Trinidad and Tobago’s men’s team football took another virtual slap in its face last night when the team, challenging once more to reach this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, were beaten by Haiti last night, five days after also losing to Suriname – the action rolled out at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Central Trinidad.
Defeat ended TT’s challenge in the three-nation tournament which determined Haiti, 4-2 winners against Suriname on Friday, as the team advancing to the final Gold Cup playoff qualifier.
Home advantage counted for nought for the relatively new-look TT team whose coach little-known Belgian Tom Saintfeet was in charge for a fourth consecutive match – all in a 12-day period, one of them a 3-1 win against hosts Nicaragua on Old Years Eve, the others – a 2-1 past Boxing Day loss to the 124th FIFA-ranked Nicaraguans, on Wednesday last a 2-1 defeat to 150th ranked Suriname and last night a 4-3 beating by 73rd ranked Haiti.
TT who have been sliding down the rankings after last November’s CONCACAF World Cup 2018 final-round qualifying defeats to Costa Rica and Panama are ranked 78th.
The Group winners Jamaica, Martinique, Curacao and French Guiana, earned direct passage to the July 7 to 26 CONCACAF Gold Cup set for play in the United States.
TT needed to defeat Haiti by two clear goals in last night’s match but Haiti remained a veritable thorn in their side equalizing at 1-1, 2-all at halftime, leading 3-2 in extr-time, seeing TT tie up scores at 3-all, then winning out 4-3.
TT’s Shahdon Winchester scored in the opening minute, Haiti’s New York Red Bulls forward Derrick Etiennem equalized in the 20th minute.
Winchester put TT ahead at 25 minutes then six minutes to halftime Kervens Belfort headed in Haiti second equaliser.
No second-half scoring until into extra-time when Belfort again scored with his head for Haiti’s lead which was nullified when Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr, deployed as an emergency striker set the table for Winchester, who again brought things level.
Finally, former MLS defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste sealed Haiti’s win late on.
Haiti now will wait for the fifth-place team from this month’s Copa Centroamericana for a two-legged playoff to decide which side will capture the final spot in this summer’s Gold Cup.