Trinidad and Tobago’s women football squad, unchanged from their just concluded CONCACAF Cup Championship in the United States, are heading to Mexico tomorrow before bounding off to Ecuador, two days before their World Cup opening leg qualifier there on November 8th.
The 9-day Mexico sojourn was confirmed by Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) officials last night at Piarco International Airport where a home-coming reception was laid out by the TTFA and the Ministry of Sport.
Minister of Sport Dr Rupert Griffith headed the welcome-home soiree at the VIP Lounge at Piarco.
Some 14 players and part team staff returned home from the eight-team Championship in which Trinidad and Tobago finished the fourth-placed team and with that, the right to play South America’s Ecuador a two-leg tie, with the winner gaining entry to the 24-team FIFA Women World Cup finals carded for June 6 to July 5 in Canada next year.
The second-leg match is set for Tuesday, December 2 in Port-of-Spain.
TTFA officials explained that the move to Mexico City which is at some 7,200-feet above sea level (the equivalent of a mile and a half up in the sky gives the TT squad an opportunity to acclimatise to such high altitudes as the Ecuadorean capital Quito, venue for the November 8 match is at some 9,300 feet elevation.
Outside teams playing in Ecuador have invariably found it tough to play their best game and beat the home team unless acclimatised well enough.
It has been noted that common symptoms people adjusting to higher altitudes feel include unusual lethargy or tiredness, the desire to nap in the early afternoon, reduction or loss of appetite, headaches, and the inability to sleep well.
The Trinidad and Tobago team, though playing pluckily throughout the CONCACAF Championship, failed to win matches against Costa Rica and Mexico 48 hours apart between Friday and Sunday, missing out on the two early opportunities to qualify directly for the World Cup finals.
TTFA officials said the Ministry of Sport is in full support of the team’s preparation and bid to reach the finals.