St. Hilaire goal lifts T&T over El Salvador at CU20

Trinidad & Tobago's Kathon St. Hilaire (#15) celebrates with teammate Micah Lansiquot after scoring against El Salvador in the CONCACAF Under-20 Championship on February 25, 2017, in Tibas, San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: Straffon Images)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Second-half substitute Kathon St. Hillaire scored in the 72nd minute to lift Trinidad & Tobago to a 2-1 victory over El Salvador in the final Group C match for both teams in the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship at the Estadio Nacional on Saturday. 

The result gave T&T (1W-1D-1L, 4 points) its first win of the competition and a lifeline in its quest to reach the classification stage.  The Soca Warriors' fate will be determined in the second game of the doubleheader, which features host Costa Rica (1W-0D-1L, 3) against Bermuda (0W-1D-1L, 1). The Ticos needed a win to advance. 

El Salvador (2W-0D-1L, 6) already had qualified for the next stage.

Only a minute after coming on for Josh Toussaint in the 71st minute, St. Hillaire made his presence felt. Micah Lansiquot threaded the ball on the right to the 19-year-old forward, who beat goalkeeper Alan Carrillo from eight yards for the game-winner.

After a scoreless first half, the teams traded goals within a three-minute span early in the final half. 

Trinidad’s Jabari Mitchell found enough space on the left side of the penalty area as he tallied his first goal of the competition into the lower right corner in the 47th minute. 

Only three minutes later, Jose Enrique Contreras equalized for El Salvador.  He latched onto a through ball and powered a right-footed shot from 12-yards out to the right of goalkeeper Montel Joseph. 

Contreras had the three best scoring opportunities for both sides in the opening half. 

In the third minute, his shot from distance forced Joseph to make a save. Contreras rocketed a 30-yard free kick off the crossbar in the 29th minute and his header off a right-wing cross from Diego Chavez sailed wide right in the 35th minute.