Twelve members of country’s National Senior Team arrived in San Salvador on close to midnight on Wednesday less than a week from the upcoming 2010 World Cup Qualifier against El Salvador at the Estadio Cuscatlan at 7pm (9pm T&T time).
With Francisco Maturana in Los Angeles for Friday’s friendly international between El Salvador and Peru, Latapy is heading the team currently and took part in a pool session on Thursday evening along with the rest of players.
There was a host of media representatives present upon the team’s arrival at the airport with television cameramen and photographers situated at vantage positions and some others following the bus’ exit from the airport. At the Radisson on Thursday from as early as 9am there was a steady presence of photographers in the hotel lobby. But they have no access to the section of the hotel which is a separate structure accommodating the T&T contingent located some 200 metres apart from the main lobby.
The reception received by the team upon arrival here was by no means as rowdy as the one given to the team as it exited the Los Andes Stadium on Tuesday following their 2-1 loss to the Argentine Second Division club. Players were mugged by anxious locals while on their way to the bus and Maturana had to be shielded as some tried to make contact with one fan aggressively trying to remove the Colombian’s Adidas Cap off his head, pushing him slightly in the process.
The closing warm up, witnessed by 1,500 fans on a scorching hot afternoon was the only defeat of the tour for the visitors. Juan Martin netted a double before half time while Anthony Wolfe had scored to level it at 1-1.The game was scheduled as a 80-minute affair but the referee ended proceedings five minutes before time for no apparent reason as T&T tried for the equalizer.
“The result I was not too pleased with but it’s the end of what has been good training camp for us in Argentina. All the players are healthy and have been through a very good work out during our time here,” Maturana told TTFF Media.
“Now we have to look ahead to the upcoming days in El Salvador because the main event will happen there on Wednesday. That is where we play for the real points. Nothing from the past will matter so whether we have won the games against them or not, everything depends on Wednesday’s match and we will continue our work towards ensuring that Trinidad y Tobago gets the start that we all want,” he added.
Latapy will conduct an on field session at a nearby Stadium on Friday. The former Falkirk man’s first act on arrival was to ensure that the focus switch was turned on again.
“We had a long trip over to here and a chapter of this trip while we were in Argentina has ended so it’s important that as a team we switch our focus on again which is to play football and take care of things on Wednesday. Nothing else should take priority at this time other than to ensure we do everything in relation to our task here in the next qualifying match,” Latapy said.