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New York Times | Valencia scores twice as Ecuador whip TT

Venezuela, República Dominicana, FVI
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Mekeil Williams had an effort for TT in the second half but Ecuador would keep a clean sheet and added a penalty goal in the 69th from Enner Valencia and he would add his second in the 84th.

TRINIDAD AND Tobago men’s football team were downed 3-0 by Ecuador in Thursday’s international friendly at the Estadio Reales Tamarindos in Portoviejo.

Goals on either side of the half gave the hosts the win in front of their home fans as TT coach Dennis Lawrence used the exercise to fine tune his troops for tomorrow’s all-important Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup qualifier against Honduras in San Pedro Sula.

As it stands, following Martinique’s 1-1 draw with Honduras in Fort-de-France on Thursday, TT must now carve out a victory to finish in second place in the group and in the process seal a place in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Already facing the setbacks of missing injured players for the Ecuador encounter, TT travelled to San Pedro Sula yesterday morning with a depleted squad as up to eight players will miss the encounter with a further two doubtful. With Levi Garcia, Mekeil Williams, Leston Paul and Alvin Jones out through suspension, TT also lost forward Rundell Winchester with a calf injury, Neveal Hackshaw with a torn meniscus and skipper Khaleen Hyland and Aikim Andrews are both doubtful with hamstring injuries while US-based duo Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones chose to make themselves unavailable for both matches after being called up, according to Lawrence.

TT conceded goals cheaply with 21-year-old debutant Alan Franco slotting past goalkeeper Nicklas Frenderup for the opener in the 29th minute. The Danish-born goalkeeper had a solid showing between the sticks and deserved credit for a couple of impressive stops. Michael Estrada tried to lob him in the 26th but he was up to the task, stretching full length to prevent the ball from entering the net. Ten minutes later he used his legs well to deny Estrada.

Seven minutes before Ecuador broke the deadlock, TT lost Hyland who pulled up with a hamstring strain and was replaced by Ataulla Guerra. Along with Frenderup’s showing, there were promising displays from midfielder Aaron Lester while Alvin Jones and Williams kept things organised at the back alongside Carlyle Mitchell and Daneil Cyrus. Matthew Woo Ling also came off the bench and looked capable in the middle of the park.

Mekeil Williams had an effort for TT in the second half but Ecuador would keep a clean sheet and added a penalty goal in the 69th from Enner Valencia and he would add his second in the 84th.