ALSO ON SLAM!
Tuesday, August 29, 2000
Yorke expected to play against CanadaTORONTO (CP) -- Trinidad and Tobago will have star striker Dwight Yorke in the lineup Sunday when they entertain a Canadian team facing elimination in its World Cup qualifying bid.
The $27-million striker missed Manchester United's game last Saturday against West Ham with a toe injury. But a spokesman for Yorke said the star forward is ready to play.
"There was no word of anything wrong," Tim Nafziger told the Trinidad Guardian. "He's happy with the progress of the (Trinidad and Tobago) team and he's also happy with the way the guys have played. He feels it is important to wrap things up on Sunday."
Yorke has scored three of Trinidad's nine goals in the semifinal round of qualifying in CONCACAF.
The home side also will be bolstered by the return from suspension of captain Russell Latapy, who plays for Scotland's Hibernian.
Trinidad and Tobago has been a major success story in this round. Coach Ian Porterfield's team has scored successive wins over Canada (2-0), Mexico (1-0) and Panama (6-0) and leads CONCACAF's Group C.
Mexico is next at 2-1-0, followed by Canada and Panama, both at 0-2-1.
The top two teams in the group advance to the final six-team round of qualifying in the region, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Two advance from the final round to the Cup.
"It's a very important game for us. Obviously it's a very important game for them as well," Porterfield told The Canadian Press from Port-of-Spain on Tuesday.
"It's a big, big game for Trinidad and Tobago because if we get the right result it could take us into the last six teams (in CONCACAF)."
Porterfield reckons one point from the next three games would be enough for his team to advance.
"But most certainly we want to go and get a good result (Sunday) in front of our own supporters," he said.
One point would give his team 10, the maximum Canada and Panama can finish with -- and they each would have to win all three of their remaining games to accomplish that.
Assuming Mexico beats visiting Panama on Sunday -- a safe assumption since the Mexicans are 41-0-3 at their Mexico City fortress of Azteca Stadium in World Cup qualifying -- a tie or loss in Port-of-Spain on Sunday would eliminate Canada.
Still, Porterfield speaks highly of the Canadians.
"We will give them total respect. You know you're a fighting nation, you're an organized nation. And most certainly I know as an individual that if we don't respect you in the proper way, that would be very, very wrong.
"We will have to earn the right to get the right result on Sunday."