Trinidad and Tobago salvaged whatever little pride that was left from their 2014 World Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over Guyana in their final qualifying encounter at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday evening.
"How come... we should have and what if?" was the writing on the wall for the "Soca Warriors" as second half goals by Kenwyne Jones (59th) and Lester Peltier (64th pushed T&T to 12 points to seal second place in the group behind Guyana (13 points).
Wednesday will certainly be a day of reflection and on a day which marks six years since T&T defeated Bahrain 1-0 in Manama to secure a place at the 2006 World Cup Finals.
The match saw a start by T&T that really would have served a lot better purpose in Providence a few days ago. Barring the fact that Guyana were missing at least four of their key starter, T&T, also without an injured Khaleem Hyland, Julius James and Chris Birchall played with a lot more drive and positive intent than what the T&T faithful witnessed on Friday.
Jones, ending the campaign with three goals to his name, should have put T&T ahead in the 20th minute but failed to meet an incoming right side delivery after Hughtun Hector and Peltier combined.A minute later Guyana had a chance of their own when Vurlon Mills dragged a low effort straight towards goalkeeper Marvin Phillip.
Then with the half hour approaching, Kendall Jagdeosingh was goal shy and opted to find Peltier who in turn could only direct his effort wide of the near post.
Up to that point, T&T looked far from troubled by the Guyanese and in command of their own play. The story was different at the same time of proceedings in Providence.
T&T's first attempt at goal came when Jones turned neatly on top the box and created a chance for Molino but his snap effort was deflected inches wide of the upright. The opportunities were cheered on by the small but eager T&T fans who were desperate to see their men make up in some little way for their past mishaps.
Guyana had one or two fair looks at goal but there was nothing close to the Ricky Shakes net shaker that set the pace for them in the first clash.
And with T&T now looking likely to push ahead, Jones drilled him to put T&T 1-0 up in the 59th minute. A minute later, the hosts squandered a sitter and a furious
Pfister knocked over empty chair near the T&T bench, wondering how T&T could not convert the simplest of chances.
Peltier struck his fourth goal of the campaign when he rushed into the box to unleash his shot in the goal following a Molino assist.
"Again I say that this campaign was lost in Bermuda when we went there missing three or four key overseas-based players and had about four new boys in the squad but we will not make that excuse now," Pfister said.
"Today we see that it was not impossible to lose to Guyana there because they are not a bad team and they are organized but we also saw what our capabilities were. This I think was our downfall in that our preparation was not the best at the start of the campaign.
We had one match and it was impossible to get all our players together to play outside of the FIFA dates for maybe some other matches. But I think that with proper planning and preparation we have a very good chance to qualify for the next Gold Cup and then 2018.
"Football in the entire country has to change. I never bad talk my Federation or Association. Right now we don't have a President and my boss is Richard (Groden) and I never bad talk these people in such position because I think we have to work together always. Nobody wants to lose.
But the Professional League in this country has to improve. Right now it is zero and many other things in your football have to improve. What happens here happens nowhere else where football is serious my friends, the German-born added.
"You have to make the investment and plan and prepare from very early. You cannot wait until 2016. And you must have the best in everything from early for your preparation. Do not take things lightly and say okay maybe we can manage it this way.
As for me, I don't know my future but football is played all over the world and I have been through it all. I can get a job easily tomorrow. It's my decision to take it if I want.
I chose to come to Trinidad because I saw an opportunity to help a country like yours. The money is no problem for me. I can get more money in other bigger countries but this is not the point I am making here. I want to see the football improve," said Pfister who turns 74 on November 24.
"My only worry is my staff here. These men worked very hard and give a lot of effort. You do not get this everyday in a lot of other countries and I can tell you this from experience.
So what happens to them now? Will they get the chance to improve and to serve? Or will they be put away.
I think you must keep these people and allow them to build on this and use their experience for the benefit of your football. There must be something where your football continues and then you can prepare to take on the bigger countries and achieve success.
T&T 2 (Kenwyne Jones 58, Lester Peltier 64) vs Guyana 0
Trinidad & Tobago: - 1.Marvin Phillip, 20.Seon Power (Yellow 41), 3.Carlyle Mitchell, 4.Akeem Adams, 6.Osei Telesford, 11.Carlos Edwards, 12.Kendall Jagdeosingh, 13.Lester Peltier, 15.Hughtun Hector, 16.Kevin Molino, 9.Kenwyne Jones (capt) (10.Hayden Tinto 80th).
Unused Subs: - 21.Jan-Michael Williams, 5.Julius James, 8.Khaleem Hyland, 14.Stern John, 17.Anthony Wolfe, 18.Andrei Pacheco, 19.Keon Daniel.
Coach: - Otto Pfister (GER).
Guyana: - 22.Richard Reynolds, 2.Jake Newton, 3.Christopher Bourne, 4.Leon Cort, 5.Walter Moore, 7.Dwain Jacobs, 13.Charles Pollard (6.Taylor Benjamin 47th), 14.Anthony Benfield (9.Alinani Mounter 62nd), 17.Vurlon Mills (11.Colin Nelson 68th), 19.Travis Grant, 20.Dwight Peters.
Unused Subs: - 1.Ronson Williams, 16.Kayode McKinnon, 21.Ricky Shakes, 10.Trayon Bobb.
Coach: - Jamaal Shabazz (TRI).
Venue: - Hasley Crawford Stadium (Trinidad).
Attendance: - 600.
Soca Warriors beat Guyana 2-0
By Ian Prescott (Express).
The fabled 12th man was most absent, but Trinidad and Tobago's Soca Warriors still managed a 2-0 victory over Guyana in their final match of the failed Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign last night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
After a dull, goalless first half, the Warriors won on second half goals from captain Kenwyne Jones and forward Lester Peltier.
By the time the Trinidad and Tobago national anthem was played just prior to kick-off yesterday, there were 116 spectators in the uncovered stands, among them three yellow-clad Guyanese supporters and four policemen. Ten more stood outside the player's tunnel, while another 300 or so fans were in the covered stand, including infuriated nutsman "Jumbo", who was questioning the patriotism of T&T supporters.
Later, Jumbo donated $50 for every goal the Soca Warriors scored.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Otto Pfister made four changes to the team which lost 1-2 to Guyana on Friday night, giving starts to Carlyle Mitchell, Osei Telesford, Kendall Jagdeosingh and Hughtun Hector, replacing Keon Daniel, Chris Birchall, Khaleem Hyland and Julius James.
But the first half had the intensity of a friendly, before the Warriors turned it up a bit in the second session.
Trinidad and Tobago had greater possession, but lacked attacking ideas. At the same time, the home team always looked vulnerable to the quick Guyanese counter-attacks.
Although the first half ended without a goal, T&T still had a couple of good chances to take the lead.
Both midfielder Kevin Molino and skipper Jones ran clear on goal, but could not beat Guyana reserve goalkeeper Richard Reynolds.
Molino had the best chance in the 29th when sent on by Lester Peltier's flick, but the goalie's feint touch was enough to turn the ball wide. And in the 36th Jones met Hector's straight through ball, but Reynolds blocked his shot.
T&T defender Mitchell also had two free headers from Hector's corner kick, including a downward header which was cleared off the line in the eighth minute.
For Guyana, an unmarked Dwain Jacob had a free shot which went wide from atop the penalty area in the 14th and striker Dwight Peter got by defenders Seon Power and Mitchell, but hit straight at T&T keeper Marvin Phillip, who had little other work on the night.
Jones finally gave the Warriors the lead in the 58th with a clinical low shot from atop the penalty area. And then in the 65th Peltier's pace allowed him to intercept a Jones pass and he scored to make it 2-0 from close up in the penalty area.
But that marked the end of another World Cup campaign for Trinidad and Tobago.