"It's goals that count," as the saying goes, and this was particularly true for Trinidad and Tobago in their first match at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007. The young Soca Warriors put in a great performance against Ghana in their opening Group F match and won over many fans, only to come away empty-handed. Coach Anton Corneal's boys were full of self-belief before the game but ended up on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline.
Trinidad's attackers were certainly very active. The team created a host of chances with livewire forward Stephen Knox often involved, but lacked the necessary precision in front of goal. They at least got on the scoresheet, and in some style, substitute Stephan Campbell crashing a free-kick into the corner from over 30 yards to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
This of course turned out to be a mere consolation effort. "Yes, I scored that goal, but we were still behind after that and we still lost the match," a disappointed Campbell said after the match. "We needed to put them under more pressure and take our chances a bit better. I hope that we'll be able to do that in our next two matches."
The first of these comes on Thursday, when Trinidad and Tobago will play their second group game at the Cheonan Sports Complex against Colombia. To keep their dreams of progressing to the last sixteen alive, they will have to turn their possession into goals, as another defeat would eliminate the Caribbean team from the competition.
All or nothing
"We've got it all to play for against Colombia," says Campbell. "We watched their first match and I reckon that we can get a result. We need to find our rhythm early and then we've got every chance. I'm really looking forward to it. The South Americans play a similar game to us."
The young islanders will be able to count on the support of their fans as they bid to become the first team from Trinidad and Tobago to pick up points at a FIFA U-17 World Cup. Many of them were there for the match against Ghana, filling the stadium with noise and colour as they cheered on their favourites.
They will of course be hoping that Campbell once again has his shooting boots on. "Stephan has one heck of a shot. He hit that free kick exactly how he wanted to," said coach Corneal of only the third goal in Trinidad's FIFA U-17 World Cup history. "He practises these situations all the time in training and he's a real danger from any set piece." Warriors fans will be hoping that practice makes perfect for Campbell against Colombia.