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Heating up for the final salvos

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November 17 will be our date with destiny as far as progress to the Germany 2006 goes.

Should we overcome the odds and displace Trinidad and Tobago by three clear goals and proceed into the next round of the CONCACAF qualifiers, that would be an almost guarantee to Germany 2006. {{more}}

That journey to most seemed distance at the start of our campaign.

Authorities were more prepared to look towards 2010, but things have turned up in a complex manner and Vincy Heat may be forced to dig deeper into further readiness without having given it realistic forethought.

The second round to some observers seems easier than the first. Mexico, United States and Guatemala have already qualified. Three other places are up for grabs. Jamaica will have to beat the US in order to advance. Panama and El Salvador are also in contention.

Costa Rica appears on the verge of clinching the second spot and joining Guatemala.

Our home performance against Mexico has commanded major respect, not just in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but the rest of the Caribbean. And that was even though we did not score a goal and lost one nil through a dubious strike. And having played more than half of the match with ten men spells an almost magical display.

We have narrowed the gap between Central American and Caribbean teams. The rest of the Caribbean can benefit from that springboard.

Time was when Jamaica was not in our league in Caribbean football. While we tapered off, Jamaica climbed to the 1998 World Cup in France. That qualification remains a symbol of immense regional pride.

Vincy Heat seems set to add to the Caribbean glitter, even at the expense of their Trinidad and Tobago counterparts.

Nothing ever comes easy in SVG, and the barriers put in our way seem to add an incentive and inspiration to the players and the nation as a whole.

Our build-up in the first round was lukewarm. But we are not going to harp over spilt milk. We have to use what’s left and make the best of it.

The performance and will power of the squad has been phenomenal, given the intrigues and intricacies to which they have been subjected.

The task has not been by any means easy, but Vincentians have proven that they have the capacity to rise to any challenge, and the 2006 World Cup is perhaps the most serious one we are facing in a long time.

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