Trinidad and Tobago Under 21 team captain Makan Hislop believes that his team can put Friday’s dismal performance behind them and put on the type of showing required in their must win affair with Haiti in Tuesday’s closing CAC Games qualifier at the Larry Gomes Stadium.
Hislop and his teammates were in the stands looking on at the late arriving Haitians comfortable go past Dominica 5-1 on a sunny Sunday evening. The losers were the same boys which Hislop and company had to wait until a last minute Judah Hernandez equalizer to salvage a point against.
“We know that Friday’s performance was not anywhere close to our best so we are expecting to come out and do a lot better,” Hislop told TTFF Media on Sunday. “This is a do or die for us.”
“Part of the problem I think though was everyone expected us to win the game and as a result we all also expected to win the game and we didn’t play good enough to get the result. We were too confident and we didn’t work hard enough,” added the Tobago born US-based player.
For the first time ever, a national team other than the senior team has included more than five overseas-based players with eight in total and Hislop explained that it was definitely a plus and he doesn’t feel it has had a negative effect on the team’s overall readiness.
“I have been very surprised because within our team we haven’t had any problems anything like a dislike between the local players and the ones from abroad. Before quite a few of the foreign-based players on this team were also based locally up to two years ago so we know each other and we can relate well with each other,” Hislop said.
“When most of us came back, there was no negative vibes and I think this can continue in the future. I think too that there shouldn’t be much problems with players who go abroad and have to have any fears of being forgotten about when it comes to the national team or local football on a whole. In the past we have had times when no one contacted them and they may have been lost to national football. But now this is changing and more are playing with the national team. It was great for us to have the camps before since December and the chance being given for players to come and be part of the training. This shows that the Federation and management is thinking about the future and that they are putting things in place for the overseas players will not be lost out there,” Hislop added.
Meantime, the Haitians upped the tempo in the second half to set up a virtual final with the hosts on Tuesday.
Though the Dominicans were able to contain a jaded looking Haitian outfit in the first forty minutes, the deadlock was broken in the 41st minute when Rood Kelly drilled his effort home on the rebound from a free kick taken by Dacius Gilles. Before that Gilles; shot went inches wide as Haiti tried for the go ahead goal in the 38th minute.
Then in the 46th minute Fritzron Jean Baptiste neatly converted from inside the penalty box and Gilles added a second five minutes later to put the Haitians into a cushion position.
Etienne Yveson (82nd) and Innocent Jean Junior (87th) added numbers to the final scoreline. They will now go through with even a draw while T&T must win to go through as the sole winners of the Group to July’s CAC Games in Colombia.