Only once in all-time history has Trinidad and Tobago defeated Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifying match at any level. It occurred on Monday April 8th, 2013 in La Chorrera, Panama when this country’s national under 17 men’s team pulled off a 2-0 win over the Central Americans in a CONCACAF Final Round encounter, a result which helped push them through to the quarter final stage.
Netherland-based winger Levi Garcia played the match in its entirety and recalls it vividly. At 15 years, he was given the starting role by coach Shawn Cooper for a match that T&T needed to win after suffering a 2-0 loss to Canada in the opening match.
Now Garcia is hoping to play his part in spurring Stephen Hart’s team off to a winning start to the CONCACAF Final Round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup next Friday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
“Oh yes I remember that match. It was such a joy because we found out after that no national team had ever beaten Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifying match so it felt great to be part of that team,” Garcia told TTFA Media on Thursday.
“I remember we knew Costa Rica were a big team and we were a bit down after losing the first game against Canada. We played really well but we just couldn’t score and then we fixed that in the second game against them (Costa Rica). That was one of my most pleasing experiences as a national youth player,” he said.
Turning 19 on November 20th, Garcia knows that the responsibilities and the expectations are greater now. The stakes are much higher this time around.
“Yes. It’s a totally different stage. For me it’s very exciting. A year ago I maybe didn’t think that I would be on this stage with the senior team. It’s a lot more pressure but now pressure in the sense that it’s a big weight. I have grown and matured over the past year since I moved to Holland but I am still learning every day and the maturing process is continuing for me,” Garcia continued.
“I believe that this game is very important and it will take a big effort from every player from the entire squad, not just for this game but all of our matches in this round. I am confident that we can do it but we have to be smart and disciplined and of course ruthless when we are out there. Nothing must go past us easily and we have to make use of our chances on goal in the games,” he said.