LONDON—West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite has broken into the top 20 of the ICC batting rankings, after rising one place in the latest release yesterday.
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Garcia: It’s just another moment to remember
Holland-based Soca Warriors winger Levi Garcia says his two-goal debut performance to lead his team to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over St Vincent and The Grenadines in their 2018 World Cup Concacaf Semifinal Round Group C qualifier on Friday afternoon in Kingstown, St Vincent was just another moment to remember.
His performance also earned him the Concacaf Player of The Day honours.
The 18-year-old who plies his trade for AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Premier Division was a 62nd minute introduction by T&T coach Stephen Hart for defender Daneil Cyrus with both teams locked at 1-1, scored his first ever senior goal for T&T in the 71st minute when he ran onto a headed on ball from captain Kenwyne Jones from a long goal-kick by goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, before he wrong-footed defender Akeem Williams with a few “Cristiano Ronaldo-like” cross-overs, and blasted past goalkeeper Lemus Christopher on his near post, into the top corner of the goal.
But with the teams locked at 2-2, Gracia then snatched three important points for T&T when fellow substitute Neveal Hackshaw send a well weighted pass over the right side of the St Vincent and The Grenadines defence for the nippy winger to fire under Christopher with his left foot for the 3-2 lead in the 82nd minute.
Speaking after his debut heroics, Garcia who moved ahead of the quartet of Warren Archibald, Leroy Spann, Stern John and Khaleem Hyland, who were all 19 years-old when they scored their first T&T goal as this country’s youngest ever scorer in a World Cup qualifier, said 2016 has been very good for me so far and today it was just about continuing to show what I can do, it was just another moment to remember.
“Being in the 18-man team for the match I was just praying the night before that if I got the chance to play that I will score on my debut and when coach Hart told me to warm-up I was just excited to go on”, added Garcia, a former Shiva Hindu Boys College and Santa Flora player.
Describing his first goal Garcia said, “From the time I saw the defender backing away I was just looking to take him on, in a one-on-one situation and shoot. And it was just amazing to see the ball in the back of the goal to help the team”.
With regards to being only 18, Garcia said it’s not really about age, but about being focus, showing strength and power and doing the job that you are required to do. Looking ahead to Tuesday, Garcia said whether he gets the nod from coach Hart to start or not he will give the same fight when called upon. We are pretty much motivated by the win today (Friday) against St Vincent and The Grenadines even if we did not play our best, so for Tuesday’s match we will be ready to give a much better performance, ended Garcia.