Trinidad and Tobago vs Mexico – Tuesday 4:00PM PST/7:00PM EST Hasely Crawford Stadium – Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
With a 2-0 victory at home over Costa Rica, Mexico have taken control over the fifth round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, better known as the Hexagonal or Hex. The El Tri are now first with seven points out of three games.
Javier Hernández (7th minute), better known as Chicharito, and Néstor Araujo (45th minute) scored in a match in which Mexico was always in control. Chicharito made history when he scored his 46th goal in his 89th game, equalling the goal scoring record of Mexican legend Jared Borgetti, who also took 89 games to reach 46 goals.
Expectations are now that Chicharito will make further history by scoring number 47. Whether this will be the case against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday remains to be seen. The forward, who played off the left of Club América striker Oribe Peralta, picked up an injury on Friday and had to be substituted in the 67th minute.
Chicharito or not, Mexico will be the favourites when they face Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Trinidad and Tobago, who beat Panama on Friday 1-0 for their first victory in the Hexagonal, are currently fifth in the Hexagonal standings.
The island state was defeated 2-0 by Costa Rica on matchday one, and then were defeated 3-1 by Honduras on matchday two. Trinidad and Tobago’s only ever World Cup appearance came in 2006 and, as a result, they hold the record of being the smallest nation (both in size and population) to ever qualify for a FIFA World Cup. The Soca Warriors finished bottom of the group with one point from the team’s three matches.
Whether their current squad has enough depth to reach the tournament in Russia, however, may or may not be possible. The vast majority of the players ply their trade in the TT Pro League. Eleven players of the current squad play abroad, with five of them playing in Major League Soccer in the United States.
Trinidad and Tobago vs Mexico – Player to look out for:
The United States-based contingent around MLS Cup winner Joevin Jones forms the backbone of the Soca Warriors. But, while Trinidad and Tobago will struggle to qualify for Russia, Sheldon Bateau is already playing his club football in the 2018 host nation. Bateau is playing for the Russian Football Premier League side Krylia Sovetov Samara and, with his European experience, is one of the players looked upon when it comes to providing experience to a young squad.
Real Sociedad San Sebastián forward, Carlos Vela, will be the one to watch for Mexico. The right-winger’s refusal to play for El Tri for a couple years means that he is not the most popular figure in Mexican football. The attacker always walks a fine line between brilliance and arrogance. Born in Cancún, Vela is a product of Chivas’ youth academy. He will always be remembered for his time at Arsenal where his talent was always apparent, but he lacked the edge to become a regular in the English Premier League. At Real Sociedad, Vela is a big fish in a small pond, which seems to be suiting the right winger well.
Trinidad and Tobago vs Mexico – Match Stats
- Chicharito could become the country’s top scorer with 47 goals in 90 games.
- Trinidad and Tobago’s 1-0 victory against Panama was the first in five matches.
- Mexico are undefeated in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Prediction: Trinidad and Tobago vs Mexico 0-3
Trinidad and Tobago
Williams – Gonzalez, M. Williams, Edwards – George, Molino, Hyland, Cyrus, J. Jones – K. Jones, Cato
Manager: Dennis Lawrence
Ochoa – Layun, Moreno, Araujo, Salcedo – Herrera, Marquez, dos Santos – Chicharito, Peralta, Vela
Manager: Juan Carlos Osorio