Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 17 footballers broke the record for the highest number of goals ever scored in a regional Under 17 qualifying match when they battered British Virgin Islands 23-0 in their opening Caribbean Football Union qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday night.
The result was a record for qualifying matches in CONCACAF also as the confederation’s director of information Steve Torres confirmed that the previous record was held by Jamaica in their 16-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis on August 26th, 1994.
T&T’s record-breaking performance came largely due to the efforts of Police FC forward Brent Sam who notched seven goals on the night while Kishun Seecharan and Jabari Mitchell each got a hattrick, skipper Brendon Creed, Aikim Andrews and Weah Adams all had doubles while Andre Fortune, Matthew Woo Ling and Akeem Garcia getting a goal each.
Suriname defeated Guyana 3-1 in their earlier game of the double header. Guyana will do battle with BVI from 5pm on Thursday at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva while T&T tackles Suriname from 7pm.
“It’s a good win but I do not want the players to feel any great sense of accomplishment by this result,” head coach Shawn Cooper told TTFF Media soon after the match.
“We didn’t know much about BVI but we knew this was a game we had to win. Fortunately for us we were able to dominate and score a number of goals. I was pleased that we never let our foot off the gas and we took our chances. It shows the appetite of the boys to win a match convincingly.”
“Being the first international game for them was a good result for them and scoring twenty three goals against any opposition is a quite a feat.”
Commenting on the performance of Sam who is the nephew of former national striker Hector Sam, Cooper added: “Brent started with this team playing at left back. I saw him in the Colleges league with San Juan finishing well and clinically and we ran into problems as our strikers were not finishing too well and I got a gut feeling and said I wanted to try him there. He was at home and was very calm in front of goal and he was a totally different player from then on.”
Looking ahead to Thursday’s clash with Suriname at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Cooper added “I had a look at them in the opening match and they appear to be pretty organized and they got a good result. I think this game is going to be a mouthwatering affair on Thursday.”
On the match itself, after looking the better of the two teams from the opening whistle, T&T looked rather nervous in front of goal and had to wait until the 9th minute to break the deadlock. It was Andre Fortune who drove home with his left foot past goalkeeper Akeem Pope who had failed to hold the initial effort.
On 13 minutes, T&T doubled their lead when Shannon Gomes laid one back for Jabari Mitchell and he made no mistake in burying home and the appreciative T&T crowd was already sensing a dominant performance by the hosts.
Seecharan, wearing the number 19 shirt, got his first item in minute number nineteen, moments after volleying inches wide of the upright. And then in the 23rd minute Sam was on spot to finish from close range. T&T were in total control at this stage as BVI struggled to get the ball out of their own half, far less mount any attack on the T&T goal with custodian Stephon Seeepersad left lonely in his area for almost all of the match.
Sam found himself in a one on one with Pope and he showed all the composure in the world to slip it past the hapless ‘keeper to push T&T to 5-0 lead in the 23rd minute.
And a minute over the half hour mark, Seecharan got T&T’s sixth item of the match.
The contest was over at that point but the fans kept cheering on, enjoying every moment of T&T’s dominance, maybe because they hadn’t had the opportunity to do so in quite a while.
Garcia put his name on the scoresheet in the 37th and a minute later Sam completed his hattrick a minute later with another clinical finish. Seecharan got his third when he collected near the half line and burst down the right before making his way inside the box and hitting home in the 40th. Mitchell converted a final time before the half time break to leave BVI brutalized. (Shawn Cooper at right)
Skipper Creed would go on to convert two penalties in the 48th and 76th and substitute Matthew Woo Ling had a neat left footed finish in the 57th minute, also hitting the post on another occasion.
Brent Sam (23’,29’37’, 54’, 61’70’, 71’); Kishun Seecharan (19’,31’, 40’), Jabari Mitchell (13’44’50’) Akeem Garcia (37’), Brendon Creed (48’,76’,pens), Andre Fortune (9’), Matthew Woo Ling (57’), Akim Andrews (78’, 81’), Weah Adams (82’ and 88’), Martieon Watson (84’)
T&T line up – 1. Stephon Seepersad, 2. Shannon Gomez, 3. Maurice Ford, 4. Josiah Tremmingham, 5. Martieon Watson, 6. Brendon Creed, 8. Jabari Mitchell, 9. Brent Sam(12.Weah Adams, 75'), 10. Akeem Garcia, 11, Andre Fortune (Matthew Woo Ling, 51’), 19. Kishun Seecharan (7.Aikim Andrews, 65’)
BVI line up -
1. Akeem Pope 5. Trevor Jones 7. Jael Lennard 9. Kairon Branch Durante 11. Shamoy Thompson 13. Kevaughn Watson 14. Robert Browne 16. William Green 17. Eddie Cupid 18. Allon Williams 19. Kenzie Turnbull (Subs not included)