French Guiana will be out to tame resurgent Trinidad and Tobago when the two sides meet in the Second Round of the 2021 Gold Cup Prelims on Tuesday at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The winner will advance to the Gold Cup group stage and slot into Group A along with Mexico, El Salvador and Curacao.

But first things first, a tricky test awaits for both sides.

Tuesday’s contest will mark French Guiana’s first match of the Prelims and their first official match since their group finale in League B of the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League, a 3-1 win over Saints Kitts and Nevis in November 2019.

Nevertheless, with a team boasting many European-based players, including forward Sloan Privat, who scored one of his country’s two goals in the 2017 Gold Cup, and defenders Kevin Rimane, formerly of Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, and Stade Brestois 29’s Ludovic Baal, plus Boulogne goalkeeper Simon Lugier, Les Yono Dokos have the pieces in place for a good performance.

While Trinidad and Tobago’s campaign in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for Qatar 2022 ended in a disappointing fashion in the First Round, the Soca Warriors are enjoying a resurgence under Interim Head Coach Angus Eve.

Trinidad and Tobago returned to their high-flying ways in a 6-1 triumph over Montserrat in the First Round of the Prelims, with Kevin Molino, Marcus Joseph and Judah Garcia among the goal-scorers.

A win against French Guiana would provide a massive momentum boost going into the Gold Cup group stage.

Haiti will take on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala faces Guyana while Trinidad and Tobago will go up against Monserrat when Round One of the preliminaries of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on July 2 and 3 at Inter Miami CF Stadium in Florida.

Cuba will tackle French Guiana, Guadeloupe will battle The Bahamas and Bermuda go up against Barbados in what will be the first time ever that the competition will have preliminaries that will see three teams qualify for the 16-team Group Stage.

“We look forward with great anticipation to this summer’s Gold Cup, which will undoubtedly be enhanced by this new Preliminary Round,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani.

“The past year has been very challenging in our region and our thoughts are with all the communities that have suffered. We hope the opportunity to watch the best men’s national teams in Concacaf compete in our flagship tournament can provide fans with some hope and enjoyment

All 12 of the competing nations in the Prelims will get a full Gold Cup experience at the excellent Inter Miami facilities and we look forward to a great set of games.”

“We look forward to hosting the Gold Cup Prelims tournament in our stadium,” said Inter Miami CF Managing Owner Jorge Mas. “Our facilities in Fort Lauderdale were built with the intent of giving our fans opportunities to enjoy the world’s game knowing that our vibrant culture and sports-centric region would be attractive for global teams and competitions. This is just the beginning of the great things that lie ahead.”

Round Two will begin on July 6 when the winner of the Haiti/St Vincent clash will take on the winner of the Bermuda/Barbados matchup. The winner of the Guatemala/Guyana encounter will play the winner of the Guadeloupe/Bahamas match. And finally, the winner of the Cuba/French Guiana match will tackle the winner of the Trinidad and Tobago/Montserrat clash.

The winning nation in each of the three Round Two matchups will advance to the Group Stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, where they were drawn into Group A, B and C as follows:

Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, and Winner Prelims 9

Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique, and Winner Prelims 7

Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, and Winner Prelims 8

Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada, and Qatar.

The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup group stage will kick off on July 10 and run through August 1, 2021, and will feature 16 national teams, of which Canada, Costa Rica, Curaçao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, eight-time and defending champion Mexico, Panama, Suriname, six-time champion the United States, are already qualified to the group stage of the tournament. Additionally, Qatar has been invited to the tournament as the current champion and representative of the Asian Football Confederation.

The remaining three countries will qualify through the Gold Cup Prelims, in which 12 Member Associations will compete for the final three spots, to be played July 2-6- at Inter Miami CF Stadium in South Florida.

 

 

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