Monday, May 29, 2017

Mexico v Trinidad and Tobago: Islanders hoping to build on Gold Cup display

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Sep 2015

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Trinidad and Tobago will look to expand on their promising CONCACAF Gold Cup form when they take on Mexico in a friendly on Friday.

Stephen Hart’s Trinidad and Tobago topped Group C at the continental championships in July before losing their quarter-final on penalties to Panama, but the Caribbean nation impressed many on their way to the knockout stages, drawing 4-4 with eventual champions Mexico along the way.

Having failed to qualify for the previous two Gold Cups and without a knockout appearance at CONCACAF’s premier event since 2000, the 2015 tournament was a big step for Trinidad and Tobago and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams has urged his team-mates to build on that in Utah.

“This is another step in our quest and preparations to qualify for the World Cup. We are looking for continuation after having such a good showing at the Gold Cup,” Williams told SocaWarriors.net.

“It’s our first friendly after the Gold Cup and I think playing against a team like Mexico is good for us.

“I think the game will be an attractive one and obviously people will be looking to see if we can maintain the kind of form we had from that previous game [against Mexico]. We will be looking to put on a good showing but again the bigger focus is on the preparation for the World Cup qualifiers.”

Trinidad and Tobago have been drawn in Group C with United States in the fourth round of CONCACAF’s qualification campaign for Russia 2018, which will start in November, with the two other teams yet to be decided.

Mexico are alongside Honduras in Group A and will be looking to start their time under interim coach Ricardo Ferretti at Rio Tinto Stadium like they finished under previous boss Miguel Herrera – with a win.

Herrera led Mexico to Gold Cup glory but was sacked in the week after lifting the trophy for allegedly assaulting a journalist.

Ferretti, who remains coach of Tigres UANL in Liga MX, has named a strong squad including new Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez, PSV midfielder Andres Guardado and Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela.

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