T&T to visit Nicaragua for friendlies

Action from the international friendly between host Trinidad & Tobago and Nicaragua (white jersey) on October 13, 2015, in Port of Spain. (Photo: Allan V. Crane)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago – Nicaragua will host Trinidad & Tobago in a pair of international friendlies on December 27 and 30, the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association announced Friday.

The sides will use the matches as preparation for January tournaments, with the Nicaraguans competing in the 2017 Copa Centroamericana and T&T taking part in a three-team Caribbean playoff for the right to face Central America’s fifth-place finishers for a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup berth.

“First of all I am very happy that the Football Association has been able to arrange these two friendly matches at such short notice because these will be important preparation games for us before the important Gold Cup qualifiers in January,” new T&T head coach Tom Saintfiet told TTFA Media.  “It also helps me as coach to analyze the players we will select and as well as to implement and try out possible strategies which we will want to use in our matches to follow. It will also help us in the development of the team for the future.

“I hope we can have the best possible squad for the matches.  We are still not sure about the availability of some of the European-based players and whether they will be released by their clubs because these two games and also the ones in January are not within the FIFA dates, but I promise you that the players who will be selected from both foreign and local teams will form a strong squad to give us decent results in Nicaragua and to help us prepare for the important matches in January.”

The last meeting between T&T and Nicaragua ended scoreless in a friendly on October 13, 2015, at Hasely Crawford Stadium.