“We wanted to right the wrong”; Eve says T&T showed improvement with Bahamas win

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve said the Soca Warriors’ 7-1 World Cup qualifying win over The Bahamas yesterday was an example of their progress under his watch.

The lopsided triumph against a nation ranked 200th in the world by Fifa—102 places below the Warriors—will see Trinidad and Tobago close the international match window in second place in Group B.

Trinidad and Tobago forward Malcolm Shaw (second from left) tries to take the ball around the Bahamas defender Jean Ryka Tilo during 2026 WCQ action in St Kitts on 8 June 2024.
(via TTFA Media)

Two teams advance to the next round and a home win over Saint Kitts and Nevis on 6 June 2025 is likely to be enough, regardless of the result away to Costa Rica on 10 June 2025.

After the Warriors started their campaign with a stuttering 2-2 draw with Grenada at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Eve was happy to point out that things were worse before he took over.

Eve’s predecessor, Terry Fenwick, was held goalless by the Bahamas on 5 June 2021—a result that saw Trinidad and Tobago eliminated from the 2022 World Cup qualifying series after just three games.

“This team threw us out of the World Cup last time around—I don’t think we could score on them,” Eve told the TTFA Media. “So it shows improvement for us now beating them with seven [goals].

Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones (front) prepares to fire home a penalty during his team’s 7-1 WCQ win over the Bahamas in Basseterre, St Kitts on 8 June 2024.
(via TTFA Media)

“[…] We wanted to win the game, we wanted to get three points. As the game went along, we believed we could have gotten more and we pushed for more. It has taken us up to four points which is most important.”

For context, it is worth noting that the Bahamas team that was thrashed by Trinidad and Tobago on the weekend was decidedly different to the one which held Fenwick’s Warriors goalless.

Only four players from the Bahamas’s weekend squad—captain Lesly St Fleur, defender Evelt Julmis, midfielder Carey Quinton and goal scorer Wood Julmis—featured when the minnows stunned Trinidad and Tobago, three years ago.

The starting XI from the current Bahamas squad had an average age of 23.4 on Saturday, while the average age of Eve’s starters was 28.5.

Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Dantaye Gilbert (left) enjoys his senior international debut alongside the Bahamas midfielder Reuben Edgecombe during WCQ in St Kitts on 8 June 2024.
Gilbert was T&T’s youngest player at 19 while Edgecombe is 17.
(via TTFA Media)

But, unlike Fenwick, Eve has never stumbled against the Bahamas with 1-0, 3-0 and 7-1 triumphs in their three meetings.

After the match, the current coach revealed that preparations for their latest clash were subpar with players travelling in two groups on separate days.

One group left Trinidad on Thursday and spent the night in Miami before landing in Basseterre, Saint Kitts on Friday while the other players travelled straight to Basseterre on Friday.

Trinidad and Tobago right back Alvin Jones looks for a passing option during his team’s WCQ contest with the Bahamas in St Kitts on 8 June 2024.
(via TTFA Media)

Eve hinted that their travel plans played a part in the selection of his starting squad to face the Bahamas. Richard Piper is the national team manager.

“Some of the guys left [for Saint Kitts] the day after the game and another group left the day before the game,” said Eve, “and then we hooked up here with one session again before we had to play.

“I felt the guys travelling right after the match; I wanted to freshen up the team… I believe in all of the guys, so we believe we could have changed up the squad somewhat and get the desired result.”

Trinidad and Tobago attacker Nathaniel James (left) celebrates his goal with teammates Dantaye Gilbert (centre) and Triston Hodge during their 7-1 WCQ win over the Bahamas in St Kitts on 8 June 2024.
(via TTFA Media)

There were seven changes to Eve’s starting team to face the Bahamas. Did the poor quality of their opponents make it difficult to gauge the impact of those adjustments?

Not for the Soca Warriors coach.

“I thought we were a little bit flat in the first game,” he said. “We never got going until the second half and we wanted to right that wrong and I think we did it [yesterday].

“The passing was much better [and] the fluency of the team. It doesn’t matter who you play.”

Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Angus Eve (centre) watches on from the sidelines during their WCQ contest with the Bahamas in St Kitts on 8 June 2024.
(via TTFA Media)

Eve also praised debutantes Steffen Yeates and Dantaye Gilbert for their performances against the Bahamas. He suggested that Gilbert, a PSV Jong midfielder, received limited playing time due to an ankle issue.

“[Yeates] is an intelligent footballer,” said Eve. “He is very good on the ball and creative at the same time.”

There might be more new faces in the squad during the course of the World Cup qualifying campaign, as Eve revealed that he is in talk with “some MLS players” who have Trinbagonian parents.

Canada-born midfielder Steffen Yeates had one assist on his debut as Trinidad and Tobago beat the Bahamas 7-1 in a WCQ in St Kitts on 8 June 2024.
(via TTFA Media)

“We are talking to them still,” he said. “I will just leave it at that.”

Eve said he was unhappy that Trinidad and Tobago failed to keep a clean sheet against the Bahamas.

Despite his boasts of creating solid defensive units, Trinidad and Tobago have conceded at least one goal in each of their last eight competitive matches. Eve’s last clean sheet in a meaningful match came when the Warriors edged Curaçao 1-0 in Port of Spain on 7 September 2023.

Trinidad and Tobago goalkeepers Denzil Smith (left) and Christopher Biggette smile for the camera during a training session.
Photo: TTFA Media

“We told the guys we wanted to keep a clean sheet, I think Denzil [Smith] did everything in his power—the defenders didn’t back him up properly,” said Eve. “But one mistake, one goal over 90 minutes, I guess we will take that.”

According to match stats, the Bahamas had nine shots against Trinidad and Tobago with five of them on target while they tallied 12 touches in the opposing penalty area.

The Soca Warriors, who had 76% ball possession, had 22 shots with 11 on target and 35 touches in the Bahamas’ penalty area.

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