Eve wants nothing less than a win against Suriname

Trinidad and Tobago senior men's and Under-20 men's head coach Angus Eve.  Photo by Marvin Hamilton
Trinidad and Tobago senior men's and Under-20 men's head coach Angus Eve. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

VICTORY over Suriname in Thursday’s final Concacaf Under-20 Championships Group B fixture would provide Trinidad and Tobago with some much-needed momentum heading into the next round of competition.

The young warriors remain in the hunt for their first win of the tournament after two matches played, having battled to a 4-4 result against Haiti in their opener on Sunday, and then falling 5-0 to regional powerhouse Mexico on Tuesday.

TT (one point) are currently third on the group standings but still stand a good chance of advancing if they can eke out a win or draw against Suriname. This match kicks off at the Olimpico Metropolitano Stadium in Honduras from 6pm (TT time).

The top three teams in each of the four groups advance to the round of 16, joining four teams which have already booked a spot in the round of 16 after performing at a high level at the 2022 Concacaf Championships Qualifying tournament.

During Thursday’s post-match interview with TT Football Association media, head coach of the TT unit Angus Eve said he wants nothing less than three points against their South American rivals, who, like TT, are yet to secure a tournament win thus far.

“We said we had three finals to play when we came here. The first goal is really to get out of the group stage and then see what we can do after that.

“That destiny is still in our hands because we still have one more game. With a victory, even a draw, but we’re not going to think with that kind of mindset, we want to win the game and go into the rounds on a high,” Eve said.

Reflecting on Tuesday’s muddy Mexico affair at the Estadio Morazan, Eve said the pitch conditions were not favourable to his team’s style of play.

Mexico had a clear player-height advantage and they smartly utilised this asset to the detriment of TT.

Eve has made some changes to his squad from the Mexico clash to “freshen” the players up a bit, considering their hectic schedule of group match schedule of three matches in five days.

He added, “I thought we started really well, to be fair. We had them thinking under very difficult conditions. I thought that the difference in the game is that one team settled in and used the conditions better than us.

“Sometimes we showed our inexperience in some of our play which we gave up some really sloppy goals again. The conditions were very heavy. We thought we could have gotten something out of the game because the way we started, for the first 35 minutes, we were in the game.”

Eve continued, “We thought we restricted them as they were hitting long balls and flicking them on. We were dealing with them very adequately. Unfortunately for us, we just didn’t adjust.

“We like to play a passing game and today, the conditions didn’t suit that and we didn’t adjust quickly enough. We don’t have big players so we can’t play the high ball that they played which more suited the type of players they had, bigger guys.

“We like to play the ball on the feet and try to get it in around the back but because of the conditions we couldn’t do that.”

Eve, a former national senior team captain, said the young team still has a lot to learn but contains great potential on the pitch.

A win over Suriname and a guaranteed place in the next round, he affirmed, remains a top priority.

“It’s a work in progress with the kids. I think we’re still in it because we still have an opportunity to come out of the group and that was the main target when we came here.

“Going into the Suriname game, we’re going in very positive and trying to get a result from the game, because we’re still in third place,” he closed.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Cuba are atop the standings ahead of USA, Canada and St Kitts respectively. El Salvador lead Group C followed by Guatemala, Panama and Aruba in that order.

And in Group D, hosts Honduras remain in pole position after two rounds of matches, trailed by Costa Rica, Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda respectively.

All knockout stage matches will be played in a single-match elimination format, with the four semi-finalists qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Men’s Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia and the two finalists for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games.


"Eve wants nothing less than a win against Suriname"

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