Trinidad & Tobago’s Kevin Molino (#10) attempts to squeeze through a pair of Costa Rican defenders during a World Cup qualifier on June 13, 2017, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: CA-Images)
COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago – It is not an overstatement to say that time is running out on Trinidad & Tobago’s hopes to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Through six final-round games, the Soca Warriors (1W-0D-5L, 3 points) sit last in the CONCACAF Hexagonal table on three points, five points behind the third-place United States (2-2-2, 8) for the region’s last direct spot to Russia 2016.
That’s why Friday’s game against visiting Honduras (1-2-3, 5) is so important. A loss to the Catrachos, combined with a U.S. win over second-place Costa Rica (3-2-1, 11), would virtually eliminate the Caribbean power from automatic qualifying contention.
“There’s no other option but for us to win the match,” said T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence. “Pressure or not I think we have to be efficient in everything we do, on how we start the game, how we manage it and how we finish.”
Scoring goals has been an issue, with T&T scoring one goal or fewer in its last seven WCQ outings, including four shutouts. Striker Kenwyne Jones (2 goals in 2018 WCQ) still hasn’t fully recovered from an injury, while forward Trevin Caesar (2 goals in 2018 WCQ) couldn’t reach the country from the United States due to Hurricane Harvey travel-related issues.
Nevertheless, Lawrence is confident that his side is capable of securing a second-ever WCQ win against Honduras in nine all-time meetings.
“We’ve had a good few days of preparations,” the 43-year-old finished. “The boys are upbeat and we’ll be looking to put that into play come Friday night. Both teams have a lot at stake in this game. Obviously, we do not expect them to make it easy for us by any means, but we must be prepared to give it our all and try to take three points from this match.”