Senior Sports Reporter
National coach Angus Eve has assured the public that it will see a different performance from his charges tonight at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo when the Soca Warriors take on the USA in game two of the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Nations League ‘A’ Division match at 8 pm.
The Americans hold a 3-0 aggregate advantage after game one in Austin, Texas last Thursday, scoring three times in the last ten minutes of the game against a ten-man Soca Warriors team.
In that game, Eve employed a defensive strategy, with striker Malcolm Shaw being the lone attacker in the team, as he sought to get at least a point in the encounter. However, it was a phase that Eve and his troops which comprised mainly of young players, had to endure, thereby preparing them for a better performance in tonight return match.
At a press conference at the Stadium yesterday, the Warriors coach, without giving away exactly what his approach would be, said it will be a more positive display in front of their home crowd, as they would be coming to win the match.
He said, “This is a good location for us to be in because nobody expected us to be in the quarterfinal of the Nations League, so we are so excited to be here, we just want to go out and represent our country well. We want to project a lot of pride and determination when we go to these games. These are the games that we want to play, especially in the rebuilding stage where we are at now. We want to expose young players and give them the opportunity to gain contracts on the outside, which is our primary goal as we continue to develop Trinidad and Tobago football.”
He added, “Usually, when you’re away from home, you tend to play in a certain manner and when you’re at home, you play in a different manner, so in the game today, you will see what we want to do. We will be a bit more positive, most definitely, because we want to win the game, so we will do everything in our power to play the way we want to play to actually get the result in the game.”
“Sometimes you have to play bad football to get results, and when I say bad football I mean football that is not beautiful to the eye, but because we’re in a rebuilding stage with Andre Raymond and these young guys, the game that we just played it would allow them to feel a bit more comfortable on the park, and feel a bit more comfortable in the environment, having played the number one team in the CONCACAF region and the 10th-ranked team in the world. So they now know that they can play and compete, so I think we’re going to see a different game (tomorrow) today,” Eve explained.
Eve was forced to make some changes to his line up with the suspended Noah Powder and Neveal Hackshaw being replaced by midfielder Duane Muckette and Kevin Goddard, and goalkeeper Jabari St Hillaire coming in for Rushon Sandy.
Midfielder Andre Rampersad also told the media that playing away they did not get the results they were hoping for but it will be different playing in front of their home fans.
Both the Warriors and the USA teams worked out yesterday at the stadium. Eve’s Warriors will have to beat the USA by four clear goals to qualify for the Copa America Cup as well as the final of the Nations League. Otherwise, they will progress to the CONCACAF Nations League Play-In to be decided in March next year.