COACH TERRY FENWICK failed to inspire Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men’s national footballers to victory over Bahamas last night, and as a result, the Soca Warriors were eliminated from World Cup qualifying in the first round for the first time.
Needing three points, T&T were held goalless by the Bahamas yesterday in a Qatar 2022 CONCACAF zone Group F World Cup qualifier at the Thomas Robinson stadium, Nassau, Bahamas.
It was a head-scratching performance, as T&T struggled to beat a Bahamas team which went down 7-0 to Puerto Rico a few days earlier, having also conceded 15 goals and lost all three previous matches played.
The Soca Warriors moved to five points and will not advance even if they beat group winners St Kitts and Nevis on Tuesday.
St Kitts and Nevis (nine points) benefited from playing a third home match when defeating Guyana 3-0 on Friday night, but will be away from Warner Park for the first time in the series when they take on T&T in the Dominican Republic—T&T playing their home match at a neutral venue due to Covid-19 restrictions at home.
Sheldon Bateau wore the captain’s armband in place of regular skipper Khaleem Hyland who came into camp late. Coach Terry Fenwick experimented with a three centre-back line-up comprising Bateau, Neveal Hackshaw and Aubrey David, allowing wing-backs Keston Julien and Shannon Gomez room to go forward.
Fenwick started with Adrian Foncette in goal, along with Julien, Gomez, Bateau, Aubrey David, Hackshaw, Joevin Jones, Duane Muckette, Andre Fortune II, Levi Garcia and Ryan Telfer. But trying to be patient, T&T were often too patient and lacked decisiveness.
Bahamas made it difficult during an opening goalless first half when their goalkeeper, Ian Lowe, stopped goal-bound shots from Bateau, Muckette twice and Telfer. And near the half-hour mark, Jamaica-based Leslie St Fleur looked set to give Bahamas the lead from a dangerous solo run which saw him hit the side-netting and Marcel Joseph almost stunned goalkeeper Foncette with a curling shot near half-time.
Becoming increasingly agitated as the second half wore on, Fenwick made five changes but failed to get the valuable goal. Hackshaw headed Joevin Jones’ free kick onto the woodwork; substitute Daniel Carr was stopped by the Bahamian keeper, while Daniel Phillip put a header over before the nightmare finally ended.
And soon after the final whistle, Fenwick told the media: “The result is very disappointing for us in Trinidad and Tobago... The quality of players that we’ve got within the squad, this is a big disappointment.”