their superiority. "the intention had made me mark three goals, two here and one there, and at least already I fulfilled the first part", said the smiling Cuban coach after the 3-1 win.

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