Trinis as good as done
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (CMC):
Trinidad and Tobago turned in a gallant effort but it proved insufficient as they went down 2-1 to Costa Rica, to slump to a third straight defeat in the CONCACAF final round of World Cup qualifiers Tuesday night.
Playing at the Estadio Nacional, the visitors were in the game right to the end but the crucial equaliser never materialised, leaving them with their fifth defeat of the campaign overall and just about out of contention for a spot at the Russia showpiece next year.
They were set back as early as the opening minute when Francisco Calvo scored but roared back when Kevin Molino struck in the 35th minute.
However, Bryan Ruiz netted on the stroke of half-time to dash T&T's hopes and the second half proved one of frustration.
Head coach Dennis Lawrence said while he was disappointed not to get a positive result, he was pleased with the way T&T had pushed the Central American powerhouses.
"Costa Rica has always been one of the CONCACAF giants. I think we all understand they are a very good team and they have players of a top level," the former national defender said afterwards.
"What I am most pleased about tonight is that we were able to come out tonight and match Costa Rica stride for stride. Unfortunately we did not get the result we wanted but I gave yeoman credit to my team for the effort that they put in."
The defeat left T&T bottom of the six-nation stands on just three points from a single win - against Panama in Port of Spain last March.
They are only four points behind the Panamanians who currently occupy the last qualification spot but will need to quickly reverse results heading into the latter half of the competition.
Despite the bleak outlook, Lawrence said T&T would continue to press for their dream of qualification.
"We know points were important tonight. We are going to fight until the end, until it becomes mathematically impossible for us to qualify," he stressed.