For Trinidad, all eyes on U-20 World Cup prize

Trinidad & Tobago's Akeem Garcia (#7) in CONCACAF Under-20 Championship action against Aruba on January 11, 2015, in Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo: Mexsport)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Trinidad & Tobago is undefeated with four points after two games in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, but head coach Derek King knows that his team can do even better.

Following Sunday’s win over Aruba, he rated the young Soca Warriors’ performance as a six out ten.  That mark was one point more than the total number of goals they scored in the 5-1 triumph.

King can’t be blamed for being a tough grader.  After all, a berth at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand is at stake and Trinidad has only earned a place at that table twice, the last time in 2009. 

The Trinidadians let a 2-0 lead slip away in a 2-2 draw against host Jamaica on Friday.  They weren’t about to let that happen again.

“Our game plan, where we wanted to push them one side, it really worked in the first few minutes,” commented King, whose team netted twice within the opening 16 minutes in both of its outings.  “We get a couple of chance and we took it.”

On this occasion, though, history would not repeat itself.  Trinidad refused to let 10-man Aruba climb back into the game.  The impressive Kadeem Corbin made it 3-0 via the penalty spot before 30 minutes had elapsed and the twin-island republic never looked back.

“Today was all to do with mental,” King stressed.  “The players probably feel that it is Aruba and they know they lost their first game.  We started well and we had a number of chances that we didn’t take.  It could have been more than five.”

Considering that Trinidad did not score more than four goals in any of its four Caribbean qualifiers, striking for five at the National Stadium was an impressive accomplishment. 

King did admit he wasn’t pleased that Aruba got on the scoreboard deep into stoppage time. 

“I’m disappointed with the goal we conceded because of a lack of discipline,” he finished.  “At the end of the day, three points and we get some goals today, so that is the most important.  We’ll have to work and stay focused for ninety minutes.”

That’s how it is with this Trinidad team. Four-goal victories are good, but ones by five are better.

And, when you want to take a trip to the land of the Kiwis, there’s no other way to look at it.