Goalkeeper Zane Coker and Kevon "Showtime" Woodley scored two goals each to lead T&T’s beach soccer men to a comfortable 6-0 win over Turks & Caicos in their Pool B opener of the 16-team 2019 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship at the Visit Puerto Vallarta Stadium, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on Monday.
Team captain Ryan Augustine fired T&T into a second minute 1-0 lead when his long-range effort slipped through the legs of opposing goalkeeper Penedieno Brooks.
A veteran of T&T's two past teams', Coker then made it 2-0 for T&T in the tenth minute when he ventured out of his area, took a pass on his left thigh before unleashing a volley which whisked past Brooks.
Three minutes later Coker doubled his tally and extended T&T's lead to 3-0 with a gem of a left-footed volley that went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Woodley made it 4-0 in the 18th in spectacular fashion as well when he scored with a bicycle scissors kick on the near post with two defenders on his back.
Brooks then pulled off a few saves to deny T&T's Woodley and Nathaniel Brown from widening the lead before the half-time whistle.
Coker was replaced in goal by Jabari Gray for T&T, but it did not change the flow of things as Shane Hospedales got T&T's fifth, in the 25th minute beating Brooks on his near post from close range.
It was time for a change in goal for Turks & Caicos with Peterson Evariste replacing Brooks, but T&T continued to pile on the pressure with Woodley and Chad Appoo and Jesse Bailey all coming close to getting another.
In fact, T&T's Gray was called into action to deny Turks & Caicos from getting on the scoresheet through Herby Magny, and then denied Ledson Jerome on a break-away.
But it was Woodley who would add to his and T&T's tally with a right-footed effort which bounced under the dive of Evariste in the 35th minute.
In the other match in Pool B, defending champions Panama outclassed US Virgin Islands 8-1 while in other matches yesterday, Bahamas defeated Antigua & Barbuda 7-4 and USA clobbered Bonaire in Pool C; while Costa Rica defeated Jamaica 4-2 in Pool A and last night Mexico battled Guatemala.
Today (Tuesday), T&T will go for its second win to seal its place in the quarterfinal when it faces USVI from 1 pm, while Panama comes up against Turks & Caicos. at 5.45 pm
In other matches today, Guadeloupe meets Belize (11.45 am) and Guyana tackles El Salvador (4.30 pm) in Pool D, while Costa Rica plays Guatemala (3.15 pm), and Jamaica meets Mexico (7 pm) in Pool A.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), T&T will enjoy a rest day before resuming play of Thursday when it closes out pool play versus Panama in what is expected to be the decider for the top spot while USVI meets Turks & Caicos.
The 16-teams are competing for Concacaf’s Beach Soccer title and the two available spots in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019 at the Calle Independencia.
After round-robin play, the first and second place finishers of each group will advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, May 17, with the two qualifiers from Pool B coming against the top two from Pool A which comprises Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guatemala.
The semifinal winners will automatically qualify for the tournament’s final, as well as the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Paraguay 2019.
Two years ago in the Bahamas, T&T had group wins over Antigua & Barbuda, 8-1 and USVI 5-1 before losing to USA 5-1 in their pool decider.
In the quarterfinals, T&T then went under to Mexico 5-6 before easing past Jamaica 5-3 in their fifth spot playoff. T&T also reached the last eight of the competition in 2015.