Trinidad and Tobago’s National Beach Soccer Men continued their impressive run at the Barbados International Beach Soccer Showcase with a 3-3 draw with England’s National Beach Soccer team in their closing encounter at Brandon’s Beach in St Michael on Sunday.
T&T finished unbeaten in their three matches on the island after hammering Guyana 5-2 on Friday and beating the hosts Barbados 6-2 the following day. England had previously beaten Guyana 5-1 and Antigua/Barbuda 6-5. They also went on to defeat Barbados 6-4 on Sunday.
Aaron Clarke gave England a 1-0 lead in the first period before Shallun Bobb equalised for T&T in the second period and Kevon Woodley put T&T 2-1 ahead in the same period. There were two further goals in the second period with Clarke netting his second to tie the scores at two apiece before his teammate Cameron O’Rourke pushed England 3-2 ahead. But T&T kept themselves in the match with an equalising goal from Zane Coker in the third period.
(A game lasts thirty-six minutes and is split up into three twelve-minute periods.)
England participated in the first ever Beach Soccer World Cup in 1995, placing third that year but however did not participate in any of the competitions between 1995 and 2001. They did not qualify among the four teams from UEFA for the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Bahamas. They finished third in their preliminary group behind Portugal and Moldova and ahead of cellar-placed Romania.
T&T are preparing for the CONCACAF Beach Soccer qualifiers in Bahamas starting on February 20th, and will spend a couple days extra in Barbados before heading to Nassau.
T&T head coach Benny Astorga said the game versus England was a valuable test for his side.
“The match was a good one and a good preparation for the qualifiers. They gave us that European high level play. The game showed us some deficiencies that we had in dealing with set plays and it is something we will need to improve on,” Astorga told TTFA Media.
“The focus now in the next couple of days we have over here in Barbados is to finalise the 12 players that will be going into the tournament. The men have been working really hard, going through a lot and putting in the effort in training and in the games so far to ensure that they can make the final team. We will be looking to see what is the best look for the team in terms of player combinations and team chemistry,” Astorga added.
“We will be recapping on our mistakes and try to improve in these areas as we prepare to head into the competition starting with the opening game against Antigua/Barbuda,” he said.