WALTER ALIBEY 

T&T?s Under-17 footballers came from behind to pull off an excellent 3-2 victory over Bermuda in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Men?s Under-17 Qualifiers at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva on Sunday night. 

The result kept alive their chances of advancing in the competition and they will need victory tonight against Jamaica to earn a place in the next round, as the top two teams from each group and the best fifth place team will earn the right to contest the next phase of the Fifa Under-17 World Cup qualifiers. 

Victory came from the introduction of little Che Benny and a double strike from Jaydon Prowell, as the performance was far from ?classy? but the fans who turned up at the venue were more satisfied with the ?fight? that assured them full points, rather than the manner in which it came. 

After a disappointing 2-0 loss to Haiti on Friday coach Russell Latapy made a few changes, bringing in striker Kishon Hackshaw and midfielder Nickel Orr in his starting line-up while shifting the usually attacking Jodel Brown?s role to a more defensive one. 

Still, it was not the antidote the young Warriors needed against their more-cohesive Bermuda outfit that was given the lead in the tenth minute, courtesy a blunder by goalkeeper Emmanuel John. Blaize Hall?s right side cross to Tokia Russell appeared to be a routine catch for John but it slipped through his grasp while air-borne and fell at the feet of Russell to slot into an open net. 

The local team fought back however, making up in determination what they lacked in organisation, and really should have equalised five minutes later, when Orr eluded his marker on the left flank but his pin-point cross to Prowell in front a gaping goal was missed. 

The visitors resisted a series of relentless attacks in the following minutes, and rode their luck in the 25th when another defensive blunder from the home team doubled their lead. 

Tyrike Andrews misjudged the flight of another searching ball to Russell inside the area and Russell shot past the advancing goalkeeper for a 2-0 advantage. 

The goal silenced the cheering crowd but the little Warriors continued their pursuit of their first goal of the tournament through Orr, Prowell and company. It was the introduction of midfielder Che Benny in the 37th minute however, that turned the tides for the home team. 

With two minutes gone in the second half, Benny collected free in the midfield and quickly threaded the ball through to an unmarked Prowell who took aim, but still fired wide of the target.

© Tomás González

© Tomás Elías González

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Later goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt came up trumps, keeping out Prowell and then Benny who received wide on the right before cutting in on his favoured left foot, but his low drive was gobbled up by the Bermudan custodian. 

However there was no denying the home team in the 70th minute when Prowell hurdled over a tackle on top of the box before sliding a pass to the unmarked Benny who, from an acute angle, beat Hunt from the left side with a powerful grounder.

This triggered wild celebrations in the crowd and on the T&T bench.

© Tomás González

© Tomás Elías González

www.entornointeligente.com
The celebrations had hardly finished when Benny cleverly picked up the ball ahead of a weary Bermuda defence and released to Prowell on the rightside to fire past the onrushing Hunt for the equaliser in the 73rd minute.

© Tomás González

© Tomás Elías González

www.vediario.com
 

The Bermudans, who like T&T were in pursuit of their first victory of the tournament after going down 6-1 to Jamaica on Friday, thought they had gotten the winner in the 88th minute when Jaquari Paynter broke lose of his marker on the left flank and centred for Moziah Selassie who somehow spooned his attempt over from almost under the goal line, an error they would pay for in the remaining minutes. 

With all eyes on the referee, Hackshaw who terrorised the Bermudan defence all night long, released a surprised pass to Prowell to control and blast into the roof of the net for his double and the win. 

The goal placed the home team in third position in the group.

© Tomás González

© Tomás Elías González

noticias-venezuela.com
Victory tonight against Jamaica will assure them a place in the next round. 

However, Russell Latapy?s men would require a marked improvement tonight at 7.30 pm at the same venue for maximum points.

© Tomás González

© Tomás Elías González

enlasgradas.com
The game will follow another between Haiti and Bermuda from 5 pm. 

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© Tomás Elías González

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