North, Central America and Caribbean
Trinidad and Tobago (TRI)
Trinidad and Tobago were narrowly edged by Haiti on the final day of qualifying for West Germany 1974, and history repeated itself again in a painful way ahead of the 1990 finals. The Soca Warriors were denied a place at the FIFA World Cup™ in Italy when Paul Caligiuri’s so-called ‘shot heard round the world’ sent USA through and damned the home side to a frustrating wait to debut on the world’s biggest stage. Their time finally came in 2006, however, when a towering header from Dennis Lawrence saw the Caribbean side - with many of the same players from that 1990 loss to the Americans – beat Bahrain in an intercontinental play-off to reach Germany 2006. In qualifying for South Africa 2010, they failed to recreate the magic and finished bottom of the region’s six-team hexagonal.
Even that was better than how things transpired in qualifying for Brazil 2014, when the side, coached by German tactician Otto Pfister and led by EPL star Kenwyne Jones, lost a pair of games to Bermuda and Guyana, failing to even reach the second group stage in CONCACAF
Best performance in a FIFA competition: FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 (Group stages) Former stars: Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy, Shaka Hislop