Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Futsal Team head coach Constantine Konstin credited his outfit for an ‘amazing’ showing after their feisty clash with hosts Guatemala last night, which the twin island republic lost 4-3.
The defeat meant the Soca Warriors were eliminated after just two matches, as they lost their opener to the Dominican Republic 6-2.
“Last night’s game was a spectacular game,” Konstin told the TTFA Media. “I haven’t seen a game like that in Concacaf in years. And it just shows you what potential Trinidad and Tobago has. We put this team together two weeks ago and what these guys have accomplished in two weeks is amazing.”
Konstin’s view on his own work is unlikely to be unanimous. Trinidad and Tobago’s preparations for the 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship started on 2 February 2021—not quite two weeks ago.
Dominican Republic, who never appeared in a Concacaf futsal tournament before, started constructing their own team on 27 February. And while the Spanish-speaking country created on outfit from players who already played the sport, Konstin selected only one player, Jameel Neptune, with previous experience of the game—as he opted for outfield players instead.
Three such outfield players, Ché Benny, Keston George and Dylon King, did relatively well in Guatemala and Benny stole headlines with an extraordinary opening goal last night. But it was a stretch to say that Konstin’s other selections looked comfortable on the futsal court.
Add Trinidad and Tobago’s pre-tournament friendly defeats against Costa Rica to Konstin’s overall tally and the American coach had four games at the helm of the National Futsal Team and lost them all, with a goal differential of eight scored and 25 conceded.
On the one hand, Trinidad and Tobago, who were previously coached by Strike Squad captain Clayton ‘JB’ Morris, have never beaten Costa Rica or Guatemala at futsal.
On the other, the Warriors, who were Caribbean Futsal champs in 2004 and 2008 and bronze medalists in 2016, had never lost to a team within the region before outside of Cuba and Curaçao. (Cuba participated in six Concacaf Championships since 1996 and advanced to the Futsal World Cup from five of them.)
It is debatable, then, whether Konstin has left the Futsal Team in better shape than he found them.
The American is unlikely to face pushback in his plea for the TTFA to invest more in the sport, though.
“[The] TTFA has to keep building upon this,” said Konstin. “Futsal can be a big time future for the country, for the communities, especially in the schools… It’s a no-brainer.
“[…] I highly, highly recommend that the TTFA goes out there and starts building futsal courts and building leagues, so one day the TTFA will win a World Cup in futsal.”