Saturday, June 10, 2006

Soca Warriors Survive!

Eric Cantona on behalf of Nike would have been delighted: Trinidad & Tobago played with as much heart as I've seen from any team, just as I'd hoped they would. One man down throughout the entire second half, they still held off the Swedes 0-0. Goalkeeper Shaka Hislop was fantastic and even Henrik Larsson couldn't make a difference for his country.

This was the first real match of the World Cup for me, and a fantastic example of how a final score like 0-0 (so often disparaged by Americans) doesn't begin to tell the story of how exciting a match can be. The Soca Warriors simply did not give up, not for one second. They weren't always organized when they got near the goal, and their passing sometimes went awry, but Sweden just couldn't seem to get it (or keep it) together. They made some wild shots, and seemed increasingly frustrated as the match wore on. At several points I worried that their relentless attacks would eventually result in a goal, but somehow T & T always managed to regain some control.

Trinidad & Tobago and their supporters can be thoroughly proud of the one point they grabbed for themselves tonight. Next up is their June 15 match against England (which, to my despair, I'll miss watching live). Go Soca Warriors! This is the stuff World Cup legends are made of!

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