PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad & Tobago’s strong start to qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil has given them a boost in the latest FIFA World Rankings released yesterday.
T&T have made the most significant jump of all the teams in the Caribbean Football Union, moving up 11 places to 80th in the World.
This has reinforced the Soca Warriors in the CFU No.2 spot behind undisputable CFU No.1 Jamaica.
T&T opened their 2014 World Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory over Bermuda on home soil at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, and followed up with a 2-0 win over sporting arch-rivals Barbados on the road in Bridgetown at the National Stadium. The Warriors are second in Group-B of the second stage of CONCACAF qualification on six points – the same as Guyana – but they have a weaker goal difference.
T&T meet the Bermudians on October 7 on the road in Hamilton at the National Stadium on Match Day 3, when the Guyanese will also travel to face the Barbadians in Bridgetown.
The Jamaicans, the reigning Caribbean champions, have not yet entered the World Cup qualifying campaign, but they have suffered a dip in the rankings, dropping two places, following a couple of weak performances in friendly internationals over the last month. The Reggae Boyz were brushed aside in two fixtures against South American opposition, when Ecuador blanked them 5-2 in Quito, and Colombia stopped them 2-0 in Fort Lauderdale in the United States.
In a shake-up of the top-five, Antigua & Barbuda have achieved their highest standing in the CFU, rising to third following a four-place leap into 102nd in the World.
The Antiguans have also benefitted from strong results in their first two World Cup qualifying fixtures, after a 5-2 demolition of Curacao on home soil, and an 8-1 dismissal of the United States Virgin Islands on the road in Frederiksted in CONCACAF Group-F. Cuba have dropped six places to 105th in the World, and are now the CFU No.4, but they have been inactive, since they are yet to enter the qualifying phase, while Haiti, comfortable 6-0 winners over the USVI and 4-2 over Curacao, have moved back into the top-five this month at CFU No.5, following an eight-place jump – the second highest behind T&T – to 108th in the World. All the other teams in the region have either trended downwards or remain stagnant, with Anguilla the only side to buck this, moving up two places to be 198th in the World and 24th in the CFU.
FIFA noted that the high level of movement in the latest edition of the World Rankings is the result of 170 international matches, of which 109 were World Cup or continental qualifiers, and 61 were friendlies.