Trinidad & Tobago (pictured) will look to win two straight CONCACAF Gold Cup games for the first time since 2000, when it meets Cuba on July 12, 2015, in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo: Mexsport)GLENDALE, Arizona - Trinidad & Tobago head coach Stephen Hart said he wanted a fast start to the CONCACAF Gold Cup and believed that the first match would set the pace for his team.
The 55-year-old’s wishes were fulfilled with an impressive 3-1 Group C win over Guatemala in Chicago on Thursday. Sheldon Bateau, Cordell Cato and Joevin Jones scored all the goals in the opening 25 minutes.
The Soca Warriors are now in a position to advance to the quarterfinals with a win on Sunday over Cuba, which is coming off a 6-0 loss to Mexico.
“We came here looking to get a good start and we did just that,” said Hart. “It’s a good first win, but we still have two games to go in this group and we must take care of business first against Cuba on Sunday before we could feel satisfied.
“Overall though, we were able to get the three points, which was our objective coming into this match. Hopefully we can play more consistently like we played the first half.”
The current Caribbean runner-up reached the 2013 quarterfinals, where it dropped a narrow 1-0 to Mexico. Hart senses this Trinidad side could repeat that performance or, perhaps, go a little further.
“We are hoping to recreate that scenario and go one step better and get ourselves into a semifinal because the way we look at it, is if you can get into a final four, that’s where you need to be to qualify for the World Cup,” Hart finished, placing the Gold Cup’s significance into a larger light. “We have to qualify out of CONCACAF so we need to do everything within our power.”