The Senior Men’s Team
The Trinidad and Tobago Senior Men’s Team is the most followed and globally recognised National Team of the Twin Island Republic.
The squad of 2005/2006 created history by securing its berth for the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany, in the process becoming the smallest nation to ever qualify for a senior FIFA World Cup Finals, a record that stands to date.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Men’s Team has qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup on nine occasions with their best performance in 2000 after reaching the semi-finals, finishing 3rd. Their second best showing was getting to the quarter finals in 2015, losing on penalty kicks to Panama after battling to a 1-1 scoreline after extra time. T&T topped their opening group ahead of Mexico. The Team has experienced great success in the Caribbean Cup having won the sub-continental competition eight times and runners-up on six occasions.
Head Coach – Dennis LAWRENCE (TT)
Assistant Coach – Sulzeer “Sol” CAMPBELL (ENG)
Assistant Coach – Stuart Charles Ferrier (St Lucia)
Coach – Stern JOHN (T&T)
Manager – Richard PIPER (T&T)
Goalkeeper Coach – Ross RUSSELL (TT)
Fitness Conditioning Coach- Riedoh BURDEN (South Africa)
Team Doctor-Israel DOWLAT (TT)
Football Therapist- Dave ISAAC (TT)
Massage Therapist- Saron JOSEPH (TT)
Sport Scientist – Stephen BRADLEY (Ireland)
Match Analyst- Matthew HAWKES (ENG)
Media Officer – Shaun FUENTES (TT)
Equipment Manager- Michael WILLIAMS (TT)
Getting to the World Cup
Under the guidance of Dutch mastermind Leo Beenhakker, who took over the reign from Bertille St Clair during the final round of CONCACAF qualification in 2005, T&T produced a scintillating comeback to secure a spot in the intercontinental playoff with Bahrain, after finishing fourth in the CONCACAF hexagonal. A super late double by forward Stern John led T&T to a come from behind 3-2 victory over Guatemala at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. That result proved to me the turning point in T&T’s campaign as the return of veteran midfielder Russell Latapy to the Dwight Yorke captained team, made a dramatic recovery after stuttering in cellar spot on the table with one point from its opening three matches. John and Dennis Lawrence had earlier helped T&T to a 2-0 win over Panama in Beenhakker’s first competitive match in charge of T&T.
A 1-0 win on the road to Panama set up a frantic finale at home to Mexico with T&T needing a win to secure a place in the playoffs. Described as one of the most complete performances by a T&T team in competitive action, T&T rallied from a goal down to defeat the Mexicans 2-1 with John being the hero once again.
November proved to be the month to remember. Not only because of what occurred in 1989 when T&T, needing just a point to qualify for Italia 1990, lost 1-0 to the United States, but because once again, T&T’s fate would be determined in the penultimate month of the year, sixteen years after the dreadful 1989 experience.
The country stood in high anticipation, the Soca Warriors were the talk of the town and Bahrain was the team to beat. There was somewhat of an anti climax in Port of Spain as the first leg ended 1-1 on November 12th before a sold out Hasely Crawford Stadium. A stunning second half equalizer by English-born midfielder Chris Birchall kept T&T in the hunt and there was now everything to play for in Manama four days later.
The rest is history.
Bahrain 0-1 Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago reached the World Cup finals for the first time in their history after beating Bahrain.
Bahrain had secured a 1-1 draw in the Caribbean on Saturday, but were outplayed in the play-off’s second leg.
Wrexham’s giant defender Dennis Lawrence scored the goal, outjumping the Bahrain defence to powerfully head in a Dwight Yorke corner on 49 minutes.
In the closing stages Russell Latapy rattled the bar for Trinidad, while Hussain Ali Baba was red-carded.
In a scrappy first-half Bahrain keeper Ali Hassan made a brave save, throwing himself at Stern John’s feet, after the on-loan Derby striker broke clear.
Bahrain struggled throughout against a physically stronger Trinidad team, with the home side’s best chance stemming from Kelvin Jack’s misjudgment in coming for a high ball five minutes before the interval.
The Trinidad keeper was rescued by Rangers defender Marvin Andrews who cleared the danger.
After Lawrence’s goal Ahmed Hassan’s low curling free-kick hit the side-netting, though Jack had the shot covered.
In chaotic scenes at the end Ali Baba was dismissed after referee Oscar Ruiz was man-handled.
The Bahrainis had been furious the referee disallowed an Ahmed Hassan goal when he kicked the ball out of Jack’s hands.
Bahrain coach Luka Peruzovic did not rule out an appeal to Fifa appeal over the disallowed goal.
“I want to make myself 100 %t sure of what happened before advising the Bahrain Football Association,” said Peruzovic.
“We will watch the action replay before taking any decision.”
Moments after the sending off Jack made up for his earlier eccentric keeping when he spectacularly tipped over the bar a Talal Yusuf shot.
With a population of just over one million Trinidad will be the least populated country taking part in the 2006 finals in Germany.
Trinidad are only the fourth Caribbean side to reach the finals following Cuba in 1938, Haiti in 1974 and Jamaica in 1998.
“It was a very tough match and it was difficult logistically to get the players ready for such an important match after all that travelling,” said Trinidad coach Leo Beenhakker.
Bahrain: Hussein Ali Hassan, Salman (Ayesh 80), Adnan, Ali Baba, Abdulkarim, Ala’a Hubail, Mohamed Hubail, Jalal, Juma, Yusuf, Ahmed Hassan.
Subs Not Used: Al Kawari, Alhujairi, Farhan, Jaffar, Meshkhas, Ahmed Taleb.
Sent Off: Ali Baba (90).
Booked: Mohamed Hubail, Ala’a Hubail.
Trinidad and Tobago: Jack, Avery John, Andrews, Lawrence, Birchall (Spann 21), Whitley, Edwards (Cox 83), Stern John, Jones (Latapy 77), Yorke, Gray.
Subs Not Used: Glenn, Hislop, Scotland, Theobold.
Booked: Yorke, Gray, Latapy.
Goals: Lawrence 49.
Ref: Julian Oscar Ruiz Acosta (Colombia).
WORLD CUP 2006
T&T were drawn in Group B with England, Sweden and Paraguay.
In their first match, Trinidad and Tobago held a strong Swedish side to a 0–0 draw, despite having Avery John sent off less than 30 seconds into the second half. Team captain Dwight Yorke won Man of the Match honours and Shaka Hislop was outstanding in goal to deny the Swedes which had the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larsson in its line up.
Trinidad and Tobago lost their second game of the group stage to England 2–0. Late goals from Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard secured England a place in the second round. T&T held the English at 0-0 until the 83rd minute when Crouch broke the scoreline. Stern John went very close to opening the scoring in the first half but John Terry cleared his attempt off the goal line.
T&T had hoped for a draw between Paraguay and Sweden for their best chances of getting second place but Sweden defeated Paraguay 1–0.
Trinidad and Tobago lost their third and final game of Group B to Paraguay 2–0. An own goal from Brent Sancho put them behind early in the game and Paraguay scored a second goal late in the match from Nelson Cuevas.
Trinidad and Tobago finished fourth in Group B with one point, and were eliminated from the 2006 World Cup but their courageous showing earned them rave reviews and many new friends.
T&T has qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup on eight occasions with their best performance in 2000 after reaching the semi-finals, finishing 3rd.
First International – British Guiana 1–4 Trinidad and Tobago
(British Guiana; 21 July 1905)
Biggest win – Trinidad and Tobago 11–0 Aruba
(Arima, Trinidad and Tobago; 23 April 1989)
Biggest defeat – Mexico 7–0 Trinidad and Tobago
(Mexico City, Mexico; 8 October 2000)
Go here for a listing of T&T Head Coaches over history.
- CONCACAF Gold Cup
- Third place (1): 2000. Reached Quarter Finals in 2013 and 2015. Lost on penalty kicks to Panama in 2015 quarter finals. Topped opening Group ahead of Mexico in 2015.
- Caribbean Cup
- OSN CUP in Saudi Arabia
- Third place (1): 2013