Gameday – T&T vs Mexico

Head Coach Dennis Lawrence wants Trinidad and Tobago to be brave, but stay focused over 90 minutes, when the men’s senior footballers take on Mexico tonight in a CONCACAF zone World Cup qualifier. Kick-off is 7 p.m. at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain. T&T will play in their traditional Red while the visitors will wear white.

Gates open at 4pm and tickets are on sale at Lotto Locations throughout the country. There will be live radio broadcasts on I95.5FM, 105 FM and Power 102 FM.

“We need to be brave and go up against this Mexican team who is going to be extremely difficult as I said before, we need to believe that look, ‘we can compete and we can do well against them’,” Lawrence said.

“The key for us is that we have to be brave. We (are) going to play one of the best football teams in the world, in my opinion, and we need to focus. We need to be 100 per cent focused going into the game with clear direction,” added the former national defender.

“What we cannot afford to do is allow Mexico (to) take total control of the game, which is what they are extremely good at,” Lawrence pointed out. “The idea is to be brave (tonight) and try and go toe-to-toe with Mexico and ensure that we stay involved in the game from that point of view.

Referring to today’s contest, Lawrence said, “The key for us is we have to be brave. We have to be brave to be able to say we know exactly what we want to do.

“We cannot allow Mexico to take total control of the game, which they are extremely good at. So it’s going to be a great test for our group. But the idea is to be brave and try (to) go toe-to-toe with Mexico and ensure we stay involved in the game.” Concerning where he wants the TT team to improve on, Lawrence noted, “I think we could have kept the ball a little bit better in the second half (against Panama).

“Obviously I understood that once we were one-nil up, the scoreline started to affect some of the things that we wanted to do. So we started to drop a bit deeper and allow Panama to come onto us a little bit more.

T&T players in training on Monday evening. Photo by Nicholas Williams for TTFA Media.

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“I thought we would have dealt with it a bit better.

But the TT coach insisted, “Mexico (have) got talent coming out from every avenue despite their injury setbacks.

With these players being out, I’d like to hope it would be a benefit to us but I’m expecting the replacements to be just as good.” On the TT end, Lawrence said that central defenders Sheldon Bateau and Radanfah Abu Bakr, who missed Friday’s game due to suspension and illness respectively, will be available for selection today.

Lawrence praised the brilliance of his opposite number Juan Carlos Osorio which he said makes being prepared more important.

“We (will) prepare as much as possible to see if we can cover all angles. (Osorio) is very tactically astute and he’s devised things that you need to be fully aware of. So we (will) try and make sure that we can cover all these areas, to ensure that it doesn’t affect us.”