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Offline Kingk

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Warriors must battle to the final whistle
« on: November 14, 2005, 10:27:40 PM »
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SATURDAY's crucial play-off game between Trinidad and Tobago and Bahrain proved, among other things, the old saying that it is not over till it's over. The game is not done until the final whistle, and so it was for us, and for the opposing team at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Both teams played their best shots against each other, battling it out literally until the final whistle, which left things well and truly in the balance, a one-all decision, to be settled once and for all, when they meet again on Bahrain's home turf two days from today.

Here is where the mettle of the boys in red must count for all that they have, and that of their legions of fans around the world as well. At home here, we will be required to root as never before for the team which was so overwhelmingly supported, with that support reaching the critical crescendo it did at the stadium Saturday evening. The capacity crowd on hand to see the game live was but a fraction of the audience which cheered along with every crucial bit of play. The hundreds of thousands more who watched from their homes or from the specially arranged venues around the country were also no less anxious at those moments when it appeared that the Bahrainis were going to go ahead, and indeed when they did, or when it equally appeared that our boys had a chance or two here and there in those nail-biting 90 minutes.

That the final whistle left things tied as it did meant that the confidence with which many thousands of fans went into the encounter has now been checked, and that our best wishes must remain as intact for Wednesday's encounter as they were for Saturday's.


What was clearly on display at the stadium in front of our very own eyes was that these two teams are about as evenly matched as two such contenders could be, each seeking a place in history, with the hopes and aspirations of their respective peoples as much on the line in either case.

The Bahrainis came to Port of Spain knowing well that they were going to have to make every play count, in order to overcome the tremendous odds of playing in front of a crowd that was going to be as intimidating as they could expect without getting hostile.


If then the Soca Warriors are to live up to the reputation contained in that name, they are now required to do likewise in a similar environment away from home on Wednesday.

For us, of course, we will continue to repose great faith in the ability of the Warriors to accomplish the task of taking their country into a World Cup Final for the first time, and become third time lucky.

Highly noteworthy also from the Saturday encounter, was the splendid comportment of the crowd which stopped at nothing to secure the available tickets for the game. Saturday's turnout was without incident, a result which by itself needs unequivocal reinforcement, for the model it represents once again, as to how we are indeed capable of the best conduct, even as we gather in such huge numbers.

And now it's on to Bahrain on Wednesday, and from there, hopefully, to Germany 2006.Â