TWENTY-THREE year old midfielder Levi Garcia wants the national men’s football team to maintain their momentum heading into Sunday’s second 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Puerto Rico.
The national squad produced a winning start to their Concacaf qualifying campaign, on Thursday, when they defeated Guyana 3-0. Garcia opened TT’s account in the eighth minute followed by two on-target strikes by defender Sheldon Bateau (15th) and forward Ryan Telfer (44th).
Although elated to find the back of the net on return to national duty, the AEK Athens midfielder has now shifted focus to TT away meeting at the Mayaguez Athletics Stadium, Mayaguez in Puerto Rico.
According to Garcia, “We got the positive start and hopefully we can continue like this, stay focused as professionals, and do our jobs.
“I’m really happy for the team and the fans back home. We really wanted a positive start. I’m also really happy to get a goal.
“The team handled itself away from home and was still able to seal three points,” said Garcia.
Thursday’s Concacaf Zone Group F fixture at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic served as TT’s first home game.
The neutral location was chosen since the Ministry of Health disallowed the TT Football Association (TTFA) to host the match in a hot-bubble environment owing to the pandemic.
Reflecting on his and the team’s overall performance, Garcia said communication on the pitch played a crucial role in TT bagging the three points.
“I felt good. Coming from a long flight, it was pretty difficult and hopefully I’ll be recovered for the next game. I’m just grateful for the score today.
“The guys had a plan and it was well executed. Everyone was together, we stayed focused and we did our jobs.
“I feel good and my game is usually to take on players and I’m really happy I was able to do it,” he added.
National coach Terry Fenwick also used the services of 27-year-old winger Ryan Telfer as a 'false nine'.
Garcia called on his teammates to stay focused on the task ahead and remain positive as the squad gradually rebuilds its competitive presence in the region.
“We are all professionals. With all the negatives we try our best to be positive. It was really a difficult task at hand and we took it as men and went out and executed.”