This is the statistic that
pretty much sums up Canada’s full international record against Trinidad
and Tobago. With six victories going to the North Americans with
two drawn games thrown into the bargain this country has yet to
record its first senior win over Canada. Now that the national team
has to face the Canadians twice in its semi-final group, this situation
will most likely have to change.
But, what chance does Trinidad
and Tobago have against Canada. There have already been three meetings
this year: a 0-0 draw and two 1-0 defeats. The first of the two losses
occurred in what, to date, has been the only competitive game between
the two countries the Gold Cup semi-final in Los Angeles in February.
That particular game was a summary of some of those that went before
it. Trinidad and Tobago dominating possession and getting all the chances:
Canada scoring the only goal. Just like in March 1985 when Igor Vrablic
and Pasquale de Luca scored two goals against the run of play, rendering
Adrian Fonrose’s last minute item moot. Just like three years later,
when Dexter Skeene scored first, only to see Canada hit back through
John Catliff and Dale Mitchell.
The second 1-0 win for Canada
this year occurred in a friendly in Toronto on May 27. Since then, Trinidad
and Tobago has won one, drawn one and lost two of its last four internationals.
Clearly, it would seem that both the on-field and psychological advantage
must go to the Canadians. However, Trinidad and Tobago’s performance
in the Gold Cup semi the one game that did feature full-strength
Trinidadian and Canadian teams - suggests that Trinidad and Tobago DOES
have what it takes to at least get a point in Edmonton on Sunday.
But, everything will depend
on whether the national team is capable of making a recovery from its
current dry run. Coach Ian Porterfield may be forced to make one or
two emergency changes in both defence and midfield for this match. Dwight
Yorke is finally enjoying a good spell in a Trinidad and Tobago uniform
so far this year he has scored five goals in five appearances
but Stern John has not recovered his peak as yet and Porterfield may
be compelled to make a last minute change up front.
It is likely that Trinidad
and Tobago may attempt to take the game to the Canadians early on
indeed, it will be in Trinidad and Tobago’s best interest to take control
of the game as soon as possible. Canada will be seeking to gain full
points at home and Holger Osieck’s team will try to pursue this objective
in the usual cautious and practical manner. It is unlikely to be a memorable
match and it is important that the Trinidad and Tobago team puts its
recent troubles behind it and takes the early initiative.