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Eve: ‘The guys were brilliant […] in a hostile environment!’ T&T maintain SVG’s woeful run

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve lauded a ‘very professional’ display from his troops this afternoon, as they downed St Vincent and the Grenadines 2-0 at the Arnos Vale Sport Complex in Concacaf Nations League Group C action in the second tier, League B competition.

The result kept Trinidad and Tobago within one point of leaders Nicaragua, who defeated The Bahamas 2-0 in Nassau today.

Photo: The Soca Warriors prepare for Concacaf Nations League battle against St Vincent and the Grenadines at Arnos Vale Sport Complex on 10 June 2022.
(via TTFA Media)

St Vincent and the Grenadines have not won a match in 16 months, a spell that comprised one draw and seven defeats—including losses to Dominica and the Bahamas. And they were second best for long periods of the game today.

Eve hopes to pull off another win over the ‘Vincy Heat’ when they meet again at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 7pm on Monday 13 June.

“I thought the guys were brilliant tonight—very professional in a hostile environment,” said Eve, in the post-game press conference. “The St Vincent people really came out and supported their team. We need to finish on a high so we can put ourselves in a position where we have [promotion to League A] in our hands.”

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The Warriors coach suggested that the result owed much to his tactical changes as he ‘freshened up’ the squad with four changes to his starting team. He explained that Reon Moore and John-Paul Rochford were introduced to provide ‘natural width’ in the midfield, while Leston Paul was asked to add his experience and ‘keep things ticking over’ and right back Shannon Gomez brought energy.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago flanker Reon Moore (centre) holds off the Bahamas defender Kenaiz Swain during CNL action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 6 June 2022.
Looking on is T&T head coach Angus Eve.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

“We started off really well in the first half,” said Eve. “We know that St Vincent don’t give up—[they have] determination and good organisation [but] we were able to break down early.

“[…] Credit to St Vincent, they made the game difficult for us in the last 35 minutes but before that we dominated the game, until the weather changed and then they got a little bit of spirit in them.”

Eve noted that the Warriors are without veterans Khaleem Hyland and Kevin Molino, who are recovering from injury, along with Joevin Jones who he said is ‘getting back to [full] fitness’. He expects that today’s win will ‘give the young team full confidence’.

“I have no fear to play the kids,” said the coach. “I thought they were tremendous today. I thought they moved the ball really well in the first half and kept their composure in the second half under pressure. 

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacking midfielder John-Paul Rochford (left) is chased by the Bahamas midfielder Roen Davis during CNL action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 6 June 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

“Credit to the kids. [There were] some 18 and 21-year-olds out there. It is looking really positive for the future.”

Forward Levi Garcia, 24, created Trinidad and Tobago’s opening goal for Neveal Hackshaw and then got one himself on the ground in which he debuted for the senior team as a teenager.

Garcia said he still has ‘great memories’ of his double at Arnos Vale in Trinidad and Tobago’s 3-2 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines on 25 March 2016.

“We needed to win the game, [so] we got the result that we wanted,” said Garcia. “[…] It is a bonus to get another goal here… Hopefully I can continue this great form.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Levi Garcia celebrates a last gasp equaliser against Guyana during an exhibition match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 29 March 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Garcia has eight senior international goals from 35 appearances for Trinidad and Tobago. He’s scored five of them in his last five games, though—and four against the Vincy Heat.

Soca Warriors supporters will hope to see him add to that tally on Monday.

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