KINGSTON, Jamaica – A pair of College of Charleston students, Leland Archer and Khallil Stewart, squared off in Friday night’s CONCACAF Under-20 Championships (CU20) as their native lands of Trinidad and Jamaica, respectively, played to a 2-2 draw in Friday’s primetime match at the Jamaican National Stadium.
Archer’s Trinidadian side, nicknamed the Soca Warriors, struck twice in the first 15 minutes of the match, but the Jamaican side – urged on by the home crowd – claimed the ascendency in the second half, eventually cutting the lead in half in the 67th minute and netting the equalizer in the fourth minute of stoppage time to earn a draw.
CU20 is a two-week tournament hosted by Jamaica which will determine the four CONCACAF teams that will participate at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
The newly-formatted tournament features two groups of six teams, guaranteeing each team five matches in the opening group stage. The group winners automatically advance to the Final as well as the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, while the runners-up and third place teams are reseeded amongst each other and play a repechage playoff for the last two CONCACAF slots at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
With the draw, Trinidad and Jamaica remain in the top three slots of Group A, which the pundits have dubbed the more difficult of the two groups.
Archer is a member of the CofC men’s soccer team and logged over 1,400 minutes of playing time as a freshman last fall. He was a rock on the Cougar defensive line, having appeared in all 16 matches – 15 of which he started – and averaging over 88 minutes per contest en route to inclusion on the Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team.
Stewart transferred to CofC from George Washington, and checked into Friday night’s match in the 62nd minute.
Both players will be back in action on Sunday, Jan. 11 when Archer and his Soca Warriors take on Aruba, while Stewart and his Jamaican side clash with Guatemala.