NEW YORK CITY, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago hauled themselves back into contention with an emphatic crushing of Barbados but 11 teams were eliminated from contention from the next round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers in the latest round of games on Tuesday.
Entering the game at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on the heels of a surprise loss to minnows Bermuda, T&T used a show of force to whip a lowly Barbados side 4-0 and claw their way back to within a point of Group B leaders Guyana.
They were propelled by Lester Peltier’s hat-trick as Barbados were eliminated without a win or a point, to conclude a miserable campaign.
Guyana, however, needed a late Ricky Shakes strike to earn a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with Bermuda in Hamilton, and remain on top the group.
In St John’s, Antigua got hat-tricks from Tamarley Thomas and Peter Byers as they annihilated the US Virgin Islands 10-0 in Group F while French powers Haiti came from 0-2 down to draw 2-2 with Curacao and remain on Antigua’s tails.
Trinidad and Tobago were ahead at home when Peltier ran onto the end of a through ball and slotted in after just seven minutes.
The scoreline held until half-time but afterward, the floodgates opened as Peltier hit twice in the space of seven minutes to end the game as a serious contest.
In the 54th minute, he was on the end of substitute Hayden Tinto’s pass to finish neatly and followed up by converting in the 60th after being set up by Kevin Molino.
For good measure, Hughton Hector added a fourth two minutes from time when he chipped goalkeeper Jason Boxill, following an enterprising solo run.
Shakes, meanwhile, ended Bermuda’s World Cup 2014 dream when he fired a late equaliser at the National Sports Centre.
Bermuda, who lost earlier matches on the road against Trinidad and Tobago and in Guyana last month, both by the odd goal, needed to win to stay alive in the group.
The hosts went into the match on a high after avenging the Port of Spain defeat by upsetting the Soca Warriors here 2-1 on Friday night.
And John Barry Nusum appeared to answer Bermuda’s prayers when he struck in the 71st minute to break the deadlock.
Guyana, who had won their three opening matches to lead the group, were rocked when Nusum scored with a powerful header following a corner.
But the Golden Jaguars were not to be denied.
Winger Shakes, who plays in the UK for Blue Square Premier club Ebbsfleet United, silenced home fans after coming on as a 58th minute substitute for Vurlon Mills when he beat goalkeeper Freddy Hall at the near post with a header in the 81st minute.
Bermuda poured forward looking for a late winner and twice went close through Nahki Wells and Nusum with efforts that flew wide of Ronson Williams’s goal.
Now there will only be pride at stake when Bermuda host Barbados in their next qualifier at the NSC on November 11.
Bermuda was one of nine Caribbean Football Union sides bowing out as Dominica, the USVI, St Lucia, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cayman Islands also faltered.
Central American sides Belize and Nicaragua were also eliminated after losing to Guatemala and Panama respectively.
St Kitts and Nevis remained alive in Group D, however, when they scored six minutes from time in Basseterre to earn a 1-1 draw with St Lucia.
Suriname lost to Dom Republic 3-1
Trinidad and Tobago beat Barbados 4-0
Bermuda and Guyana drew 1-1
Canada and Puerto Rico drew 0-0
Antigua and Barbuda beat US Virgin Islands 10-0
St Kitts & Nevis drew with St Lucia 1-1
Panama beat Nicaragua 5-1
El Salvador beat Cayman Island 4-0
Guatemala beat Belize 3-1
Haiti drew with Curacao 2-2