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miércoles, noviembre 16, 2005

A Win For Trinidad Is A Win For desde Desdemona

John Coltrane Ramirez is completely overjoyed. His smile has been permanently affixed to his face since this morning. Why? you ask. In his morning newspaper he found the following article of great soccer importance:

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) -- Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the World Cup for the first time, beating Bahrain 1-0 Wednesday to advance with a 2-1 aggregate.

Dennis Lawrence scored the only goal in the 49th minute. Trinidad rallied for a 1-1 tie in the first leg of the playoff series on Saturday at home.

Trinidad will be the least populated country at next year's World Cup in Germany. The Caribbean country has a population of about 1.3 million.

Bahrain earlier beat Uzbekistan in an Asian playoff, while Trinidad finished fourth in the final CONCACAF qualifying group from which the United States made the tournament. It is the first time CONCACAF has four teams in the World Cup.

Previously, the closest Trinidad came to qualifying was for the 1990 tournament. Needing a tie at home in its final game, the Soca Warriors lost 1-0 to the United States, which thus qualified for the event for the first time since 1950.

Trinidadians clad in their national colors -- red, white and black -- took to the streets of the capital, Port-of-Spain, jumping and screaming, while others cried over their first entry to the World Cup.

''I am overwhelmed. This is history: Trinidad and Tobago, we going to Germany, Oh God!'' said David Frederick, a 37-year-old construction worker.

Thousands of people left work after the victory and were celebrating on nearly every street corner in the capital, waving their country's flag. Motorists punctuated the carnival-like atmosphere by blowing their horns.

Nutor Blair, 30, a Guyanese man celebrating the victory outside a pub and holding a Trinidad flag, said: ''I am Guyanese, but a win for Trinidad is a win for the Caribbean.''

Other Caribbean teams to make the tournament were Cuba in 1938, Haiti in 1974 and Jamaica in 1998.

Bahrain went 1-5-4 in its final 10 qualifiers.

Yes, a win for Trinidad, according to John Coltrane Ramirez, is a win for desde Desdemona. He too is overwhelmed. He is delighted by the play of Dennis Lawrence and Jones Kenwyne (pictured here), even though they are strikers and antelopes. And he knows that even though desde Desdemona has fewer than 1.3 million people, you just cannot rule out its chances some day for World Cup play.