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Warriors aim to keep momentum against Mexico; Jan ruled out

The “Soca Warriors” will aim to maintain their momentum tomorrow night when they face Mexico in their final CONCACAF 2015 Gold Cup group fixture from 8.30 pm at the 74,000-seater Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud (left) celebrates with teammate Joevin Jones during their 2-0 Gold Cup win over Cuba. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Andre Boucaud (left) celebrates with teammate Joevin Jones during their 2-0 Gold Cup win over Cuba.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Trinidad and Tobago, who won their earlier outings against Guatemala on Cuba, have already qualified for the quarterfinal round while they will top Group C with a win or draw against Mexico.

Head coach Stephen Hart said that the Warriors will relish the opportunity to match themselves against “El Tricolour.”

“It’s still an important match for us because of the fact that we don’t get to play teams of Mexico’s quality very often,” Hart told the TTFA Media, “so when matches like these come around, we have to make use of it.

“And by that I mean we will test our ability and also use this as an opportunity to prepare against a top team from our region for what’s to come later down the road in the World Cup qualification.

“Additionally, nobody wants to lose a match and we have a good momentum going which we want to keep. Of course our focus now is the quarter finals and getting into the last four.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is helped on to the stretcher by physio Saron Joseph during their Gold Cup fixture against Cuba. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is helped on to the stretcher by physio Saron Joseph during their Gold Cup fixture against Cuba.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

The Warriors are without vice-captain and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams who was ruled out of the rest of the competition with a grade one hamstring strain while midfielder Andre Boucaud is suspended after picking up successive yellow cards.

However, defender Sheldon Bateau said the players are buzzing after their opening two results and anxious to maintain their run.

“I think when you look at how we’ve grown as a team and you look at the others here, you can see that we are capable of matching them and getting good results,” said Bateau. “With a good amount of time together, good preparation and the right belief, we have demonstrated what we are capable of and this is good for us looking ahead to the World Cup qualifiers later this year…

“Mexico is always a big match and a strong opponent but the group is ready for the test and we’ll be looking to keep our form and get another positive result to finish the group stage.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau celebrates his maiden international goal against Guatemala at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau celebrates his maiden international goal against Guatemala at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

Bateau, who plays in the Belgium top flight with KV Mechelen, became the fourth Trinidad and Tobago player to score in successive Gold Cup matches after Leonson Lewis (1991), Jerren Nixon (1998) and Arnold Dwarika (2000).

“I’m a bit overwhelmed with my performance and that of the team so far,” said Bateau, who represented his country at the 2007 Under-17 and 2009 Under-20 World Cups. “Especially as a defender your first job is just to keep the clean sheet but to score two in two is a great feeling.”

Team manager William Wallace told Wired868 that the technical staff discussed the ongoing feud between Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee and Sport Minister Brent Sancho. Warriors captain Kenwyne Jones also shared his opinion on social media.

But Hart assured fans that the Warriors remain focused on what they want to achieve on the field.

“The main thing is for us to stay focused on what we want to achieve,” said Hart. “Our first objective was to get out of the group stage and we’ve done that. Now we’ll focus on the next match and also prepare for the quarterfinal stage.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr (right) wins a header against Cuba forward Maikel Reyes during the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr (right) wins a header against Cuba forward Maikel Reyes during the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

“Despite whatever else is happening off the field, we will remain positive. And credit to the players also for being very professional and not letting anything distract them from their focus out here.”

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79 comments

  1. And he represented well too Earl Mango Pierre. Everything in time.

  2. The Mexican keeper really needed a bigger hat yes. hahahahaha Them really good yes.

  3. I am really happy that my player Ronaldo Dwayne James that represents North East Stars finally got his chance to represent our sweet country.

  4. Yea boy ah have a partner there

  5. Pray for our Trini supporters in that stadium guys.

  6. Tim Kee and Phillips must be flouting their feathers all over town !

  7. Well Mexico will have to play against Costa Rica ent. Them really good yes.

  8. Mango hart just kept his job after this tournament

  9. Prince this cudb a prelude for our World Cup qualifying campaign.

  10. You see when we press them high up the pitch and win the ball we are already in their half and closer to their goal. But when we play deep and win the ball deep we are far from there goal and we don’t get enough players up front and then lose the ball. If we win it in their half then we have everyone up there for support.this is what we did in the first 20 min of the second half and got 3 goals and then gone back to the same deep defending and nearly lose. Earl Mango Pierre Lasana Liburd

  11. Ah hope that they keep Coach Hart for the World Cup qualifying, you know how the corrupted TTFA does go for bigger name foreign base coaches when it comes to that steeuuppss Them really good yes.

  12. Man I hope we keep this form for World Cup qualifying

  13. Curtis Charles we really need to correct that dropping back in the defense and allowing our opponents to come at us because eventually pressure does bust pipe eh, so the coaching staff really needs to work on that before it is to late the bad marking and getting caught on the wrong side. Them really good yes.

  14. Maybe yuh could buy the Coach a new shirt now Uncle Earl Mango Pierre.

  15. Debbie Espinal doh worry ah celebrating with you and yes the monies worth it all

  16. Aunty Debbie Espinal we tell them in heart we trust!!

  17. Meh $29.00 TT was worth it Uncle Earl Mango Pierre ent!!

  18. Debbie you are quite right. You go girl.

  19. Me Cousin. Me Cousin. I think i earned the right to boast Lasana Liburd and Earl Mango Pierre.

  20. Benny Hinn ??? Whose that ? Look at Coach Hart gooooo !!!

  21. Whatever was said at halftime…I hope they recorded it and play it every halftime!

  22. I could have paid a lot of money to see this game. I think the administrators could keep cussing each other. Great spirit and focus. Congrats to the coach and players.

  23. That had to be a top 5, if not top 3 “Soca Warriors” performance!

  24. When last a Trinidad and Tobago team drop 4 on Mexico?? With cups pelting at them too. Most frigging exciting second half ah ever see in meh life. So proud of the Warriors they fought to the last whistle.

  25. 4 -4 all and we top the group. Go Harty. Earl Mango Pierre talk nah. LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

  26. Prince Borde YOU ARE RIGHT !!! we need to stop showing so much respect to them teams…we not playing germany or argentina …..come out and play football ,when we did it we scored goals….mexico is not the mexico we knew , this is one of the weakest mexico teams I’ve seen in years….

  27. Boy we need to play open football we!