Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart has readjusted their goals, after their impressive run at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Hart’s men were unbeaten in Group C, finishing top of the standings after their thrilling 4-4 draw with Mexico – setting up a quarter-final against Panama in New Jersey on Sunday.
The Trinidadians scored nine times via seven different avenues, including multiples from defender Sheldon Bateau and Keron Cummings – while Kenwyne Jones (one goal) has also been influential as their number nine.
Immediately after their group finale, Hart said they had completed their goal of reaching the quarter-finals – but prior to the knockout clash, he had different plans.
“Staying [in] focus and ensuring we don’t get carried away is what these next couple days are about and of course preparing in relation to Sunday’s match,” Hart told Trinidad and Tobago’s Football Federation Media.
“I think the past is the past now. We achieved a very good result and I was very pleased with the way the team handled the group stage, in particular the game against Mexico but now we have to remember that we are yet to achieve anything.
“We said before this competition started that our ambition was to get out of the first round and go a step further.
“Now we need to achieve that and it means keeping our feet on the ground and taking care of business on Sunday.”
Joevin Jones has been another revelation for Hart, the left wing-back starring in their opening win against Guatemala with a goal – and also putting in the corner for Yohance Marshall’s equaliser against the Mexicans despite a flurry of water bottles being thrown at him by rival fans.
Panama escaped Group A despite failing to win, but had more than promising results.
They coughed up late leads against each of Haiti and Honduras, before leading again against USA before settling for a third straight 1-1 stalemate.
Coach Hernan Dario Gomez said Panama will not change their style against the attacking force of Trinidad and Tobago.
“Here the most important thing about this is that Panama maintains its style, it is composed, that we do not betray our style and that playing good football produces results as it has until now,” he said in an interview with Panama’s football federation FEPAFUT.