Trinidad and Tobago national football team captain Kenwyne Jones vowed that the “Soca Warriors” will not be overawed on Wednesday June 4 when they meet 2014 World Cup title contenders, Argentina, in a friendly international at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires.
The fixture kicks off at 6.30 pm (TT time)—following a reported change by the Argentina Football Association (AFA)—and will be broadcast live on GISL Channel Four. The temperature is expected to be 16 degrees Celsius at kick off.
The 22-man Warriors squad landed in Argentina on Sunday night and will hold their first training session this evening at the training field for the famous River Plate football team.
Jones, who represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Germany 2006 World Cup and plays professionally in Britain with Cardiff City, said the Warriors know what they have to do on Wednesday; and they will not be distracted by their stellar opponents.
“I don’t think it’s going to be something where we are going to freeze on the day,” Jones told the TTFA Media. “Obviously it’s a big occasion for the players but we’re going to be ready for it. My players know what they have to do…
“They will press as they should, they will put in their tackles and they will be going all out to put in a good showing.”
Trinidad and Tobago took a sizeable contingent to Buenos Aires, courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism, which included ex-West Indies captain and cricket record holder Brian Lara and the Siparia Rhythm Section. Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona travelled separately on a commercial flight.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee also travelled to see the friendly match while general secretary Sheldon Phillips went to Buenos Aires a day prior to the team’s arrival.
Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina have met three times before; all in the Pan American Games. The tiny two island nation won the first encounter 1-0 in 1967 but then lost 3-2, 5-1 and 6-0 in the 1971, 1975 and 1987 competitions respectively.
Although the two teams have not met in nearly three decades, Argentina first team regulars Javier Mascherano and Pablo Zabaleta might have fond memories of Trinidad. Both players made their international debuts in a FIFA tournament at the 2001 World Youth Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.
Zabaleta, who is the vice-captain of England Premier League champs Manchester City, scored the goal of the 2001 World Youth Cup with a stunning strike off the underside of the bar against Spain; while Mascherano, a Barcelona employee, was also an ever-present on that Argentina team, which lost to France in the semi-final.
On this occasion, Argentina is using Trinidad and Tobago to warm up for the real competition while the Warriors are preparing for the 2014 Caribbean Cup tournament.
Editor’s Note: The Office of the President has stated that, although the TTFA sent photographs of President Anthony Carmona’s arrival in Buenos Aires along with shots of delegates from the Ministry of Tourism’s chartered flight, the President made his own way to Argentina and merely landed at a similar time to the other party.
Wired868 would like to apologise for the inadvertent error.