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Sat, May

McFarlane backs T&T to top St Vincent.
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Former Striker says St Vincent will be tough to crack at home

Former Trinidad and Tobago forward Errol McFarlane Jnr is backing the “Soca Warriors” to collect full points in their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against St Vincent and the Grenadines. But the former Lebanon-based player is giving an early warning to Kenwyne Jones and his teammates that they cannot afford to underestimate the Caribbean opposition.

McFarlane was a starting player in Bertille St Clair’s team that faced the Vincentians in their away match at Arnos Vale in the semi-final phase of the 2006 World Cup campaign.

The big forward started up top alongside Stern John and turned out to be the game winning hero with two goals in the 80th and 85th minutes. The first goal came following a combination between Brent Rahim and Dennis Lawrence while the second item was assisted by Angus Eve.

Kenwyne Jones also played in the encounter in the midfield as well as current T&T assistant coach Derek King. St Vincent assistant coach Ezra Henrickson was in their line up on that day alongside the likes of Kendall Velox, Shandel Samuel and Rodney Jack who caused T&T some problems during the encounter.

“I think our team should expect very different conditions than what they are used to, especially the overseas-based players. From my experience, the surface can be quite difficult to play good football,” McFarlane told TTFA Media on Thursday.

“St Vincent has always tried to field a good team and they would have improved in the last few years, so we should expect a strong challenge from them.”

The former Defence Force striker recalled the match played by the T&T team which had St Clair as head coach and deceased Richard Braithwaite as team manager.

“If I remember it correctly, the goals came around the 80th and 85th minutes. But before those goals, St Vincent had a couple of chances that they weren’t able to convert on. The preparation for the game was a bit tricky as there was some confusion as to where we would be able to practice when we were over there. This could have potentially caused us to lose focus but with a coach like St Clair, we were able to remain focused on the task at hand and secure the win,” McFarlane said.

The performance that day remains an outstanding memory for McFarlane.

“It’s a nostalgic feeling for me personally especially as the three points turned out very valuable towards the team qualifying for the final round and now we are in a similar situation. I am also optimistic that history can repeat itself and the current squad can use a victory now, like the one we achieved back then as catalyst for hopefully another World Cup qualification,” he added.

McFarlane has not left the game and is currently a masters head coach with New York Stars Premier in New York, in charge of their Under 11s and Under 9s travel teams. Their program is now the largest for children’s soccer development in the North East for kids aged 2 and up.

The T&T Team will face Grenada in St George’s on March 19th in a friendly international ahead of the March 25th and March 29th World Cup qualifiers against St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Tickets, priced at $300 (covered) and $150 (uncovered) for the March 29th fixture at the Hasely Crawford Stadium are now available at Sports and Games nationwide, Kenny’s Sports nationwide, Sportway at Ellerslie Plaza and Gulf City, Ramsingh’s Sportworld in Couva and Heritage Sports in Tobago. Tickets can also be purchased online at TTfootball.org. Game kick off time is 7pm.

Purchase Online Tickets here for T&T vs St Vincent on March 29th.