Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers were found regrouping and regaining their focus on the training field of the Ato Boldon Stadium on Friday morning as they gear up for Sunday’s CFU Gold Cup playoff with Haiti at the Ato Boldon Stadium from 5pm.
Head Coach Tom Saintfiet used Thursday as a recovery day for his players following their 2-1 defeat to Suriname but was back on the training field the following morning (Friday) ahead of their do or die clash with the Haitians.
Haiti ended T&T’a Copa America Centenario ambitions with a late 1-0 win in the playoff in Panama City in January and both teams have been drawn together again in another playoff as they try to qualify for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Team captain Carlos Edwards reflected on the loss, saying the T&T players did hurt but are picking themselves up for Sunday’s challenge.
“Obvious the boys did hurt because of the loss. I personally didn’t like the result because I felt there was no reason for us to me losing these kind of games at home especially with it being a qualifier for the Gold Cup,” Edwards told TTFA Media.
“But now we’ve returned to the training pitch and the feeling of wanting to go out and do better is back in our minds and we know we have a task to complete on Sunday. I believe in the squad even though we have some very young players who have not really found themselves as yet on the international level but the squad has the quality, i believe, to make us get results,” Edwards added.
“We have to play our best game yet under the new coach if we want to advance out of this stage. Every player must bring their best game to the Ato Boldon stadium on Sunday and then we can take things from the next day looking ahead to the final playoff and the qualifiers coming up in March,” the former Sunderland player said.
Haiti and Suriname met at 7pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Friday, an encounter in which Haiti won 4-2 which means T&T can advance with a 2-0 victory over Haiti on Sunday or by two clear goals.
Interesting Facts – Trinidad and Tobago versus Haiti
With yet another qualifying match looming between the two nations, we take a look back at some interesting facts of the Trinidad and Tobago versus Haiti history. T&T faces Haiti at 5pm the Sunday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in a CFU Gold Cup playoff encounter.
1974 World Cup Qualifier in 1973
– T&T scored five goals but at the end of the game, the score read Haiti 2 Trinidad and Tobago 1 with four goals being disallowed. The game will forever remained etched in the minds of the local fans as one in which their team was robbed and denied of an opportunity to play in the World Cup.
It was marred by some of the worst officiating in a match of such magnitude and later, the referee Jose Enrique of El Salvador and Canadian linesman James Higuet were both banned for life by the FIFA.
A report of the match in the Trinidad Guardian of December 6, 1973, written by Keith Sheppard who covered the tournament tells the story: Sheppard wrote: “I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would not believe it. Trinidad and Tobago scored five times and should have gotten a penalty in each session but lost 1-2 to Haiti in a very one-sided match at the Sylvio Cator Stadium here last night. They say goals win matches. This is one time they didn’t.”
Copa America qualifier
Haiti eliminated T&T from the final hurdle in qualification for the 2016 Copa America Centenario with a late 1-0 win in the playoff in Panama City .
Friendly win for T&T in Fort Lauderdale
Willis Plaza scored the lone goal the last time T&T defeated Haiti in a friendly played in Fort Lauderdale a week before the start of the 2015 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Yorke helps T&T past Haiti in 2002 qualifier
Dwight Yorke, a late arrival into the national team camp from Manchester, scored a first half 25th minute goal to put T&T ahead 1-0 in a 2002 World Cup qualifier played in May of 2000 in Port-au-Prince. The game ended 1-1 but T&T advanced to the semi-final round 4-2 on aggregate after winning the home leg 3-1.
John, Knights take T&T past Haiti
Stern John of Columbus Crew scored a double with goals in the 1st minute and the 60th to guide Trinidad and Tobago past Haiti 4-1 in the semi-final of the Caribbean Cup in 1998 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. T&T also got a double from striker Irasto Knights in the 15th and 42nd minutes. T&T went on to play Jamaica in the final but lost 2-1.