Otto Pfister is refusing to panic ahead of his Trinidad and Tobago side's must-win qualifier against Barbados. A surprise 2-1 defeat to Bermuda in Hamilton on Friday means the Soca Warriors are already three points behind Group B rivals Guyana in their bid to move into the next stage of qualification.
As a result, three wins from their remaining three fixtures are vital, but Pfister is not yet fearing the worst."Bermuda were a good team on Friday," the veteran German boss told www.socawarriors.net. "I never look for excuses but we had three or four key players that didn't play and we had three players that played for me for the first time. That was difficult for the co-ordination.
"We now have a home game and I think the competition is open. Bermuda also have their next game at home. This is football and we have to respect the defeat and go again. There is no need to press the panic button. In football you have three possibilities. Win, lose or draw. We lost, but the first two games we won and now we have to try and win again."
Barbados are bottom of the pool and have yet to either score or register a point. Bermuda will look to force their way into the reckoning for top spot by producing another shock, this time against Guyana in Prospect.
In Group D, Canada will put their perfect record on the line against Puerto Rico in Toronto. A 7-0 win over St Lucia on Friday means Stephen Hart's side are four points clear of St Kitts and Nevis at the top of the group, and a win will put them within touching distance of the next stage. "It is nice to be home and to know we will have some following on Tuesday," Hart said of his side's return to home soil. St Kitts and St Lucia pair off in the group's other game.
Another side with a 100 per cent record are El Salvador. Ruben Israel's men face Group A's bottom nation the Cayman Islands in San Salvador, where a win is expected of them. "We hope to reach a good level and perform to get the result," defender Victor Turcios said on www.laprensagrafica.com."From the first day of the group we were told not to underestimate any team. They will want to give their utmost to get the result." Suriname host the Dominican Republic in the group's other game.
Elsewhere, Haiti will look to extend their faultless run to four wins from as many games when they face Curacao in their Group F clash in Port-au-Prince, with Antigua hosting the US Virgin Islands in the same pool. In Group C, Panama take on Nicaragua in Panama City, and Guatemala go up against Belize in Group E.