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Wed, Jun

Soca Warriors get Suriname test tonight.
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T&T Soca Warriors will go in search of three valuable points when they take on Suriname tonight in the first of two matches in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Gold Cup play-off matches at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva from. Kick-off time is 7 pm.

Three teams including Haiti, will be batting each other for one spot for the upcoming Gold Cup play-off with the fifth place from central America. The Gold Cup Tournament takes place later this year.

Latapy was named as assistant coach to Saintfiet last month and joined the team for the first time on the weekend after returning from Portugal.

T&T’s head coach Tom Saintfiet announced his 20-man squad for the two matches. The only addition to the list that was in the squad for the recent Nicaragua matches is English-based midfielder Andre Boucaud, who is expected to join the team in time for Sunday’s match against Haiti.

Saintfiet revealed that he took a decision to omit Daneil Cyrus and Jomal Williams from the 20-man squad due to both players arriving to a residential camp at Cara Suites Hotel more than an hour after the scheduled time. US-based player Joevin Jones was also in the initial 20-man squad but was also released after the player failed to report to camp. The players recalled are Trevin Caesar, Curtis Gonzales and Akeem Roach.

Tickets for the upcoming Gold Cup playoff matches are now on sale at all Lotto Locations nationwide.There are three in one season tickets for the three matches costing $$100 for adults and $45 for children. Single match tickets cost $50 for Adults and $20 for children. TTFA Season Pass holders can access the games at no additional cost. Those TTFA Season Passes which includes access to the World Cup qualifiers also, are available at First Citizen’s Banks nationwide.

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HEAD coach Tom Saintfeit said he is not concerned about the final scoreline tonight in the national football team’s Gold Cup qualifier tonight, as he simply wants the victory.

T&T will face Suriname tonight at 7 pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium, before playing Haiti in another Gold Cup qualifier on Sunday at 5 pm at the sam venue. Suriname and Haiti play on Friday. 

Speaking to TTFA Media yesterday, Saintfeit said he just wants to get the win today. 

“(An) ideal (result) is a win, if it is a 1-0 win, a 2-0 win or 3-1, it does not matter. I am not a coach who focuses too much on how many goals we score. We need to learn to be professional and this professional level we play is winning every match and if we win every match 1-0 we qualify for the tournaments and we achieve a lot.”

The head coach added, “we have to learn to play to the basics, not concede goals and score at least one more goal than the opponent so I do not want to say what is the ideal result. If we can win against Suriname I would be a satisfied coach and it is one step taken and we still have two to go. We have to win against Haiti and also in the last playoff match later this year.”

Many of the national players have been in and out of the squad but Saintfeit said he is happy the squad of players. “I think we have a fantastic group. The players are one team, are proud to be here and honoured to be here and they work very hard. It is a time to smile and laugh and there is a time to work.

I think everybody is highly motivated to defend the country tomorrow (today) and to go for a good result.” Saintfeit is calling on the TT public to attend the match and show their support.

“We hope naturally that the stadium will be filled of people who support the national team because we need all the support around us to get that right result because it is not one person or 11 people who would make the result. All together 1.3 million people have to support the national team tomorrow (today).”

T&T captain Carlos Edwards believes the team is now beginning to gel under their new coach and incorporating his tactics. 

“Obviously we’re now starting to get into our stride. Coming back from the 3-1 victory over Nicaragua. 

The guys are now starting to feel what the coach is trying to build. They’re not taking anything likely over Suriname. We’re going there with everything to play for. 

The boys and them are ready for the task and we just hope things go well,” he said. He added that the distractions of players being dropped for reaching late to camp is behind them and they are all focussed on their goal of securing victory today.