PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Trinidad and Tobago were left with an uphill task of reaching the CONCACAF Gold Cup after slumping to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Suriname, in the opening game of the Caribbean Football Union qualifying series here Wednesday night.Following a goalless first half at the Ato Boldon Stadium, the hosts fell behind in the 76th minute through a Guno Kwasie strike but equalised five minutes later thanks to a Tyrone Charles bombshell.With all to play for in added extra time, Ivanildo Rozenblad netted in the first period to break Trinidad’s hearts, and leave their qualification hanging by a thread.“We knew it would not have been an easy game. In football there are no easy games,” head coach Tom Saintfiet told a post-game media conference.“I think for the first 70 minutes we played in a good organisation and could create a lot of opportunities from there. If you count the amount of corners we had and the danger we create out of these corners, it was quite a lot. The only problem is we didn’t score out of these chances.”T&T suffered a blow prior to kick off when striker Cornell Glen was injured during warm-up and ruled out of the contest.However, the hosts had the better of the exchanges in the first half but failed to really seriously threaten the Suriname goal.Akeem Roach, in for the injured Glen, produced a long-range shot in the 30th minute but this was easily handled low down by goalkeeper Claidel Kohinor.On the stroke of halftime, Roach sprayed a pass to Nathan Lewis on the right wing just outside the 18-yard box, and he picked out Hashim Arcia who failed to control the ball in a dangerous position just in front of goal.Against the run of play, T&T almost conceded just seconds before halftime when 19-year-old Sorencio Juliaans forced a diving save out of goalkeeper Adrian Foncette.Charles and Hughtu Hector then came close to opening the scoring but it was Suriname who poked their noses in front through Kwasie’s deflected effort, from just outside the 18-yard box.T&T were back level in the 81st minute, however, when Charles produced a brilliant curling free kick from 25 yards out to leave Kohinor with absolutely no chance.The equalising goal injected new fervour into T&T’s game but they failed to come up with the winner inside the 90 minutes.In added time, Suriname found the killer blow in the 109th minute when 71st minute substitute Rozenblad got free from his marker, pivoted five yards outside the box and fired a long range, right-footed volley which beat Foncette all ends up.T&T clash with French Caribbean side Haiti in the final game of the series on Sunday at the same venue.The winner of the qualifying series will face the fifth-placed side from Central America in another playoff which will determine the final place at this July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in United States.
The No. 9 men’s tennis team stayed undefeated at home after two back-to-back wins against No. 16 California and No. 36 Stanford over the weekend.“It was great to open the facility with the energy we had today,” head coach Peter Smith said after the team’s win over the Bears on Friday. “The energy from our crowd transferred to our team. It was just a gritty performance from the boys.”The clinching point against Stanford on Saturday came from sophomore Thibault Forget on Court 5, propelling USC to a 6-1 win. With the win, the Trojans improved their conference record to 3-1.The Trojans found themselves down after losing the doubles point early in the match. On Court 3, Forget and freshman Jake DeVine got up an early break before losing the match 6-3 to freshman Sameer Kumar and junior Yale Goldberg of Stanford. On Court 1, No. 38 pair of junior Nick Crystal and freshman Laurens Verboven fell short to sophomore Tom Fawcett and senior Maciek Romanowicz after losing the deciding point at 4-5, giving Stanford the first point of the day.The singles action saw the Trojans getting the first set on four courts, with the other two close in score. DeVine, No. 109 in the singles ranking, put USC on the scoreboard after beating Kumar 6-1, 6-2 on Court 4. On Court 1, No. 25 senior Max de Vroome was able to upset No. 6 Fawcett in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.On Court 6, freshman Jack Jaede was broken when serving for the match and forced to a tiebreaker. Down 0-4, he came back and saved a set point before finishing the match 6-4 7-6(7), beating No. 110 Romanowicz.Forget finished the match, beating senior Nolan Paige with the score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, clinching the dual.Action went on and the Trojans were able to win the remaining two courts. No. 58 freshman Logan Smith defeated freshman Michael Genender 6-3, 0-6, 6-4. No. 55 Crystal defeated No. 56 sophomore David Wilczynski 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 in a close match that saw the Cardinal serving to close it out in the second set.On Friday, the Trojans were able to beat the Golden Bears 4-2, after coming from behind once again. The doubles action saw the home team going down as Cal’s No. 44 junior Filip Bergevi and junior Florian Lakat took down USC’s top team of No. 38 Crystal/Verboven 6-0.The Trojans responded with a win on Court 2 where de Vroome and Jaede tied the score after beating the Bear’s junior Andre Goransson and sophomore Billy Griffith 6-2.On Court 3, Forget and sophomore Tanner Smith suffered a 6-3 loss to sophomore J.T. Nishimura and freshman Ryan Shen that awarded the Bears the first point of the day.During singles play, however, the Men of Troy turned it around.On Court 5, Forget tied the score at 1-1 with a win in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 against No. 62 senior Oskar Wikberg. It was followed by another win on Court 2 where No. 55 Crystal beat No. 40 Griffith 6-2, 6-4. No. 58 Smith pulled out an upset of the same score against No. 17 Goransson, bringing USC one point away from the match.No. 109 DeVine had to surrender to Bergevi after a close match that ended with the score of 7-6(5) 6-4 for California, recording the only single loss of the weekend for the Trojans. The clinching point came from Court 1, as No. 25 de Vroome fought back after losing the first set to No. 28 Lakat, recording a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win.The Trojans are now 13-4 overall and will play two conference matches on the road, as they face Utah on April 8 and Arizona April 10.
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