A goal on each side of the half by Suriname's Shaquille Cairo in the 29th minute and Brian Elshot in the 70th, reduced T&T Under-20 footballers to their second defeat 2-0 on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships World Cup qualifier at the IMG Academy, Bradenton USA.
The result follows Monday's heart-wrenching 6-1 loss to host and defending champions United States, which essentially killed all chances T&T may have had of taking the top spot in the group. Afterwards T&T captain John Paul Rochford said his team failed to demonstrate the qualities needed to bounce back from the loss to the US.
“The game tonight we didn’t get the result we wanted. We wanted the victory to show people that we had the strength and ability to bounce back from the defeat we suffered on Monday. That was not the case. Some of the players in the camp didn’t have it, the vibes were not the same as it usually would be before a game, and as a team on a whole, we weren’t ourselves," Rochford said.
He added, "I believe that was a key part to play in the defeat today. Let’s not forget that we didn’t have the necessary preparations that we needed. Knowing the players on the team, for some of them, this is the first time playing an international tournament so the experience is a fresh one. They don’t know what the feeling is like to suffer a loss, then play two days after to try and come back and fight again."
According to the T&T skipper, "It is a first time experience for them whereas for some of us we understand that it takes a lot to bounce back from a 6-1 defeat. As one of the key players in the team, I will try my best to fix it as best as I can, talk to players, bring positivity and get us on a high going into the final game on Friday.”
Coach Russell Latapy did not have the services of midfielder Judah Garcia due to a double yellow card suspension, and he didn’t see the other players rise to the call.
“It was a difficult game to pick ourselves up after the USA game. There were a lot of disappointed young men in that dressing room after the 6-1 loss. Just at the start tonight we warned them about being flat. We knew that we needed high energy levels and we needed to have better organisation. Credit to Suriname as I thought they played well but I thought it was because of the mistakes we made that really cost us the game."