September 3, 2004
Vincy Heat in uphill battle

Team SVG, recently renamed Vincy Heat, will have to turn on the ignition if they are to go into the final round of their Concacaf World Cup qualifiers.
Having squandered points in their home clash against Trinidad and Tobago, at Arnos vale on August 18 clash, Vincy Heat must win their other matches to progress. {{more}}
And the encounters against Mexico will not be easy.
A look at the grouping left many to surmise that the battle for the second spot would be a showdown between the other three English speaking Caribbean outfits.
It was paramount that the Vincentians put up a good showing on home turf in their opening match and start on a positive note. After all, home advantage ought to have been a crucial factor.
Preparations for the match had been dampened somewhat by the furore between the local Federation and government over funds for the campaign. Happily that impasse was nipped at near blooming stage, and at least, Vincy Heat was able to approach the game with some semblance of national unity.
How the Vincentians allowed T& T to come away with a win will still be a bitter pill to swallow for the fans that witnessed the game .
We continue to be affected by the perennial problem of strikers failing to make use of opportunities to score. That was evident in the match as at least three opportunities were squandered, or putting it mildly, the strikers ought to have gotten off a shot.
With 11 minutes of regulation time remaining, the Vincentians appeared to have relapsed and that moment of indecision was enough for the visitors to go ahead.
Thereafter, the impetus was never with the Vincentians and they suffered the misfortune of playing into the Trinidad and Tobago team’s hands.
Goalkeeper Fitz Bramble, can truly be described as a national hero. Bramble turns 42 when this country marks its 25th anniversary of Independence October 27. Bramble, attached to this country’s Foreign Mission in Washington, was thrust into the action owing to Melvin Andrews’ one match suspension on account of two yellow cards.
Bramble is a veteran of this country’s World Cup campaign, having been part of the team in 1992. He was a member of the Gold Cup squad in 1995. Bramble was returning to the squad after six years, and his recall was a topic of debate. Why a second goalkeeper was not up to the task, remains a matter of conjecture.
Nevertheless, Bramble’s performance was not below par. He might be blamed for the second goal, but by then, the Vincentians appeared to have lost their venom. They did not seem hungry for the success that such an important game merited and when the final whistle blew, the squad, coaching staff and the close to 7,000 fans who turned up were left with a feeling of bitter disappointment.
The optimists will be hoping for some miracle in Mexico, as Vincy Heat seeks to open their points tally. But the realists will perhaps maintain their disgust with the effort against the Trinidadians. The hurdle of the Mexican factor comes into prominence tomorrow in Mexico. The importance of overcoming St. Kitts/Nevis in both encounters will be highlighted next week Wednesday September 8. And Vincy Heat must rebound in their away match in Trinidad and Tobago if there is any hope for them to advance.