Trinidad and Tobago’s senior men will take to the Estadio Nacional on Monday night for their lone practice on the match surface ahead of Tuesday’s 2018 World Cup Qualifier against Costa Rica in San Jose.
The T&T team underwent one final training session at Prentup Field in Denver on Sunday morning before a heading off to the Denver Airport to catch its flight to Houston onwards to San Jose on Sunday evening.
Head Coach Dennis Lawrence opted to stay back in Denver following Thursday’s match against the United States due to the fact that he was familiar with the training facilities and felt it would be a more comfortable environment for the team.
Defender Aubrey David, who played last year with Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa, will be familiar with the conditions in San Jose and it is expected to be a hostile one as the hosts are desperate for a win after being held 0-0 in San Jose by Panama last Thursday and the fans are expected to be on the backs of the players. By last Tuesday, already 25,000 tickets were sold for Tuesday’s match and the Costa Rican Football Federation was expecting a sold out house by Gameday.
“Knowing the Costa Rican fans and how important football and the national team is to them, they will be out in their numbers to drive the team on Tuesday,” David told TTFA Media.
“The people are very, very passionate and they will be looking to spur the team on against us. But having played here and knowing what to expect, I don’t think our boys need to be intimidated as once we settle and we get the fans out of our minds and play the game,then we should be able to cope with things,” David said.
“We have players who have faced very hostile conditions in countries like Mexico, Honduras. Guatemala and El Salvador so it’s not going to be an eye opener on Tuesday. And the head coach is capable to preparing the players mentally for the challenge ahead. The most important thing will be for us to settle and not let the Costa Ricans get on top of us from early and hopefully we can stick together and grind it out,” David added.
T&T have never beaten Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier and its best result in San Jose was a 1-1 draw in 1989. In twenty five meetings between both countries in all types of senior team matches, T&T have won three, drawn four and lost 18 with the most recent defeat being a 2-0 loss in March in Port of Spain. One of the memorable wins for T&T was a 2-1 win at the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarter finals courtesy of goals by Arnold Dwarika and the deceased Mickey Trotman. T&T have beaten Costa Rica only once in any form of World Cup qualification, that being a 2-0 win for the Under 17 Men’s team in World Cup qualifying final round in Panama in 2013.