Cuba and Suriname did themselves no favors by wrestling each other to a tie in their opening game of Group B in the 2017 CONCACAF Men's U-17 Championship. Neither team is expected to make it out of the group stage, but either could have challenged that expectation by at least picking up three points in their opening match - since their games only get more difficult from here.
After a scoreless first half, Cuba's Bruno Rendon put his team ahead in the 57th minute, heading in off a corner. But Suriname held its own in the match, and ultimately found an equalizer in the 83rd minute. Archero Hoever took it upon himself to cut open the Cuban defense, and produced an impressive finish from a narrow angle. The game finished 1-1.
In the other game in Group B on April 22, Costa Rica and Canada proved well-matched opponents. They too appeared destined to tie 1-1. Jose Alfaro conjured a goal in the 44th minute to send Costa Rica into the break with a lead, but Canada equalized through Antonio Rocco Romeo in the 51st.
Team in this tournament will be well advised to keep a close eye on Costa Rica's Alfaro in the final minutes of any half. He scored his second of the game in the last minute of second-half injury time. Los Ticos open the CONCACAF U-17 Championship with a 2-1 win, and are now clear favorites to win Group B.
The teams in this group are back in action on April 25, when Cuba will play Canada and Costa Rica takes on Suriname.