As a Trini growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s … I have two moments of disappointment. The first was the series loss of the West Indies to Australia in ’95. The second traumatic incident was Trinidad’s loss to the Americans on November 19th, 1989 in Port of Spain. This match is actually in the FIFA list of all time classic qualifiers – except that WE LOST!! It was the first time, I’ve seen a nation’s collective psyche physically crushed … I bawled like a little girl that day, like I had lost a parent or something. I think I wished for genocide on anyone with the last name of “Caliguiri” … especially with that stupid looping, curling shot into the top right hand corner.
This “shot” and subsequent qualificaton singlehandedly changed the course of the sport in the US. Without the “shot” … football in the US, would still be limited to the domain of immigrants … there would have been no MLS, no Women’s World Cup, no money into the sport.
With all that pain … it made going to the World Cup in 2006, even that much sweeter. I would have not have been able to go to Italia ’90, but going to Germany ’06 was completely possible! Our first match where we drew with Sweden 0 – 0 was like a World Cup victory for us.
Rikki Jai couldn’t find a ticket and I had an extra ticket, so of course I sold it to him. It was awesome … no matter how much money you had, finding a ticket to that game was next to impossible.
It was Trinis from around the world representing!
This probably won’t happen again in my lifetime … given Trini ineptitude and Jack Warner being kicked out of football.
After that first match … everything was icing on the cake …
Then it was off to Kaiserslauten to see us play Paraguay