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T&T vs Jamaica (U-20) - 03-Dec-2006.
Mon Dec 4, 2006 13:28

Jamaica takes first leg in U-20 playoffs.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).

Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 footballers had their chances of advancing to the final round of CONCACAF qualification made less probable on Sunday as they conceded goals on either side of the half in a 2-0 loss to Jamaica at the Harbour View Mini Stadium.
Jamaica got their goals from recent addition, Watford striker Joel Grant and maintained comfortable control of proceedings against T&T which came into the playoffs after failing to advance out of a CFU preliminary group with eventual winners St Kitts/Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominican Republic.
Grant put the hosts ahead on 33 minutes when he collected a well played ball into his path and directed his shot neatly past goalie Adrian Foncette.
T&T didn’t force Jamaica on the backfoot for any long amount of period and hardly penetrated, not even on the counter.
However, early in the contest, Stefan St Louis gave the Jamaicans a scare when he kicked the ball over the bar from the edge of the area.Then Matthew Bartholomew did similarly after getting by a defender on top of the area. Trinidad should have scored 17 minutes into the match, but St Louis could not convert after a brilliant solo run into the Jamaican penalty box.
Grant put Jamaica into a comfortable lead in the 75th minute with a left footed rocket which left Foncette beaten all ends up. Draion McNain also saw his shot hit the bar while Foncette had to pull off a good stop to prevent Andre Fagon’s attempt in the second half.
The Jamaicans warmed up for the game with a 3-2 win over local club team Tivoli Gardens last week while T&T drew 1-1 and lost 3-2 to Venezuela. And their head coach Dr Dean Weatherly said a much improved team from the group phase was able to pull out the stocks in the first game.
“We prepared well and we did just what we planned for in the match. We knew what type of game they would play and we planned for it . The team was a much more improved one than what played in the group stage and hopefully we can continue this going into the next match,” Weatherly said.
Meantime, losing T&T coach Brian Williams could only add that his team will go all out to try and achieve a win by three goals to keep their chances alive of advancing to the final round.
“It was a disappointing result because no team likes to lose whether it’s away from home or not. We felt if we could sustain some of their pressure and then look to put the pressure on them later down then we would have a chance of getting something from the game. But we didn’t settle in too well and they got two goals from their new striker. All in all a goal would have put us in a better position going into the second leg on Thursday but now we just have to pull ourselves together and go all out for a winning result when we play them again,” Williams said. Both teams meet in the second leg at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium from 7pm on Thursday.


- Joel Senior, Michael Binns (Andre Fagan 46th), Ricardo Cousins, Nicholos Beckett, Eric Vernon, Keammar Daley (Draion McNain (75th), Duwayne Kerr, Edward Campbell, Joel Grant, Montrose Phinns, Troy Smith.

Subs not used: N Bailey, A Campbell, D Smith, T Stewart, D Miller

Booked: Senior (42nd), McNain (80th)

Trinidad & Tobago: - Adrian Foncette, Radanfah Abu Bakr (capt), Corneal Thomas (Javed Mohammed 86th), Khaleem Hyland, Marvin James, Keon Daniel, Stefan De Las (Atulla Guerra 46th), Elton John, Stefan St Louis (Aaron Downing 75th), Silas Spann, Matthew Bartholomew.

Subs not used: L Bacchus, M Cadette, K Gray, C Mitchell

Booked: Guerra (85th).
Grab your chances.
By: Lasana Liburd (Express).

Six weeks ago, Brian Williams seemed to be on the wrong end of a loaded gun as the Trinidad and Tobago national under-20 football team faced World Cup elimination at the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) group stage.
"This is our last opportunity," he told his players, before kick-off against St Vincent and the Grenadines. "The only chance you will get to represent Trinidad and Tobago in 2006 as an under-20 player is today."
Suitably aroused, the young "Soca Warriors" emerged to win 3-0 and advance from the group-albeit, merely to the ongoing Play Off contest against Jamaica.
Williams must repeat the trick on Thursday with his teenaged unit again battling considerable odds.
On Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago lost 2-0 to Jamaica in the first leg of a home and away tie that ends in two days. But it was not so much the score line as the manner of the their capitulation at Harbour View that would most unnerve the T&T coaching staff.
If Jamaican goalkeeper Duwayne Kerr was short-sighted, he might not have realised he was in a fight. It was not until the 52nd minute that the Warriors managed their first and only shot on target-a low effort by Keon Daniel gathered by Kerr on the second attempt.
The Trinidad and Tobago offence has three days to change from docile loiterers to wrecking crew and the task will be all the more difficult as their Jamaican counterparts did not look like the type to back from a street fight.
"Obviously, we have to work on the offensive ability of the team," said Williams. "It is a really tough job because Jamaica seems to be a well balanced team."
Jamaica's England-based striker Joel Grant would be a particularly dangerous threat to Trinidad and Tobago's ambitions.
Grant, 19, has two starts for England Premiership team, Watford, although his outings came when the London club campaigned in the Championship Division and, at present, the teenager is on loan with Conference club, Aldershot. But his slick movement with and without the ball was a joy to watch as was his fondness of a trick.
His first goal came off a defensive blunder and Grant, who collected in space, needed one touch before he steered a neat, composed right footed finish into the far corner.
His second followed a Jamaican corner kick which Daniel cleared as far as the edge of the box where Grant pounced with a superb left foot volley past Warriors' goalkeeper Adrian Foncette.
In midfield, Jamaica also held a trump in the shape of deep-lying United States-based player Joel Senior-a 2006 Atlantic Conference All-Star with Howard University.
Neither Grant nor Senior played in Jamaica's early qualifying round when they finished second to Haiti.
Trinidad and Tobago have individual talent too in the form of captain Radanfah Abu-Bakr, left back Marvin James, goal poacher Matthews Bartholomew and midfielders Elton John, Silas Spann and Daniel.
Williams' new recruit, Stefan St Louis, might also be one to keep tabs on. St Louis replaced striker Lester Peltier who did not report for training last week and is unlikely to be included for the return leg.
A Mid-Continent All-Conference player for Oakland University, the strong, quick striker St Louis joined the youth team on Friday in Jamaica after he impressed at a recent trial conducted by national head coach Wim Rijsbergen and his assistant, Anton Corneal. But the stage has not yet been set for the gifted Warriors to showcase their abilities.
Sunday's outing was the fifth time in as many matches that Williams changed his line-up in search of a winning formula. The United Petrotrin coach and former national standout got little preparation time from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) but the local public would find it hard to forgive if his players do not give a better account on Thursday.
Rijsbergen's appearance on the bench implicates him as well and there is much for the coaching staff to do before the next leg. Williams promised a positive approach in Jamaica but started US-based left back Stefan De Las in midfield while orthodox flankers like Aaron Downing and Javed Mohammed looked on from the sidelines.
"We wanted to be defensively sound away from home," said Williams. "But it didn't work."
It suggested a different mentality from former boss Leo Beenhakker who insisted that teams should hold their nerve on foreign trips since the laws of the game remained the same.
To be fair to the present coaching staff, the line-up did restrict Jamaica in the first half hour before a moment of madness created the opening item.
Hyland's ability to marry work ethic with ability makes him one of the team's more coveted players. But he would have nightmares about his attempt to roll the ball through an opponent's leg in his own half of the field and without defensive cover.
Jamaican captain Ricardo Cousins promptly sent Grant clear for the opening goal. Williams replaced De Las with Atulla Guerra at the interval but T&T never looked like an equaliser as they struggled at set pieces while Bartholomew was starved of service from either flank.
John's selection alongside Daniel seemed a bold offensive move but the uneven surface restricted their ability to pass Jamaica into trouble while Spann, a senior Joe Public player, again looked out of sorts on the wing.
Instead, the Boyz grew in confidence and Grant's second, in the 76th minute, prompted an open assault on the visiting penalty area.
Substitute Draion McNain smacked a header off the bar in the 82nd minute, while Andre Fagan also produced a fine save from Foncette. Williams might have been further inconvenienced if Surinamese referee Enrico Wijngaarde had punished a flung elbow from T&T right back Corneal Thomas who reacted angrily to a tug on his shirt by McNain. Incidentally, Wijngaarde was supported by Jamaican assistant referees Anthony Garwood and Richard Morgan in a cost cutting exercise by the CFU.
Trinidad and Tobago assistant referees will be used on Thursday so as to avoid travel bills for three overseas officials. But the officials did not influence the match. Jamaica can credit Grant and Senior for that. The likes of Bartholomew, Spann and Abu Bakr must impose their own personalities on Thursday or the under-20 squad will become the first flops of the post-2006 World Cup era.

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