Trinidad and Tobago’s “Soca Warriors” will battle Jamaica’s “Reggae Boyz” in a home and away friendly clash this month between the Caribbean’s traditional football superpowers.
The Warriors and Boyz will square off in Montego Bay on November 15 before meeting again at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on November 19.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart has not tasted defeat in regulation time since leading the Warriors to a quarterfinal berth at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The Warriors held United Arab Emirates 3-3 before losing on penalty kicks at the OSN Cup in September, which they followed up with a win over hosts Saudi Arabia in the same competition and a goalless draw against New Zealand in Port of Spain last month.
Hart said he is looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s always a match with a lot to look forward to and a competitive one at that when these two countries meet,” said Hart, via a TTFA press release. “There is a lot of history and rivalry between us and I expect it to be no different later this month. We are continuing to work towards finding the right balance, the right combination of players and the right mindset and approach as it relates to our preparations for future competitions with the 2018 qualification being the main objective.
“We will treat these two matches in the same manner.”
Jamaica finished bottom of the final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group but its football president Horace Burrell hopes to use the friendly matches against the Warriors to kickstart its own 2018 World Cup campaign.
The Warriors have beaten the Boyz just once from eight meetings in this millennium and that triumph came 12 years ago in a Caribbean Cup match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Zoran Vranes ran the bench in place of the suspended Ian Porterfield as second half goals from Angus Eve and Brent Rahim steered the hosts to a 2-1 win over Jamaica.
Since then, Trinidad and Tobago has recorded four losses and three draws against Jamaica.
The last meeting of the Caribbean rivals came on 10 October 2010 when a Dane Richards goal clinched a 1-0 win for the Boyz in Kingston.
Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, Song Lam Nghe midfielder Hughtun Hector, Slovia Bratislava winger Lester Peltier, Caledonia AIA striker Jamal Gay and the DIRECTV W Connection duo of Daneil Cyrus and Joevin Jones all featured in that narrow defeat.
The Warriors have since enjoyed a moderate upturn in fortunes, which started with a second place finish at the 2012 Caribbean Cup tournament. Jamaica was eliminated in the group stage of the last Caribbean Cup.
Hart is expected to name his squad for the upcoming November friendlies by mid-week.