Defender Sheldon Bateau was all to happy to step in and deliver in attack in order to push Trinidad and Tobago ahead and set the pace for the 6-0 victory over St Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The goal was Bateau’s first on home soil for T&T and the third of his career following his two goals at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Before his acrobatic finish. He has played 22 games for T&T.
T&T had been finding it hard to push themselves ahead with Kevin Molino, Kenwyne Jones and Khaleem Hyland going close as the visitors were contented to keeping the score deadlocked for as long as possible.
“I couldn’t ask for a better stage and platform in which to score my first international goal at home,” Bateau said. “I felt the goal came at a good time because we need to break the tie at that point because as you know in football, if you dominate but don’t take your chances, the game can change at any moment and the pressure was on us to surge ahead,” added the former San Juan Jabloteh player.
“The play that led to the goal itself was outstanding. I saw the opportunity to go at them and once I got it wide for Joevin I knew something would happen and I was all too happy to run in and finish on the rebound.
“The forwards weren’t getting it right up to that point but I wasn’t going to sit back and blame the strikers but I think it’s a responsibility that all of us on the team embrace when it comes to doing whatever it takes to get results. It shows how far I am willing to go in order to get to Russia in 2018. As a team, we go to all lengths and die for each other out there,” Bateau said.
He and his “Red Army” will need to maintain this attitude for what is expected to be a rigorous campaign up ahead starting with the next home game against Guatemala on September 2nd where T&T needs at least a point to secure its spot in the final round, T&T will close off the semi final phase against the United States in Jacksonville, Florida on September 6th.