All is set for Trinidad and Tobago’s assault on Honduras in their crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round qualifier at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 8 pm today.
Both Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras held their official one hour training sessions at the venue yesterday morning.
And TT coach Dennis Lawrence made it no secret by emphasising that his team needs to come out of the blocks early and put the visitors under pressure.
“There’s no other option but for us to win the match. Pressure or not I think we have to be efficient in everything we do, on how we start the game, how we manage it and how we finish,” Lawrence said.
“We’ve had a good few days of preparations, the boys are upbeat and we’ll be looking to put that into play come (today). The both teams have a lot at stake in this game. Obviously we do not expect them to make it easy for us by any means but we must be prepared to give it our all and try to take three points from this match,” Lawrence said.
Jamille Boatswain and Willis Plaza will shoulder the responsibilities up front with regular captain Kenwyne Jones out with injury and US-based forward Trevin Caesar unable to make the trip due the situation in Houston, Texas. Boatswain started the 2-1 loss to Costa Rica and will be hoping to find the target this time around while Minnesota midfielder Kevin Molino will also be looking to add to his tally of two goals in the final round so far.
“Everything is fine for me at the moment. I know how important this game is and I think as a team and a nation we understand what we need to do. We need the fans there supporting us and the players, we have to put our best performance of the campaign . I think once we play as a team and leave everything out there on the field, then we can pull off a win,” Boatswain said.
Honduras gave away two points in their last match, relinquishing a 2-1 lead in the last minute and settling for a 2-2 draw at Panama.
“We’re going to give everything in this match,” said Honduras’ Colombia-born coach Jorge Luis Pinto. “We have to win.”
In previous World Cup qualifiers, staged in Trinidad, between these two teams, there have been two draws and a victory for the Central Americans. In 1988, both teams drew 0-0 at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair, while in 2009, Khaleem Hyland scored a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw and Honduras’ lone win came in 2001, a 4-2 victory at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.
In the Final Round qualifiers, after six matches, Mexico have 14 points followed by Costa Rica (11), United States (eight), Panama (seven), Honduras (five), and Trinidad and Tobago (three). Mexico host Panama and USA are at home to Costa Rica in other qualifying matches today.
Gates open at 5 pm and tickets will be on sale at the venue and all NLCB Lotto Locations. Party stand tickets are also available and details for this can be found via TTFA’s Facebook page. There will be parking provision for patrons at the nearby National Cricket Centre.