Canny midfielder Chad Appoo saw T&T celebrate its first ever victory as a recognised beach soccer team, when he scored a beautiful hat-trick to guide the team to a 5-0 triumph over Canada, in the Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup qualification tournament in Nassau, The Bahamas, yesterday.
It was sweet revenge for T&T, which lost the chance of qualifying for the semifinal stage as the best second-placed finisher in the three groups, when Canada dropped the Ryan Augustine-captained team 8-5 in the earlier encounter on the day.
T&T played Canada twice as a result of Guyana’s withdrawal from the competition a day before it started, which also meant T&T was made to play three matches in less than 24 hours, and the last two group matches within six hours.
T&T will finish the competition within the consolation spots of fifth to tenth, while group winner Mexico advances to the semifinal.
Shallun Bobb, the lone goal scorer in T&T’s disappointing 9-1 loss to Mexico on Thursday, scored a double in the first match against Canada, before adding a fourth in the T&T win.
Appoo, who capped off a brilliant performance in the second match against Canada with an audacious back-heel shot with his back to goal, scored a double in the first match to finish as T&T’s leading scorer in the group stage.
Dominic McDougall got the only other goal in T&T’s loss and Jesse Bailey scored in the win.
Appoo not only fared well with fluid movement and deft touches in the second Canadian fixture, but was responsible for many a last-ditch tackle, which may have otherwise seen T&T fall to an even more unflattering scoreline in the first two matches.
The seventh to ninth place play-offs will take place today, along with the two semifinals. The third and fifth place play-offs as well as the final will take place tomorrow.
Mexico 10 v Canada 0
Mexico 9 v T&T 1 (Shallun Bobb) • Friday
Canada 8 v T&T 5 (Chad Appoo 2, Shallun Bobb 2, Dominic McDougall)
T&T 5 (Chad Appoo 3, Shallun Bobb, Jesse Bailey) v Canada 0