The Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors exit the World Cup Qualifiers with a win and will exit the qualifiers as the only unbeaten team in Group F with 2 wins and 2 draws. Duane Muckette and captain Khaleem Hyland scored on either side of half time for the 2-0 win over group winners St Kitts/Nevis. But it was a case of ‘too little too late’ as the Soca Warriors would be more than happy to take one of Tuesday’s goals and insert it in Saturdays 0-0 draw against Bahamas. That Bahamas draw was the crucial draw that saw Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup 2022 dream coming to an end.
But perhaps the more shocking moments came during the post-match media conference, when the former England defender appeared to have shifted the blame of the failed World Cup qualifying campaign away from himself and directed it to his employers (at least for now) the TTFA.
During the exchange with the media, Fenwick explained the team had little or no support in the last 18 months as the TTFA Normalisation Committee was dealing with financial debts. Fenwick added they have no friendly internationals to practice.
Defender Jesse Williams, was more philosophical than his coach, as he acknowledges they have to “work from our mistakes and come back stronger. That is life sometimes you win sometimes you lose, it’s how you bounce back. We are willing to put in the work for the upcoming Gold Cup”. Williams who made his debut on Tuesday, added “once you believe in yourself and have the strength and remain grounded, we need to keep our focus as the devil tries to take us off the path of righteousness. We need to make our friends, family and even enemies proud”.
THE HAUNTING OF THE 2006 BLACKLIST
Team captain Khaleem Hyland, while visibly disappointed that the team will take no further part in the World Cup Qualifiers, is still optimistic about the future of Trinidad and Tobago Football. The Saudi Arabia-based player told the TTFA Media “we definitely have the talent to go forward and carry TT football forward. We have a lot of talent in Trinidad and Tobago and they just need encouragement to become professionals. Hopefully the coronavirus will calm down and we can play football”.
Hyland however, explained the current crop of players lacked experience, and while they have youth on their side, “they lack the experience to breakdown teams. Since the 2006 World Cup players were blacklisted, the young players didn’t inherit that experience from the 2006 players and that’s why we are in this hole right now”, the team captain told TTFA Media.
The team will seek to rebound from the failed World Cup campaign and regroup as they attempt to at least qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.