Action from the World Cup qualifier between Trinidad & Tobago (red jersey) and host Guatemala on November 13, 2015, in Guatemala City. (Photo: Caribbean Action Images)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Trinidad & Tobago head coach Stephen Hart wants to eliminate the United States’ chances of succeeding from set pieces when the sides square off Tuesday in a World Cup qualifier.
Both are coming off wins in their fourth round, Group C openers on Friday. T&T topped host GuatemaIa (2-1) and the Americans outdistanced visiting St. Vincent & the Grenadines (6-1).
In its victory, the U.S. scored three of its goals from dead-ball situations. Jozy Altidore (31’), and Geoff Cameron (51’) headed off corner kicks, while Fabian Johnson (29’) struck from a direct free kick.
“That’s a big part of their game now,” Hart said. “They are a big team. We have to be aware of that and match them in that department.”
In order to limit the Americans, the Soca Warriors will have to minimize the number of fouls they commit and the amount corner kicks they concede. Against Guatemala, they were whistled for 16 infractions and yielded 10 corners.
T&T returned home from Central America without any injuries, a development that pleased Hart.
“Everyone’s healthy and that’s a big thing for us this time,” said the former Canada manager. “Now we will switch our focus and our preparation will be more game specific for Tuesday’s match.”
Although the U.S. holds a 16-2 advantage in wins over Trinidad after 21 all-time meetings, Hart believes his team can secure a result at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
“We need to focus now,” the 55-year-old finished. “We are playing at home and try to get a result from that game.”
Defender Radanfah Abu Bakr is looking for the home crowd to assist in the effort.
“We’d like to feel the love,” said the 28-year-old, who plays for Denmark’s Koge. “We all know what the home crowd does to us as an opposing team in the way they support their team when we travel, so it’s the same way we would like to feel the love at home.”