Tue, Jul

Trinidad and Tobago captain Aubrey David, centre, congratulates striker Malcolm Shaw, right, on his goal while Duance Muckette, left, joins in the celebration during their 7-1 win over Bahamas in their second match in Group B of the Second Round of FIFA CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers at the St Kitts and Nevis Football Association Technical Centre, Basseterre on Saturday, June 8th 2024.

T&T Soca Warriors captain Aubrey David has saluted his team's professional performance in their 7-1 spanking of Bahamas in their second match in Group B of the Second Round of FIFA CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers at the St Kitts and Nevis Football Association Technical Centre, Basseterre on Saturday night.

Canadian-born Cavalry FC striker Malcolm Shaw and Duane Muckette of local champions AC Port-of-Spain scored two goals each in the win with Alvin Jones (penalty), Reon Moore and Nathaniel James also getting on the scoresheet.

With the win, the Soca Warriors who drew their opening qualifier with Grenada 2-2 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain on Wednesday night moved to four points from two matches, one ahead of Costa Rica who crushed St Kitts & Nevis 4-0 on Thursday and came up against Grenada yesterday in St George's.

Commenting on his team's victory their biggest since a 9-0 trouncing of Barbados at Mucurapo in 2022, the 33-year-old who has featured 82 times for T&T said, "I think it was a good performance by the boys, it was a professional performance and it doesn't matter the opponent."

He added, "We knew we needed goals because maybe at the end of the campaign, it can come down to goal difference, so our plan was to come out and try and get as much goals as possible.

"And I think the boys reacted well to that and the only bad point was the goal that we conceded which we are disappointed in as defenders, but in general I think it was a professional performance by the guys."

Before restarting their 2026 CONCACAF FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign next June, the Soca Warriors will start their CONCACAF Nations League League A group series in September in Group B with Jamaica, Honduras, Cuba, Nicaragua and French Guiana. The Soca Warriors will open their League A campaign versus Honduras on September 6 before hosting French Guiana on September 10 followed by home-and-away encounters against Cuba on October 10 away, and then at home on Monday, October 14.

From the two groups of six teams which will play in a “Swiss style” league system, with each team playing a total of four games (two at home and two away), the first and second-place finishers of each group will advance to the quarterfinals, where they will join the four top-ranked League A teams (Mexico, USA, Panama, and Canada).

Looking ahead to the Nations League, an upbeat David of Costa Rica club CS Cartagines said his teammates have to continue to put in the work with the respective clubs to improve.

"Now the guys have to go back to their various clubs and the message is, go back to your clubs and strive and continue improving and staying fit and playing at a top quality because we know that as long as we continue to go higher each and every one individually when we come back as a team we will join and continue to grow as a team well.

"So, it's now to go back to your clubs and continue to keep pushing and we will regroup in September to take on our Nations League game which is important.

Canada-based striker Moore of Canada's Pacific FC reflecting on the match said, "It was important that we stayed disciplined and it's kind of simple for us because we are all professionals and I just think that we stuck to the plan and executed on the day."

The 27-year-old also admitted that he has seen a growth in the level of play both individually and collectively in the national team in recent times.

He said, "Some of the growth I see in the guys is the confidence in the younger ones and everyone is helping each other to improve day by day."

Looking ahead to future international matches, Moore said he wanted the T&T supporters to continue to have faith in the team saying, "I just want the fans to continue to support us and continue to believe in us.

"We now go back to our clubs and the boys have to continue working hard and stay fit and sharp as well as there is always room for improvement like in our build-up play, but like coach Eve always say, 'the time is limited and it's a bit difficult, but we will improve definitely'."

SOURCE: T&T Guardian