Barbados Tridents head coach Orlando da Costa does not believe early group leaders and tonight’s opponents Nicaragua are invincible as he leads his side in a hunt for points in their second Concacaf Nations League group game tonight at 10 pm Barbados time against the hosts at the Estadio Nacional de Fútbol.
The Bajans were two fateful set pieces away from claiming a famous victory at home on Friday night against Montserrat, but complacent play in the second half allowed Montserrat to roar back from 2-1 down to steal the win. Nicaragua however, looked more than assured in their opening 2-0 win away to the Dominican Republic on Friday as quick-fire goals from Matías Moldskred Belli and Óscar Acevedo saw la Azul y Blanco topple their hosts in clinical fashion.
Marco Antonio Figueroa’s team actually won their League B group last season but were denied promotion after being disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.
“We already know that the best team in our group is Nicaragua, but they are not invincible. In football, there are no invincible teams,” Da Costa said ahead of tonight’s clash.
“I’m very confident because I trust in my technical staff, my players and because of what I saw in the last game. We hope to play a great game against Nicaragua even if we recognize they are a strong team.”
“We already studied them, and we discovered some weak points so we will try to explore those and take advantage. We are here to collect points, even if it is one point.”
The Tridents, currently ranked 166 by FIFA, have played against 141-ranked Nicaragua once before, a 1-0 home defeat in March 2019 in Nations League qualifying. Centre back Shane Codrington started that match and is the only survivor from the starting eleven to be included in da Costa’s 23-man squad.
Talismanic midfielder Niall Reid-Stephen made his international debut in that match and could feature from the start four years on, as the Portuguese head coach hinted at tactical changes for tonight’s game.
“I am confident but of course we will do some replacements in the first eleven concerning what we think Nicaragua can do and their strengths. We must do something to stop them,” da Costa pointed out.
“We have already prepared our strategy for this game, but we will keep our identity and style. We will change a few players out of concern and not what these players did in the last game. We are just focused on the strategy to collect points against Nicaragua. I am happy because in the last game, we did not lose any players to injury, so we still have 23 players to be ready at any moment to help the squad.”