TOM SAINTFIET admits to being no saint.
With his Trinidad and Tobago team losing 2-1, the men's national senior team head coach had a heated verbal confrontation with Aruban fourth official Ricandel de Leca near the end of Wednesday night's Caribbean fifth place CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifier at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
Saintfiet felt the fourth officials was incorrect to give just one minute of added-on time, but did not think that as coach he acted wrongly.
“In 20 years coaching I was never in my life sent away from the neutral area but I am always acting like this because I want to win,” Saintfiet said. “I have to try to influence people.”
Saintfiet said his challenge to the officials was for not following the rules.
“The first period he gave two minutes extra. The second time the medical staff came on to carry off their player and he gave one minute. There are rules in football and it was ridiculous that he gave one minute,” he said. “We expected three, four minutes extra time because the goalkeeper was down, the player was down and had to be carried off. When that not happen, I try to influence people like a professional coach who wants to win.”
Saintfiet set back by Suriname loss
There was disappointment all around on Wednesday night.
Tom Saintfiet expected to win, while the man who led Suriname to a 2-1 extra-time victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Wednesday's 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup playoff expected more from the former multiple Caribbean football champions.
Belgian Saintfiet, in charge of the Trinidad and Tobago senior men's team for the first time in an international match, expected victory. He also anticipated a sleepless night after his team's defeat to Suriname.
“I am surprised about the result because I expected to win today, but I am not surprised about the quality of Suriname,” Saintfiet said. “So I won't sleep tonight. I am sure I will repeat a lot of the match in my mind.”
Meanwhile, Suriname head coach Roberto Godeken was surprised by how little T&T offered.
Suriname celebrated like they had won the World Cup after Wednesday night's victory at the Ato Boldon stadium.
Godeken's plan was largely to contain, be patient and wait for opportunities. But his players reacted positively to the timid T&T performance and got brave after the first half.