(Trinidad Express)Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-20 footballers had a losing start at the invitational tournament organised by the Venezuela Football Federation in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, on Wednesday night, when they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Panama.
T&T got their lone goal from defender Sheldon Bateau in the 80th minute and will now look to reverse the result when they take on Cameroon in their second encounter at the Camachay Stadium today.
Head coach Zoran Vranes said the match was a competitive one which allowed him to see his team in action against Central American opposition.
“The performance was not a bad one but, of course, you see we did not win the game,” Vranes told Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation media officer Shaun Fuentes. “It was a defeat which maybe one cannot be too upset with, but the opportunity to see how the guys respond to a team like Panama was a valuable one and I am sure they have come out of the game with a good experience.
“We conceded the goals but we didn’t hang our heads, which was important, and I expect we will have this kind of spirit for the remaining matches. The important thing is for us to be ready for the qualification for the next World Cup in 2011,” added Vranes.
After today’s game against Cameroon, T&T meet Ecuador on Sunday, then Venezuela (October 26) and Nicaragua on October 28.
The T&T U20s return home to play their opening Caribbean Football Union 2011 Under-20 World Cup qualifier against St Vincent and the Grenadines in early November.
All participating teams in the tournament in Venezuela are preparing for qualifiers for the 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup to be held in Colombia.