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More than half of Concacaf nations concede home advantage; Santo Domingo hosts eight WCQs in one week

Trinidad and Tobago were far from the anomaly yesterday as Concacaf revealed that more than half of the nations involved in the opening round of Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying matches have conceded home advantage, due mostly to their respectively Covid-19 protocols.

Seventeen from 30 nations will play their home games on neutral soil and Santo Domingo is easily the most popular destination. The Dominican Republic capital will host eight games from five match days, between 25 and 30 March—split evenly between the Estadio Panamericano and Estadio Felix Sanchez.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Levi Garcia (right) takes on USA midfielder Weston Mckennie during their Gold Cup contest in Cleveland on 22 June 2019.
USA won 6-0.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

The Soca Warriors face Guyana at the Estadio Panamericano from 7pm on Thursday 25 March, in a clash that the twin island republic had hoped to play in Port of Spain.

It is the Dominican Republic’s second-best ground but the island’s top venue, the Estadio Felix Sanchez, was booked by Panama before Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) boss Robert Hadad made his move.

Trinidad and Tobago are still in better shape than St Lucia and the Cayman Islands who have home games on 28 March but are yet to confirm a venue to stage them. The Estadio Panamericano does not have a game booked on that day—so first come, first served.

Apart from Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, Panama, Dominica, Turks and Caicos, and St Kitts and Nevis will also call Santo Domingo ‘home’ for the opening round of qualifiers.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Kevin Molino (left) tries to escape from Dominican Republic midfielder Rafael Flores during 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

Elsewhere in Curaçao, there will be no shortage of action at the Estadio Felix Sanchez in Willemstad which is booked for all five match days. Apart from the host nation, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands will also use the tiny Dutch island as their headquarters.

The Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City will host Guatemala and Cuba for next month’s qualifiers while Anguilla, Aruba and Canada will all play their home games across the state of Florida.

The Warriors, perhaps thankfully, will not have an early return to Florida where head coach Terry Fenwick lost his only international outing thus far—after a record 7-0 hammering to the United States in an exhibition affairs.

Concacaf Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying opening round

Group A: El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, US Virgin Islands.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (left) holds off El Salvador player Richard Menjivar during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Stan Honda)

(Wed 24 March)

*Antigua and Barbuda vs Montserrat, 7pm/ET, Ergilio Hato Stadium, Willemstad;

(Thu 25 March)

El Salvador vs Grenada, 9.30pm/ET, Estadio Cuscatlán, San Salvador;

(Sat 27 March)

USVI vs Antigua and Barbuda, 7pm/ET, Bethlehem Soccer Complex, St Croix;

(Sun 28 March)

*Montserrat vs El Salvador, 7pm/ET, Ergilio Hato Stadium, Willemstad; 

(Tue 30 March)

Grenada vs USVI, 7pm/ET, Kirani James Athletic Stadium, St Georges;

Group B: Canada, Suriname, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Aruba.

Photo: Canada players celebrate during action against Dominica.

(Wed 24 March) 

Suriname vs Cayman Islands, 6pm/ET, Dr Ir Franklin Essed Stadion, Paramaribo;

(Thu 25 March)

*Canada vs Bermuda, 8pm/ET, Exploria Stadium, Orlando;

(Sat 27 March)

*Aruba vs Suriname, 8pm/ET, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Florida;

(Sun 28 March)

*Cayman Islands vs Canada, TBD, TBD;

(Tue 30 March)

Bermuda vs Aruba, 6.30pm/ET, Bermuda National Sports Centre, Prospect.

Group C: Curaçao, Guatemala, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Cuba, British Virgin Islands.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) steers home his second goal while Guatemala defenders Christian Jimenez (right) and Hamilton Lopez look on during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 2 September 2016.
Jones struck twice in a 2-2 draw between the two nations.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

(Wed 24 March)

Guatemala vs Cuba, 7pm/ET, Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores, Guatemala City;

(Thu 25 March)

Curaçao vs St Vincent and the Grenadines, 8pm/ET, Ergilio Hato Stadium, Willemstad;

(Sat 27 March)

*BVI vs Guatemala, 6pm/ET, Ergilio Hato Stadium, Willemstad;

(Sun 28 March)

*Cuba vs Curaçao, 5pm/ET, Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores, Guatemala City;

(Tue 30 March)

*St Vincent and the Grenadines vs BVI, 8pm/ET, Ergilio Hato Stadium, Willemstad;

Group D: Panama, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Dominica, Anguilla.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Marcus Joseph converts one of his five goals after Anguilla goalkeeper Ryan Liddie (left) fails to deal with a low cross during their international friendly at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 10 November 2019.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

(Wed 24 March)

Dominican Republic vs Dominica, 7pm/ET, Estadio Felix Sanchez, Santo Domingo;

(Thu 25 March)

*Panama vs Barbados, 8pm/ET, Estadio Felix Sanchez, Santo Domingo; 

(Sat 27 March)

*Anguilla vs Dominican Republic, 6pm/ET, Inter Miami FC Stadium, Miami;

(Sun 28 March)

*Dominica vs Panama, 4pm/ET, Estadio Felix Sanchez, Santo Domingo;

(Tue 30 March)

*Barbados vs Anguilla, 7.30pm/ET, Estadio Felix Sanchez, Santo Domingo;

Group E: Haiti, Nicaragua, Belize, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones (left) drives the ball into the opposing penalty area while St Lucia player Romiel Felix looks on during the senior 2014 Caribbean Cup qualifying stage.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

(Wed 24 March)

Nicaragua vs St Lucia, 9pm/ET, Estadio Nacional de Futbol de Managua, Managua;

(Thu 25 March)

Haiti vs Belize, 5pm/ET, Stade Sylvio Cator, Port au Prince;

(Sat 27 March)

*Turks and Caicos vs Nicaragua, 7pm/ET, Estadio Panamericano, Santo Domingo;

(Sun 28 March)

*St Lucia vs Haiti, TBD, TBD;

(Tue 30 March)

*Belize vs Turks and Caicos, 7pm/ET, Estadio Panamericano, Santo Domingo.

Group FTrinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Bahamas.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Ryan Telfer (left) runs at Martinique right back Karl Vitulin during Concacaf Nations League action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 9 September 2019.
(Copyright Sean Morrison/Wired868)

(Wed 24 March)

*St Kitts and Nevis vs Puerto Rico, 7pm/ET, Estadio Panamericano, Santo Domingo;

(Thu 25 March)

*Trinidad and Tobago vs Guyana, 7pm/ET, Estadio Panamericano, Santo Domingo;

(Sat 27 March)

Bahamas vs St Kitts and Nevis, 7pm/ET, Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau;

(Sun 28 March)

Puerto Rico vs Trinidad and Tobago, 5pm/ET, Estadio Centroamericano, Mayaguez;

(Tue 30 March)

Guyana vs Bahamas, 8pm/ET, National Track & Field Centre, Leonara.

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