TRINIDAD and Tobago must maintain the same competitive mindset and aggression shown in their 3-0 victory over the Bahamas on Friday if they are to achieve the ultimate target of a win over Nicaragua at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Tobago on Monday.
This was the sentiment shared by both TT skipper Joevin Jones and team debutant Andre Rampersad, who expressed pleasure with their solid win against the Bahamas but called for a mirrored approach in their final League B Group C match against the Central Americans.
Victory for the Soca Warriors over Nicaragua guarantees their promotion to League A and books them a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup in June.
Against the Bahamas, midfielder Kareem Moses opened the scoring for TT in the fifth with a rifling shot from 25 yards out.
Jones sent the visitors 2-0 up in the 26th minute via a kick from the penalty spot and eight minutes later, Ryan Telfer latched on to a penetrating pass to seal a 3-0 advantage.
There were, however, several missed chances, particularly in the second half.
In Friday’s post-match press conference in Nassau, Jones said, “I think it was a good performance. We came out and got the start we wanted to get.
“Even though we didn’t score in the second half, we came here with a mindset to win, get the three points, go home and face the next game.
“It’s all about recovering for the next two days. We’re at home and it’s a must-win game for us, we have to go for it, fight, and get the victory. It will mean a lot to us because it will also help us qualify for the Gold Cup.”
Rampersad, who made his national debut on Friday, said there was no better way to notch his first country appearance than with a convincing victory.
He said, “It was a great feeling. The boys brought it. We should have scored more but for me, brilliant debut, couldn’t be better. The team made me comfortable and that was all that was needed, for me to be confident on the park. I cannot deny that I was a bit scared.
“There’s a lot to take from this game, three goals and a clean sheet. A lot of the guys that could have been on the park today (Friday) to help out with the win but they got rested so come Monday, we put everything on the line like we did today and we’ll get the result.”
Coach Angus Eve also credited his troops for a job well done and said it was a very “professional” performance despite the team “still gelling.” Eve said it was their intention to start strongly and also credited the Ft Lauderdale, Florida, camp as good preparation.
“I was very impressed with the continuity of the play today and the way we linked up with each other. I thought we probably should have scored a couple more goals but all in all, a win away from home, 3-0 is a good result.
“We wanted to put them on the back foot as early as possible. We think that we had players to hurt them. They tried to play a little bit more and it opened up spaces for us to express ourselves and use our pace and skill going forward.
“Defensively, I thought we were really good. I thought the opportunities they got were from a goalkeeper mistake and a defender mistake. There were not many shots for our goalkeeper to get. We had a lot of good chances down to the end that we missed.
“We did slow it down a little bit and wanted to control the game a bit more in the second half and that’s why we made a lot of changes. The changes killed the rhythm of the game.”