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The separate Trinidad and Tobago national football teams are not related to the national team and are not directly affiliated with the game's governing bodies of FIFA or CONCACAF, but are affiliated with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation.
At the 1973 CONCACAF Championship, Trinidad and Tobago fell two points short of qualifying for the 1974 World Cup Finals in controversial fashion. Trinidad and Tobago lost a crucial game on 4 December 1973 against hosts Haiti 2–1 after being denied five goals. The referee, José Roberto Henríquez of El Salvador, and Canadian linesman James Higuet were subsequently banned for life by FIFA for the dubious events of the match.234
1980s to 1990s: The Strike Squad
Trinidad and Tobago came within one game of qualifying for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. Nicknamed the Strike Squad during the qualifying campaign, Trinidad and Tobago needed only a draw to qualify in their final game played at home against the United States on 19 November 1989. In front of an over-capacity crowd of more than 30,000 at the National Stadium on Red Day,5Paul Caligiuri of the United States scored the only goal of the game in the 38th minute dashing Trinidad and Tobago's qualification hopes.6 For the good behaviour of the crowd at the stadium, despite the devastating loss and overcrowded stands, the spectators of Trinidad and Tobago were awarded the FIFA Fair Play Award in 1989.7
Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany, its first-ever qualification for the tournament. During their qualifying campaign, they sat at the bottom of the table in the final round of qualifying with one point from three. However, after the arrival of Leo Beenhakker as team coach and the recalling of veteran players Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy, Trinidad and Tobago reversed its fortunes and placed fourth in the group. They qualified via a playoff against Bahrain, recovering from a 1–1 draw at home to win 1–0 in Manama, Bahrain to book a place in the finals. As a result, Trinidad and Tobago became the smallest country to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
In Germany, Trinidad and Tobago were grouped with England, Sweden and Paraguay in Group B. They drew their first game 0–0 against Sweden despite going down to ten men early in the second half. They lost both their remaining matches against England and Paraguay by a 2–0 margin.
Trinidad and Tobago began their campaign in the Second Round with a home and away series against Bermuda. Trinidad and Tobago lost the first match at home 1–2, but bounced back to win the away leg in Bermuda 2–0 to progress to the third round 3–2 on aggregate. The Soca Warriors advanced to Group 1 of the Third Round alongside the United States, Guatemala, and Cuba. Trinidad and Tobago progressed to the Fourth Round by placing second in the group with eleven points from six games. This qualified Trinidad and Tobago for the Fourth Round, or Hexagonal, against Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States. The Fourth Round was also played in a home and away format among the six teams involved. Qualification quickly turned disastrous for Trinidad and Tobago as they tied 2–2 with El Salvador after leading 2–0. They would then tie 1–1 with Honduras following a late-strike. However, three consecutive losses to the United States, Costa Rica, and Mexico found the Soca Warriors bottom of the Hexagonal with two points from their first five matches. In their sixth match, they recorded their first win of the round by defeating El Salvador 1–0. However, the victory was short lived as they suffered losses to Honduras and the United States the following month; ending their hopes to qualify for the World Cup.
Trinidad and Tobago entered qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in the Second Round of CONCACAF as a seeded team with Guyana, Bermuda, and Barbados the other teams drawn in Group B. The Soca Warriors defeated Bermuda (1–0) and Bardados (2–0) in their first two matches to earn a full six points. However, on 7 October 2011, Trinidad and Tobago lost away to Bermuda in Devonshire Parish 2–1 to hurt its chances of advancing to the Third Round of qualification.8 The team quickly rebounded four days later by defeating Barbados 4–0 in Hasely Crawford Stadium with a hat-trick from Lester Peltier.9 Entering the final two matches in the Second Round, Trinidad and Tobago found itself in second place behind Guyana by one point. As only the group winner would advance to the Third Round of qualification, the Soca Warriors needed to take four points in the next two matches both facing Guyana to advance. Trinidad and Tobago first traveled to Providence, Guyana to face the Golden Jaguars on 11 November 2011. With an early goal from Ricky Shakes and another from Leon Cort in the 81st minute, Trinidad and Tobago found itself behind 2–0 and facing elimination. Kenwyne Jones managed to pull the team within a goal in the 93rd minute, but it was too late as the match would end 2–1 in favor of Guyana.10 With the loss, Trinidad and Tobago were officially eliminated from qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On 12 January 2012, Otto Pfister was sacked following a disappointing campaign which saw the country's earliest exit from World Cup qualification since 1994.11
Schedule and recent results
Trinidad and Tobago 2013 Record
The following is a list of matches from the last twelve months, as well as any future matches that have been officially scheduled this year.
The team qualified for its first World Cup in 2006, with the team finishing 0–1–2 in its three First Round matches. Even though the team did not advance further in the competition, Trinidad and Tobago recorded its first point from the World Cup in its first appearance.
In regional competitions, Trinidad and Tobago best finish in the CONCACAF Championship and later the Gold Cup came in 1973 when the team came in 2nd. Since then they have only advanced beyond the First Round twice; the first came in 2000 where the Soca Warriors lost to the eventual winners Canada in the Semifinals and the second in 2013.
All CFU members have competed in the Caribbean Cup as a qualification tournament for the Gold Cup since 1989. Trinidad and Tobago has won eight out of thirteen Caribbean Cups since its inception.
The major supporters' group for the Trinidad and Tobago national team is the Soca Warriors Supporters Club. Also known as The Warrior Nation, the group is a non-profit organization that formed shortly after Trinidad and Tobago secured qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.