Monday 27th August, 2007


T&T go under to Germans 5-0

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This country’s national Under-17 footballers were counting five more lessons following their final Group F encounter at the 2007 FIFA Under 17 World Championship as they suffered a 5-0 defeat to eventual Group toppers Germany in Changwon yesterday.

Going into the affair with pride only at stake, T&T helped the Germans avoid Brazil in the next phase as they finished on seven points, one ahead of second place Ghana. T&T finished the Group at the bottom without a point, conceding 14 goals and scoring one through Stephan Campbell in the opening 4-1 loss to Ghana.

Skipper Leston Paul and his teammates depart for Seoul today where they will stay two days before arriving in Port of Spain on Thursday morning via New York.

“It’s really all about learning lessons and we have to admit it at this stage. We said it was the third game which we would have given everything but it showed the difference in level again. We were already four goals down so when Germany took the speed out of the game it gave us a chance to play but that was not a true reflection,” said coach Anton Corneal said in the post game.

“As I told the players, I want them all to write about their experience and go over it. I hope that when it’s time to prepare again we all go into it with more enthusiasm because they know what type of gap we are talking about closing. This whole lesson was a tough one for all of us to learn as a footballing nation but I hope we are all better players after going through this.”

T&T had goalie Jessie Fullerton starting for the first time while defender Sheldon Bateau and striker Marcus Joseph also made their first starts of the tournament. And inside one minute Fullerton had to save when Bateau panicked at the back allowing Henning Sauerbier to get a shot off.

Bateau’s crunching tackle put Gemany’s big striker Richard Sukuta-Pasu out of the game with an ankle gash but his replacement Alexander Esswein was more effective when he came on, netting two goals. The Germans grabbed a fifth minute lead when Fabian Broghammer made inroads on the left before shooting past a hapless Fullerton.

Before ten minutes elapsed, Fullerton also had to deny the same player as the Germans came out pressing for the go ahead goal.

After T&T keeper denied Esswein, the resulting corner saw the same player see his header helped over the line by defender Akeem Adams for a 2-0 advantage on 31 minutes.

Aaron Maund’s over bar effort was the closest for T&T in the opening period.

T&T continued conceded another from Esswein in the 37th minute, connecting with neat pass from Broghammer.

The livewire forward could have made his hat trick seconds later, but Fullerton managed to parry away his powerful shot from 20 metres.

Captain Patrick Funk scored Germany’s fourth goal of the night on 39 minutes when he perfectly guided home Sascha Bigalke’s ball from the left.

Surprising though was that the possession percentage was 50 apiece at the break but the Germans were already making sure of the three points.

T&T’s game got some polish on it after the resumption with Joseph’s free kick just missing the crossbar as T&T jostled and managed more time in and around the opposition penalty area.

Maund went close again in the 69th with a shot which flew inches past the far post and Joseph forced the best out of goalkeeper Rene Vollath in the 77th minute with his left foot shot after Bateau made a run goalwards.

The Germans added a fifth item three minutes into added on time through Kevin Wolze. T&T picked up five cautions and ended the game with higher possession 54-46 percent according to the match stats.

“It wasn’t the way we wanted to end it but it shows that we have more work to do and I think we accept that. Just being here was an experience for all of us and I hope we can look back and not see it as wasted. We want to keep qualifying for World Cups but we want to perform highly as well,” was what skipper Paul felt after Japanese Yuichi Nishimura blew the whistle to end T&T’s campaign on the field in Korea.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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