Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Futsal Team fell to a 6-2 defeat to Dominican Republic last night in CONCACAF championship action in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The result left the Warriors hopes of qualifying for the 2021 FIFA Futsal World scheduled to take place in Lithuania, hanging by a thread. To progress the team will have to beat host Guatemala by four (4) clear goals tonight. Guatemala CONCACAF champions in 2008 will be no walk over though having beaten Dominican Republic 4-2 in opening Group A action on Monday night.
Trinidad and Tobago will be without their talisman, former National Midfielder Keron ‘Ball Pest’ Cummings again, who have been ruled out of on court participation on the tour with a late ECG test that suggested that all was not well with the skillful player’s heart waves. The team doctor confirmed that Cummings has an enlarged heart (which is normal in career athletes) but it was the electronic waves coming from the heart that was a cause for concern for the medical staff. It was a cruel twist of faith for the Terminix Rangers player who was now seeking to restart his football career in National colors, after being shot in a botched robbery attempt in December, 2015.
On Tuesday 4th May though it was another Terminix Rangers player Keston George that give hope of a Trinidad and Tobago comeback when he acrobatically headed home a chipped pass from Che Benny, that cut the lead to 3-1 at the time. The star of the night for T&T was Andre Marchan who was spectacular in goal and saved the Warriors a double digit score line. New Trinidad and Tobago Futsal coach Constantine Konstin selected only one player with prior Futsal experience Jameel Neptune who scored to make the score 5-2, dribbling pass the Dominican Republic goalkeeper Jose Perez. In contrast the country that share the island of Hispaniola with Haiti and known for beautiful women sported several players with Futsal experience including head coach, Carlos Boccicardi, who was once head coach of the Argentina National Futsal side. Marco Gomez a hattrick hero on the night plays for La Union CFS in Spain, while Guillermo Lopez and 17-year-old goalkeeper, Perez, also play in Spain for Laguna FS and CET 10 respectively.
The Trinidad and Tobago team played well in spells but generally lacked concentration, was second to the ball most time and some players seem to lack the basic physical attributes of speed, agility and strength. It begs the question of whether the players selected were the best available, in a land blessed with gifted ‘small goal’ players. A defeat against Guatemala will end the dream of World Cup qualification for Trinidad and Tobago Men’s Futsal team but more than that it will raise the questions about the choice of Coach, the oblivious discarding of the previous National players, the wisdom of sending teams to represent the country without proper developmental programs and active leagues in place?
One thing is for sure the game against Guatemala will establish more questions than answers.
Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Futsal Team: 1.Andre Marchan (GK), Kern Caesar (GK), 11. Willis Plaza, 13. Dwight Quintero, 10.Mark Ramdeen, 6.Dylon King, 14.Aaron Lester, 4.Sean De Silva, 8.Jameel Neptune,12.Keston George, Keron Cummings, 5.Che Benny, 9.Adrian Welch, 7. Darius Olliviera.
Staff: Constantine Konstin (head coach), Paul Decle (assistant coach), Dunstan Williams (goalkeeper coach), Nigel Roberts (manager), Stephen Bernard (equipment manager), Mark Lewis (trainer) ,Roger Ryan (medic)