Following their shock 5-2 defeat to St Kitts in the Caribbean Football Union final round of Olympic qualifiers last month, midfielder Sean De Silva said the entire squad felt a strong urge to prove that were capable of advancing to the final Concacaf round.
In fact, they felt like they were suddenly being viewed as the underdogs in the tournament.
“No one expected we would lose to badly to St Kitts. I remember after we drew with Cuba, one of the St Kitts guys said he remembered when he played against me at the Under 15 level and they lost 6-0 to us,” said De Silva.
“It felt like a lot of the country doubted us after the loss to St Kitts, but the entire team knew what we were about and what we had to do.
We worked hard together and one by one the goals came. We took our chances a lot better. Personally I felt my goal against St Kitts meant nothing because we lost but in the end I guess it added to our goal difference.
And scoring against Suriname felt amazing knowing we were on our way to something special. Just being here with these guys and going through the struggles together and then coming out on top together is an amazing feeling and I'm just always proud to put on the red white and black,” he said.
T&T are grouped with Mexico, Honduras and Panama for the final tournament in the USA from March 22 to April 2.
The Men’s U-23s aren’t the only successful T&T team as the Girls Under 17s beat Jamaica 1-0 last week to capture the Caribbean title and advance to the CONCACAF final round next year to compete for a spot in the 2012 U-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan.