Revenge! This is how the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors described the shocking 21-1 victory against the United States of America (USA) in the World Cup qualifier at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Central Trinidad on Tuesday night ending their hopes of gaining a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
It was 28 years ago the USA denied Trinidad and Tobago a berth in the 1990 World Cup 1-0 in Port of Spain, on Nov. 19, 1989. It also ended the Soca Warrior 18 defeat in their bid to qualify for the World Cup.
The Soca Warriors built a two-goal first half lead through Shahadon Winchester (17th minute) and Alvin Jones (36th minute), leaving American head coach Bruce Arena in disbelief.
Rising USA star Christian Pulisic pulled a goal in the opening minute of the second half, when he got room to to score, to give the USA hope of a comeback.
There was just a sprinkle of fans at the Stadium as the Soca Warriors were not expected to beat the USA.
Needing just a point for automatic qualification into next year’s showpiece event in Russia — just as Trinidad and Tobago did in 1989 — the Americans fell to fifth and failed to qualify after both Honduras and Panama won their games on Tuesday night.
Panama finished third and qualified after beating Costa Rica 2-1, while Honduras outplayed Mexico 3-2 to finish fourth, earning an inter-continental playoff against Australia for a World Cup space.
Trinidad and Tobago head coach Dennis Lawrence said the victory marked the beginning of the preparations for the 2022 Qatar World Cup campaign.
The game had to be postponed for 24 hours after the perimeter of the field was flooded because of heavy rains the day before, which local football officials asked the USA team to shift their training to the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in South Trinidad, which they refused taking full responsibility of the safety of their players.
United States Soccer’s official Twitter account began posting pictures and videos of the flooded track which went viral with several negative remarks about the state of the venue.
The USA also suffered similar effects from the weather in Colorado, USA recently, when they faced Costa Rica during a qualifying match as the pitch was covered in snow.