T&T’s senior men’s team will be going all out to secure its first victory at the Concacaf Gold Cup since 2000, knowing fully well that full points against Haiti could inch the team closer to the quarterfinal stage of the tournament.
Both countries face off at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami from 7 pm, preceding the Honduras versus El Salvador clash at 9.30 pm. Haiti needs a win to survive and is expected to have thousands in support at the venue while T&T will be hoping to force a positive result to follow its 2-2 draw with El Salvador in New Jersey on Monday.
The good news in the T&T camp is that Cornell Glen came through a full session on Wednesday at the Florida International University and looked in good shape, while goalkeeper Marvin Phillip is also returning to training.
Head coach Stephen Hart led the team through a two-hour training session which was intense and showed every indication that the players are in good form and up for the challenge ahead.
“It was a very good session for us. The players responded well. They were sharp and we worked on a few things that indicated positives just the way we would want it to be ahead of the game,” said Hart.
“We know how important a good result is for us on Friday and I think the game is going to be another exciting one and a closely contested one because Haiti will also come with everything. These two countries have always fought closely in the past and it’s going to be no different on Friday,” Hart added.
“We will try to play some exciting football for our fans also because we know they are desperate to see the team make some progress also.”
T&T skipper Densill Theobald, currently six caps short of 100 international appearances says he expects Haiti to be tougher opponents than they were when both teams drew 0-0 in the Caribbean Cup in December.
“I’ve looked at them and they have brought a few new faces to the Gold Cup. In saying that, our team is also a bit different and we will be ready for whatever they throw at us. The boys are feeling good at the moment.
The opening game is out of the way and we were able to put a point on the board and now we will aim to move to four points and hopefully see ourselves through to the next stage of the tournament,” Theobald said.
Racing Genk midfielder Khaleem Hyland is equally optimistic but wary of the Haitians.
“We will play the game like we know how to… is to attack when we have the ball and try to win it back when they have it. We will do what we need to get three points,” said Hyland.
“The spirit is good in the camp. We had a good start against El Salvador but we went to sleep a bit after they equalised. We’ve got to try and get a good start on Friday and maintain the tempo for all or most of the match,” he added.
T&T trained for one hour on Thursday evening at the Sun Life Stadium.