Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers were scheduled to touch down at 2 pm (4pm TT Time) in Guatemala City on Wednesday after departing Miami at the end of its training camp before Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier versus Guatemala.
Head Coach Stephen Hart is scheduled to oversee a final training session at the Estadio Mateo Flores, the venue for the encounter, late on Thursday evening.
Word on the ground is that an estimated crowd of 20,000 is expected to fill the stadium, fully behind the host team which is looking to force a win over the “Soca Warrior” following their 3-1 blowout at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The encounter will be a significant test for T&T which last won a World Cup qualifier at the venue in 1989.
Russian-based defender Sheldon Bateau says the T&T squad is ready for the steep challenge.
“Definitely there will be some nerves as we know it’s always difficult going to these countries and for most of the players it will be the first time playing a World Cup qualifier in Guatemala. But we have enough experience within the group to cope with this kind of situation. We just have to focus on our game and the task at hand which is getting a result. I think we are ready for whatever they throw at us,” Bateau told TTFA Media.
Asked whether he thinks T&T can come away with two favourable results against Guatemala and the United States next Tuesday, Bateau replied “Definitely yes with the squad we have, the experience, athleticism, chemistry and the results of the last few games even though you can’t really judge too much based on the past. I think we just need to put everything into these two games as we’ve done before and even more and we can come away with two positive results,” added the former Jabloteh player.
Bateau will like to see a filled Hasely Crawford Stadium behind the “Red Army” on Tuesday.
“I hope we can have a full stadium on Tuesday because as far as I can remember, whenever we played the US and I was there as a fan, the stadium was always filled when players like Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy were around. I would like to see that again. We need to make it our home territory and the fans need to play their part and be the extra man for us,” he added.