National coach Angus Eve and his Soca Warriors are now two matches away from qualifying for the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Nations League 'A' division.
This after their come-from-behind 3-2 victory over El Salvador on Sunday night at the Nacional Jorge Magico Gonzalez in San Salvador.
The victory, coming amidst a barrage of criticism against him following a less-than-impressive performance at the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States, has now put the Warriors in first position on the standings on six points, with Panama in second on four and Guatemala in third position on four points as well, but with an inferior goal difference.
Martinique is fourth on the chart with three points while Curacao and El Salvador fill the other two positions, respectively, without a win.
The Warriors now have matches against Guatemala on October 13 and then Curacao for a second time on October 17 for the chance to be among the top two teams in the group that will qualify for the quarterfinals of the tournament. Should the Soca Warriors progress past the quarterfinals, they will earn a spot in the Copa America Competition.
Eve expects that their next two matches will be extremely difficult, but his charges have been showing the type of progress they need to show.
"Every team we've played so far is ranked way higher than us, but you know rankings don't mean anything. It is the work that you do on the field. Rankings mean a lot for people in some other places, but when we go into these games, we want to have a clean heart.
"When you listen to the boys, when they do interviews they talk about the crime situation in our country, and to give our country a positive lift, because of the amount of negativity taking place. Credit to these guys who came out and put their hearts for their country today," Eve said.
The victory came following a display of true grit by the T&T players after the home team took the advantage in the 17th minute. Eve said he was truly proud of the performance of the players.
"I am really happy for the guys inside the dressing room to be honest, they gave everything I asked them to give. They played to the plan that we had and we knew we were going to suffer a bit.
"I have seen big coaches like Jose Mourinho, David Moise and these guys, and Claudio Ranieri when he won the English Premier League with Leicester, they had like about 35 percent of the possession. You know possession doesn't win matches.
"We have a plan, we have a way that we want to play and we try to execute to the 'T'. The guys are extremely disciplined, there is a oneness in that dressing room there, and that is what, besides the talent and the discipline that the team has, is what takes us through."
Group A - League A Standings
Soca Warriors edge El Salvador 3-2 for second Nations League win.
T&T Guardian Reports.
T&T's Soca Warriors came from behind to rally to a 3-2 victory over El Salvador in their second match of the CONCACAF Nations League at the Estadio Jorge Gonzalez in San Salvador on Sunday night.
The El Salvadorians were aggressive from the start and grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the 17th minute when Dustin Corea played in a free kick that Eriq Zavaleta met with a perfectly placed header into the net.
The Warriors, fresh from their opening 1-0 victory over Curacao at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain on Thursday (September 7), responded almost immediately as Reon Moore played in a cross to Ryan Telfer from the left wing, and the first touch gave Telfer the time and space to fire into the net for the 1-1 equaliser in the 22nd minute.
Things were wide open to begin the second stanza and T&T made the most of it, taking a 2-1 lead in the 51st minute through Malcolm Shaw, who converted a penalty after being fouled in the box by Zavaleta.
However, the El Salvadorians came right back to draw level at two apiece in the 53rd minute. Brayan Gil's nodded header off a corner kick deflected back to him and he guided the ball into the T&T net past the custodian for a goal that brought them back into the match.
The fluctuating affair continued thereafter, as the team looked for the winning goal in the moments that followed. That precious third goal would fall for the visiting Soca Warriors, as a falling away Justin Garcia managed to pop a header over El Salvadorian custodian Tomas Romero in the 72nd minute to make it 3-2.
El Salvador pushed hard for a third to get a point from the contest, but T&T goalkeeper Denzil Smith was excellent between the posts and made the saves to lock down the three points.
The Soca Warriors will next face Guatemala on October 13 at a venue to be decided.
Sunday's Nations League Scores
At Stade Pierre-Aliker, FORT-DE-FRANCE:
Martinique beat Curacao 1-0
At the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores, GUATEMALA CITY:
Guatemala drew with Panama 1-1
At the Estadio Jorge “El Mágico” González, SAN SALVADOR:
Trinidad and Tobago beat El Salvador 3-2
At the Stade Municipal de Sainte-Anne, SAINTE-ANNE:
Guadeloupe beat Sint Maarten 4-0
At the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, GROS ISLET:
St Lucia beat St Kitts and Nevis 2-0