THE SOCA Warriors will be wary of the underdog when they tackle Bahamas in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas, from 5 pm, on Saturday.
Following the match against Bahamas, TT will travel to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to face St Kitts/Nevis on Tuesday.
TT’s match against St Kitts/Nevis is a home game for the Soca Warriors, but the match will not be played in Trinidad because of the quarantine rules. People entering TT must quarantine for 14 days.
World Cup qualifying matches are played in a tight FIFA window therefore it is not practical for matches to be held in Trinidad.
TT are third in Group F with four points behind leaders St Kitts/Nevis (nine points) and Puerto Rico (four points).
TT eased past Guyana 3-0 in their opening match of World Cup qualifying on March 25, before being held to a 1-1 draw by Puerto Rico on March 28.
On Friday, speaking to journalists on Zoom ahead of the match against Bahamas, TT coach Terry Fenwick said, “We recognise coming for this game here that we can’t take any game for granted. Football around the world quite often (you) here about the underdog coming through so we making sure we are prepared properly.”
Bahamas are at the bottom of the standings in Group F with zero points after suffering three defeats. In their most recent match, Bahamas fell to a heavy 7-0 defeat to Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
Fenwick added, “We will approach the game as professionally as possible. We have good players in the camp already whose been working hard on the training ground. We’ve been looking at our system of play and our game plan.”
Defender Sheldon Bateau echoed the sentiments of his coach. “We don’t want to take them lightly at all. We know we are the favourites going into the game, but it is about proving that on the day…that’s what we looking to do. We want to have a good start, we want to have a good performance,” Bateau said.
Luke Singh, Nicklas Frenderup and Jomal Williams are not available for Saturday’s game for various reasons. Frenderup's partner had a child recently. Fenwick said he is uncertain when the trio will join the team.
Speaking about what strategy fans can expect from TT, Fenwick said, “Over the course of 90 minutes you looking to change your setup to the different periods of the game. Obviously in the early stages is when people got energy in their bodies. We will be keeping it very tight. We will be organised and professional and keeping every tight at that stage and as the game rolls on we will see how it plays out.”
TT’s preparation between March and Saturday’s qualifier has not been ideal as the Soca Warriors have not played any international friendlies.
Discussing the team’s buildup to Saturday’s encounter, Fenwick said, “It has not been easy at all because of the lack of games that we’ve had. We have not had any friendly games coming in for these qualifiers, so everything that we’ve done has been on the training ground.”
In related news, St Kitts/Nevis brushed aside Guyana 3-0 in their qualifier on Friday.
Goalkeepers – Adrian Foncette, Denzil Smith.
Defenders – Radanfah Abu Bakr, Robert Primus, Keston Julien, Shannon Gomez, Sheldon Bateau, Aubrey David, Justin Garcia, Jesse Williams, Neveal Hackshaw, Noah Powder, Joevin Jones.
Midfielders – Duane Muckette, Michel Poon-Angeron, Andre Fortune II, Daniel Phillips, Judah Garcia, Khaleem Hyland, Levi Garcia.
Forwards – Daniel Carr, Ryan Telfer.
Coach – Terry Fenwick.