Trinidad and Tobago will host 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup runners-up Jamaica on 24 August from 8pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium as the Caribbean’s traditional heavyweights go head-to-head in a friendly contest.
Tickets cost $100 (covered stands) and $50 (uncovered) and will be available at all NLCB Lotto locations nationwide from Wednesday 9 August.
Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams is urging fans to pack the venue for the contest.
“This is soca versus reggae at its best,” John-Williams told the TTFA Media. “The Jamaicans are on a high at the moment and we know they always come hard when they have to face Trinidad and Tobago. We think that it is an excellent opportunity for our team to get just the kind of workout they will need before Honduras.
“It’s ‘Tallest’ versus ‘Tappa’ for Caribbean bragging rights. We want a packed house on August 24th to witness this Caribbean derby in Port of Spain.”
Ironically, the Soca Warriors’ next competitive international match against Honduras will be played at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September rather than in Port-of-Spain—in part, because the TTFA is uncertain whether the current National Senior Team has the pulling power to fill the Hasely Crawford Stadium at present.
Trinidad and Tobago lost 1-3 away to Ecuador late last month and head coach Dennis Lawrence is happy to have another dress rehearsal before they face Honduras in a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier.
“This game comes at an ideal time for us in preparation for Honduras,” said Lawrence. “Jamaica are in a good moment after coming off a very positive showing at the Gold Cup. They will come here looking to maintain that form, which means they will give us the kind of test we are looking for at this stage of the preparations—a week before we face Honduras.
“We will start training on August 14th for the matches coming up and this will obviously be a critical period for us, which we are all anticipating a great deal.”
At present, Jamaica are ranked 76th in the world by FIFA which is two places above Trinidad and Tobago, who are now 78th.
In their last clash with Trinidad and Tobago on home soil, the “Reggae Boyz” emerged victorious in the 2014 Caribbean Cup final but needed penalties to do so. In the last clash between them in Port-of-Spain, the Warriors won 2-0 in a friendly on 19 November, 2013.
Both teams will be under-strength since the game falls outside the FIFA match window and both nations will need special dispensations from clubs to get their foreign-based players to join the squad.