'Very disappointing' is how national coach Stuart Charles Fevrier described his team's losing performance against Venezuela at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on Friday night. The T&T Football Association Youth Invitational Football Tournament which is preparation ahead of the CONCACAF Under-15 Championship in August.
An under-strength T&T Under-15 team was outclassed 4-0 by their Venezuelan opponents and the coach highlighted several reasons why this happened, at the post-match interview. "Our players had problems coping with the movement and rotation of the Venezuelans, the way they supported the ball, the way they always have numbers around the ball, their technical ability and their game-understanding as well," Charles-Fevrier explained.
He noted, if you look back at the match you will see that our players still depend too much on individual play, while the Venezuelans played more team-football, saying their game was based on one-two touches in a collective effort, while we still tend to depend on the brilliance of a player to get through.
On Friday night the young Warriors went a goal down as early as the 22 minutes when Deivi Hernandez got a free reign inside the T&T defence and rifled the ball past goalkeeper Tristan Edwards in the 22nd minute.
And with the game heading toward the half-time interval, the South Americans, went two-goals up when the T&T defence failed to pick up Carlos Torres from a 44th-minute right-side corner, and when the ball reached him, he skillfully guided it past a stranded Edwards for the advantage. The situation worsened in the second half, as coach Charles-Fevrier sought to honour a commitment to award all his players at least 60-minutes of play in the tournament, by making changes.
But it was more than just that, as the superior play of the Venezuelans awarded them with two more goals in the second session.
Klinsmann Gomez, in the 77th minute skilfully curled a shot past Edwards from on top the area, for a three-goal cushion, and Edwin Britto sealed the win with a 94th-minute item.
Charles-Fevrier said he will not pressure his young players for the result, as it is a development tournament, but said they can only learn from their experiences. He called for his team to play more games against North American, Central American and South American opposition in the future if they are to progress and qualify for international competitions.
The T&T team will next spring into action today on the final day of competition at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva. T&T will again play the feature match at 7:15 pm tonight against CONCACAF giants Mexico, a match that will follow a 5:30 pm contest between Panama and Venezuela.
Charles-Fevrier said, "We have to pick ourselves up and try to give a better performance against the Mexicans," however, he reminded the media that his players are up against young players who are already playing in a professional system, and some who are already pros.