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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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  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!

  28. Keep pelting thing at we! Goal boy

  29. Kenwin jones had have a hand in 5 goals lol

  30. Eh tell them men in high places to keep fighting! Tell them not to study bout we footballers eh. Earl Mango Pierre like KJ hear yuh talking bout him. Playing tonight

  31. This was one of Hyland better games……………

  32. Cummings will never forget tonight!!

  33. We hitting the ball sweet when we score this tournament!

  34. Everyone who has watched the pro league has seen that strike from keron Cummings many times! Not so Travis Mulraine? Brilliant

  35. Cumming yuh never sitting the bench again

  36. Earl Mango Pierre when Tim Kee start paying him he might be able to buy some more grey shirts.

  37. Lasana Liburd either on is fine

  38. Debbie Espinal can you please purchase some more shirts for your cuzzo Coach Hart or is it that grey is his favorite color eh. hahahahaha Coach Hart really good yes.

  39. Costa Rica… Not much better at all

  40. Very interesting so I guess we will let Mexico face them yes and we will face who Prince Borde

  41. $29.00TT Uncle Earl Mango Pierre is what you consider rich to support your team?

  42. Debbie Espinal where is the game streaming cause I ain’t rich like you eh. hahahaha

  43. Anyhow folks it’s only $29.00 to subscribe to FSP2 which i just did. Now i can watch the games in the comfort of my living room.

  44. Nothing will ever be good enough for Earl Mango Pierre. I definitely think you should take over the team. I’m sure we’ll see vast improvements under your watch.

  45. Yeah and the score should have been TNT 4 vs Cuba 0 just as I called it eh, and they had the chances to do so and they came up short. Them really good yes.

  46. That’s what your crystal ball showed you Earl?

  47. Trinidad and Tobago 2 vs Mexico 0

  48. I agree with Curtis Charles. All we need is a draw. Why come out and expose your self. All we need is a draw. New goal keeper in the net. Experienced keeper but still new.

  49. I don’t think we have the discipline (historically)to sit back for 90 minutes. I figure we should come out the same way, attacking early and then adjust to suit based on how the game is going.

  50. Use this game Vs Mexico as a benchmark. We’ve been two teams which IMHO were not good enough. Now is the time so see how solid our defensive side of the game is and in turn see how our service is from the mids to the strikers which should turn into goals. Not sure we have a clear cut plan for feeding KJ as yet. This is where KM wud’ve come in.

  51. But dropping too deep might be suicide.

  52. Yeah. I agree Curtis. So our two wingers can play deeper. And we leave out any of the attackers who think they are too good to work.
    I always felt we should scoring from set pieces with our height and now we are.
    We can play tight and try to pinch a result from a set piece again.

  53. M/s Debbie Espinal could be so right , On form T & T is two goals up on Mexico and should come away with at least a draw . All eyes have to be on Mexico looking out for their dirty tactics .

  54. I think we need to play a 5 man midfield, to stop mexico ball possession. We would not have the ball as much because they are very good at keel ng the ball , and we need to press them and play physical. If we allow them to control that game we would be beaten badly especially how they drew with Guatemala ,they would be looking to redeem themselves. Lasana Liburd

  55. Sound like an employer there boy Lasana lol. But I agree, just looking at potentials.

  56. The only other goalkeeper I’d feel reasonably safe with is Cleon John. All the others need work and experience.

  57. I think Mexico’s loss to Guatemala augers well for us. Yes they will come at us hard but having already qualified for the next round we may just throw caution to the wind and go at them equally as hard. The Coach said he’s looking forward to playing Mexico as it would be a good test for the team going into the next round. Hope i’m right and they don’t get complacent because they’re already through. We’ll see. I’m taking a wager we’ll come away with at least a draw.

  58. It’s been tough because we hardly have practice games to try anyone else. So the little friendlies we get, coaches are left with no little to no option but to put those 2 guys. I’ve always thought Andre Marchan is someone who should get a shy in.

  59. Btw this may not be a good thing eh.. it’s kinda showing that there is a gap between those two and the rest… that there isn’t a fiercer battle for 2nd keeper is a bit alarming… 1) dem fellas go think dey place safe 2) With one keeper out (as is the case) the 2nd keeper’s experience in the rest of this tourney is questionable..

  60. Like Jan unlucky with Gold Cup’s. Anthony Noriega clashes with him = concussion. 2015 = Hamstring…sighhh

  61. So… its like for like (as in capabilities)

  62. In the recent past, it was always a toss up between Jan Williams and Phillip, I think JMW always pipped MP cuz of his leadership qualities in the back

  63. Jan’s communication helps our defence to keep switched on during games. Phillip isn’t that vocal. Just hope they’re all up to it tomorrow.

  64. Lol. Marvin Phillip and Jan-Michael Williams are very close in terms of capabilities. it is always one or the other.

  65. You’re joking Kirwin Weston?

  66. You starting Foncette Lasana ?

  67. I agree Prince Borde. I don’t think finishing 2nd to Trinidad in a group will sit too nicely with them. I think if we are resilient enough we can get a result.

  68. The Mexicans will be coming for blood. I think the result for them against Guatemala was the worse thing that can happen for us

  69. The only thing I disagree with some of the guys is that they should be saying that Mexico doesn’t get to play the quality of T&T very often. Our guys are starting to believe in themselves and not being distracted by the ancillary stuff. It takes true professionalism to perform. Everyone else can jump on the bandwagon. I for one believe that this is a World top ten team and can win this Gold Cup.