Calypsonian Brother Mudada branded T&T as “the mecca of the steelband,” but it is also true to say that T&T is the mecca of Carnival, inclusive of calypso and mas.
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Warriors target Canada today
T&T’s senior women will be looking for their second straight victory when they face 2012 Olympics Bronze Medallist Canada in their second match of the 2016 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers at the BBVA Compass Stadium from 5 pm (T&T time) today.
In another match being played today, regional neighbours Guyana will come up against Guatemala from 1 pm. Both T&T and Canada are coming off opening victories with the Canadians thumping Guyana 6-0 and T&T coming from a goal down to defeat Guatemala 2-1 on Thursday night.
Canada may even feel that they hold the upperhand after whipping T&T 4-0 when both teams met at the International Women’s tournament in Natal, Brazil, in December last year. That game was followed by an equally impressive 3-0 triumph by the Canadians over Mexico at the same tournament before they were stopped by Colombia (1-0), Costa Rica (2-0) and then Brazil (2-0).
This time T&T will field a stronger team that is being led by captain Maylee Attin-Johnson and is expected to pose a tougher challenge for the Concacaf giants. Following a training session yesterday, defender Arin King said: “This time we have a stronger team and we have been preparing for longer periods than when we played them in Brazil, so I’m expecting us to be better than in that performance.”
“I think we are all really looking forward to the match because a win can give us a chance of topping the group.
“We know the game will be a challenging one but I think we have in us what it takes to come out on top and then finish the group on a high next week” the Canadian-born player added.
Coach Richard Hood conducted a light session on Friday which consisted mainly of recovery exercises and he put the players through their final paces during a another session at the Houston Training Centre yesterday afternoon.
“We know the Canada game will be a lot more demanding physically and we will have to be more precise and clinical in our approach,” Hood said.
“Like I said, I wasn’t particularly happy with the performance in the last match even though it was enough to get the result. But we have two games left and we know a good result against Canada will put us in a very good position going into the last group match against Guyana” he added.
Midfielder Tasha St Louis who scored the winner against Guatemala is hoping her side can rise to the occasion again.
“This is a tough game ahead but we really want to top the group. I think we will have to start the match much stronger than we did against Guatemala. We have to tidy up a few things and definitely make better use of our goalscoring chances.
“We faced Canada before so we know what they are like and hopefully we can bring our best game on the day,” St Louis said.
T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes expects T&T to lift its level today. “We didn’t put away our chances in the last game so it’s very important that we make use of our chances in the next game. Against a team like Canada we have to believe in ourselves and our ability. I believe we have the ability to upset Canada” Kimika Forbes added.
There are no major injury concerns in the T&T camp. Canada meantime will be looking to 21-year-old Ashley Lawrence to continue her good work after she scored a hat-trick in the win over Guyana. Sixteen-year-old Deanne Rose notched a double as Canada featured a strong line-up that included striker Christine Sinclair, Erin McLeod in goal and midfielder Desiree Scott who earned 100th cap for Canada.
“We gave some new players new opportunities and that was really exciting and to see Lawrence get a hat-trick and Desi Scott get her 100th cap, it was a good night for us,” said coach John Herdman.