NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Trinidad go home with heads held high

Trinidad go home with heads held high

June 21, 2006 21:22 IST

They did not win a game or score a goal but Trinidad & Tobago still left their mark on the World Cup finals and proved they deserved their place in Germany.

The two-island nation entertained many with stirring performances against Sweden, taking a point from their opening game, and then ruffled England's feathers before succumbing to two late goals.

The Soca Warriors still harboured slim hopes of reaching the knockout phase going into their final Group B game but a first victory proved beyond them.

"Disappointed we are out, but we are leaving with pride," was coach Leo Beenhakker's assessment.

"We knew from the beginning there was a big difference in the level of our players from the other teams," he said.

"We played with lot of courage and passion, worked very hard in the tournament and I could not ask for any more."


Beenhakker said the tournament has been a steep learning curve for a side participating in soccer's showpiece event for the first time.

Apart from the 34-year-old Yorke, with a long career at the top level behind him and the team's best known player, the Trinidad squad boasted players predominantly drawn from the lower tiers of English and Scottish football.

From this Beenhakker, who took charge three games into the qualifiers, moulded a well drilled and well organised side, comfortable on the ball and dangerous from set pieces.

"We did not do that bad. We have seen these [World Cup] games are much faster than we are used to," said the Dutchman. "That was a big problem, you do not have time to play."

Yorke, who made his international comeback last year after an absence of four years, could not hide his disappointment.

"We wanted to win a game, we wanted to score a goal, that would have made the whole campaign a huge success," he said.

"We felt again we had done enough from the [Paraguay] game to get something from it."

Trinidad were given a standing ovation by the Kaiserslautern crowd and many players lingered long after the final whistle to savour the dying embers of their Cup bid.

"It was a special moment," Yorke said. "We are only a small nation, our fans have come out here in their numbers and the people of Germany has made us extremely welcome. We have won the hearts of many people around the world."


© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.