Haiti, T&T make winning starts in Group A

Howard Walker-Jamaica Observer

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

HAITI and Trinidad and Tobago (TT) jumped to the top of Group A of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under-20 World Cup Qualifiers with wins over Curacao and Puerto Rico, respectively, at Waterhouse Mini-Stadium yesterday.

Haiti came from behind to beat Curacao, 2-1, while TT had a relatively easy 2-0 win over Puerto Rico.

Both TT and Haiti are on three points, with TT atop the four-team group on goal difference. Curacao and Puerto Rico are pointless.

In the curtain-raiser, TT easily blanked Puerto Rico despite missing a series of easy opportunities. Shackeil Henry opened for the young Soca Warriors in the 31st minute before Shaquille Nesbitt sealed the win in the 90th.

But coach Ross Russell must be a bit worried following his team’s profligacy in a match they should have won by at least five goals.

“I’m not worried by the chances we created but are not putting them away,” Russell told the Jamaica Observer.

“The game was a little easier than I thought and we should have finished them off in the first half, so the game was a little bit harder coming down to the end when we were leading 1-0,” added Russell.

Jomal Williams, Shaquille Holder, Nesbitt and subsitute Akeem Garcia were the most guilty with some woeful finishing, some of which were easier to score than miss.

Despite their weaknesses, Puerto Rico could have snatched a point as captain Joseph Marrero and company got some decent look-ins at a tiring TT defence.

In the feature encounter, Curacao’s midfielder Raycheto Fecunda stunned the Haitians, slotting home from 12 metres in the 10th.

But three minutes later, the red-and-blue-clad Haiti drew level when Johnley Cheny fired home after being brilliantly picked out by captain Pompee Madochee in the 13th.

The techically better Haitians were now in full flow, pinning Curacao in their half for most of the first period through Madochee, Augusmat Wilbrine and Frandelin Amicy.

The Manuel Rodriguez-coached Haiti deservedly took the lead when Ismael Jean scrambled home their second in the 51st. The ball was initially cleared off the line with goalkeeper Zeus De La Paz blocking the follow-up attempt, but not being able to deny Jean from close range.

Haiti’s goalscorer Cheny picked up his second yellow card in time added and will miss tomorrow’s Group A match against TT at 5:00 pm after the 3 o’clock Curacao-Puerto Rico game.


Author: `