||1||1||2||Dominguez-Ramirez 41', Hamilton 59'|
|TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO U-17s||0||0||0|
||T & T
Woo Ling 85'
|Substitutions||Musse for Gordon 69'
Lara for Haynes 81'
Ibn Brahim for Hamilton 90'+3
|Andrews for Seecharan 60'
Woo Ling for Fortune 65'
Another day, another World Cup qualification campaign -- but instead of opening with a dull draw or some unexpected loss, the Canadian U-17 side opened with a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday night in La Chorerra, Panama, with goals from Braves d'Ahuntsic product Marco Dominguez-Ramirez and TFC academy's Jordan Hamilton sealing the win.
The game opened brightly for the Canadians, who were on the attack from the opening whistle. Hamilton would get the first good chance in the 13th minute, taking a go from a sharp angle at the corner of the six yard box only to blast it skywards towards Chris Hadfield and the International Space Station. Canada would come even closer at the 24th minute, with the T&T keeper Johan Welch caught way out of his box, the ball would sail just wide thanks to some desperate defending.
From there on, it seemed that the southern Caribbean side would find their footing, and started fighting their way back into the match. Brendon Creed would come close in the 35th minute, sending an effort just high over the goal of Marco Carducci. But whatever momentum that was gained, Dominguez-Ramirez would smash it with a golazo from outside the box off a free kick in the 41st minute, a strike that sailed past absolutely everyone including the keeper.
The Canadians had seemingly found their footing in the match, and resumed their attack. A corner was barely saved by Welch in the 47th minute, but that would be just the prelude for Hamilton's goal in the 59th minute, the TFC academy product playing off a Hanson Boakai feed. The first shot would be hit to the keeper, but a clumsily-given up rebound was buried by Hamilton to double Canada's advantage.
Dominguez-Ramirez would come close to adding to his goal tally in 66th minute, taking a feed from Hamilton, only to blast the shot just wide. Hamilton would also get his chance shortly after, but again the header would go wide. The game petered out towards the end, and with the victory the Canadians now sit atop their group, with only a game against a much stiffer challenger in Costa Rica on Wednesday night before the start of the knockout stages later in the week.
Given how badly the U-20s crashed out of their tournament, short of a trip to their World Cup, this is an encouraging sign for the U-17 side. For one, coach Sean Fleming was impressed despite the short bursts of hiccups. "(T&T) do some great things at times, it's a real challenge to play against them...we have to get better for sure, but for the first game of a tournament, it's important to get the three points, and that's what we did."
In the end, Canada's ticket to the 2013 U-17 World Cup in the UAE will all depend on their performance in the next match, and how they will deal with the knockout stages. But despite some T&T pressure, it was a composed performance from the young Canadians, who will likely be brimming with confidence as they prepare for the Costa Ricans.
You can see the highlights below.