KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica staged a furious rally to earn a 2-2 draw in the first match for each in the 2015 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on Friday at the National Stadium.
The Soca Warriors struck twice in the opening 15 minutes, but Junior Flemmings fired a 23-yard free kick into the back of the net in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage to complete the comeback.
Panama tops the Group A table thanks to its 4-0 win over Aruba earlier in the day. In the second match of the tripleheader, the United States and Guatemala played to a 1-1 stalemate.
Aikim Andrews gave the Trinidadians a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute, ripping a right-sided shot from 35-yards out that may have taken a deflection before it sailed over the head of goalkeeper Nicholas Nelson.
Nine minutes later, Kadeem Corbin – the top scorer in the final round of Caribbean qualifying with five goals – doubled the advantage. Shannon Gomez dribbled down the right wing and, as he neared the goal line, found a wide open Corbin inside the box. The composed 18-year-old had time for a touch prior to firing into the back of the net.
After the break, Trinidad stayed on the front foot, nearly making it 3-0 in the 56th minute. An attempt by Kevon Goddard from 20-yards out appeared to be deflected, forcing Nelson to remain alert in order to make a save.
Duane Muckette could have put the game on ice shortly afterwards, only to snap his effort – while in a one-on-one situation with Nelson – beyond the left post.
Seemingly given new life, a resurgent Jamaica – urged on by the home crowd – looked more thorough in the attack and that renewed commitment paid dividends. In the 67th minute, a right-sided cross found the head of Donja Smith, who nodded it down with power beyond goalkeeper Johan Welch and inside the right post to halve the deficit.
With Trinidad on its heels, the young Reggae Boyz kept pushing. The impressive Welch, though, did well to save another header and thwarted a rocket from the right side in 73rd minute.
Despite those heroics, the Houston Dynamo youth standout could do nothing about Flemmings' right-footed free kick, which went over the wall with startling accuracy.
Jamaica returns to action on Sunday against Guatemala, while Trinidad will take on Aruba the same day.