Grabbing a hattrick or even just scoring a goal for your country on your special day is something all players dream about. First of all, you have to be lucky to have a game played on your birthday, then you’ve got to hope you’re into the starting team and then of course you have to hit the target. It all fell into place, spot on for Shahdon Winchester on Sunday January 8th, 2016.
But the result was not the desired one as the 25-year-old Winchester explained after Trinidad and Tobago’s 4-3 defeat to Haiti in extra time in their CFU Gold Cup playoff encounter at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
The former W Connection forward, now with Mexican club Murcielagos FC, had scored one goal in 16 international matches prior to Sunday’s encounter. But he got the nod from Tom Saintfiet and delivered upon the call, putting T&T ahead after just 46 seconds and then scoring further items in the first half and levelling the scores at 3-3 in extra time to complete his hattrick.
The former Naparima College hitman spoke about his mixed emotions after the match
“To be honest it’s a tremendous feeling to score a hattrick for the national team. Words can’t really describe the joy I feel inside and there no better gift a professional footballer can give to himself on his birthday,” Winchester told TTFA Media.
“With that being said there is still a bitter feeling because once again we didn’t qualify for a major tournament that we had in the palm of our hands,” he added.
T&T lost steam in extra time and Haiti pulled away with two further goals to send the hosts out of the Gold Cup qualifying race.
“Definitely we could have pushed some more in extra time. But I really don’t know how to describe it, whether it’s lack of concentration or commitment but conceding four goals from dead balls shows we really have to sit down and question ourselves,” Winchester said.
“There is still the World Cup qualifiers ahead and we must now pick ourselves up from these two losses and focus on the matches ahead,” he said.