|T&T U-17S MAINTAIN WINNING STREAK IN COLOMBIA|
Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 17 footballers maintained their winning streak in Colombia as they secured a 3-1 victory over professional club FC Barca de Cali in Cali on Monday.
The Under 17s are currently there participating in the Tournament of the Americas as they continue preparations for the CONCACAF Final Round of qualification for the FIFA Under 17 World Cup next year in Mexico.
The win was the third straight for the T&T team. Neil Benjamin put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute when he slotted in at the far post. But the hosts piled on the pressure and had T&T on the backfoot for some time before grabbing the equalizer six minutes from half time.
But T&T hit back immediately after the restart following the goal. Shackiel Henry collected the ball some 20 yards from goal and let fly with a powerful right footer which flew into the top right corner of the net to put T&T 2-1 ahead at the break.
Benjamin and Adan Noel were causing problems for the Cali defence and T&T eventually increased their lead when captain Dwayne Muckette released Henry and he smartly picked out Garvin Samaroo who moved into the box before unleashing his shot past the onrushing goalkeeper. The goal was Samaroo’s third of the tournament and T&T held on to secure their third win in as many matches.
Head coach Shawn Cooper expects his players to complete the tournament strongly.
“We came here to prepare for the final round and with so many matches throughout the week, we have be able to assess the physical and tactical readiness of the players over a short space of time which has been excellent because the Concacaf tournament is also expected to be set up with the matches in close proximity,” Cooper told TTFF Media.
“So far I’m pleased with what I’ve seen as the players are growing in stature and confidence. Obviously we don’t want to get carried away because the main focus is the Concacaf Finals next year and we have to keep on top of our game and ensure that we correct our mistakes because we are quite sure the other Concacaf teams will be preparing strongly as well,” Cooper concluded.
The Concacaf Finals is scheduled for Jamaica next April from which four teams will advance to the 2011 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Mexico.