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Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart says he had already began mapping out plans for this country’s opening fixture in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign even before Tuesday’s round of qualifying matches
 
T&T will face Guatemala on November 13th in Guatemala City after the Central Americans held off Antigua/Barbuda 2-0 in their home leg match on Tuesday night. 
 
That result overturned a 1-0 result in favour of Antigua from the first leg. The other team confirming their spot in T&T’s semi-final round group is St Vincent/Grenadines which held off a tricky Aruba outfit.
 
T&T's second game will be at home to United States on November 17th.
 
“To be very honest I always thought that is how the group was going to be,” Hart told TTFA Media on Wednesday.
 
“I always thought we would end up playing Guatemala ad this is just a confirmation of how I felt all along.”
 
Guatemala have always been difficult opponents at home and Hart says he will not judge this assignment based on the 3-1 win for T&T at the Gold Cup when the “Soca Warriors” blew past them in the opening half with three quick fire goals.
 
“They have always been very difficult opponents at home and I didn’t expect Antigua to go there and steal points. It will be the same for us. This game will be totally different from the one we played in the Gold Cup,” Hart added.
 
T&T's two previous World Cup qualifiers away to Guatemala saw the "Soca Warriors" going down 5-1 in the 2006 campaign and then stealing a valuable point in a 0-0 draw in 2008 during the semi-final round of the 2010  World Cup qualification.
 
Hart knows all too well that the upcoming matches will be crucial.
 
“The opening game two games are extremely tricky as we have to travel to Guatemala and then travel to play USA at home (Port of Spain) which takes away one day of preparation. But we’ll deal with it. I think right now everyone is very aware of what it will take and our first priority is starting well and securing our place in the final round of qualification and then we take it from there,” Hart added.
 
The top two teams from each group will progress to the Final Round of six or the Hexagonal or Hex stage which will be played from November 7th  2016 to October 10th,  2017. 
 
The top three teams will automatically qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the fourth place team will enter an intercontinental playoff with the fifth placed team from Asia.

Maharaj ponders his future

Former Betting Levy Board chairman Kama Maharaj says he has been asked to offer his resignation from the body put together to run the local horse racing industry. 
 
The Sacha Cosmetics founder was part of the six-member committee made up of three members of the Betting Levy Board and three from the Arima Race Club.
 
Maharaj says that he will offer his resignation like other members of the committee but he is committed to serve if the new government wishes him to. 

Ramjass advances in Solo Badminton

National U19 badminton champion Jason Ramjass has advanced to the semi-finals of the men's singles category of the Solo Badminton Tournament.
 
Ramjass whipped Jewel Smith before beating Renaldo Sinanan to take his place in the last four.
 
The tournament takes place at the Central Regoinal Indoor Sports Arena. 
UTT's Arun Roopnarine led his team to victory over Arima Hawks in the second round of the Premier Division of the National Table Tennis League on Wednesday night.
 
Roopnarine, a two-time defending national Under-18 champion, won both his matches as the hosts prevailed 3-2.
 
He beat Anson Wellington and then brushed aside former Caribbean table tennis champion Lionel Darceuil.

Rain delays US open semis

Serena Williams must wait until Friday to continue her pursuit of a calendar Grand Slam after the women's semi-finals at the US Open were postponed with heavy rain forecast.
 
The matches will now take place at 11am local time on Friday.
 
Williams will face Roberta Vinci after second seed Simona Halep meets Flavia Pennetta in the other last-four match.
 
The men's semi-finals will take place after the conclusion of the women's matches.
 
Top seed Novak Djokovic faces defending champion Marin Cilic first, with second seed Roger Federer taking on his fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the other match.

St Anthony's 1-0 San Juan North

St Anthony's College won their opening game of the 2015 Secondary Schools Football League Premier Division.
 
The West Moorings Tigers beat San Juan North Secondary 1-0 with a goal in the second half from Kwesi Allen. 
 
In other matches, St Benedict's beat Trinity Moka 3-2, Presentation San Fernando edged Fatima College 4-3, Shiva Boys squeaked past St Augustine 1-0 and Speyside drew 2-2 with Carapichaima East. 

Digicel Charity Shield on Friday

Central FC and DirecTV W Connection will face off in the Pro League curtain raiser, the Digicel Charity Shield today at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva from 7pm.
 
W Connection, under the guidance of longstanding coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier, has won the title in each of the previous three years.
 
Central FC now under coach Ross Russell are attempting to retain the T&T Pro League title they won last year under Terry Fenwick.

Mayweather takes 49th win

Floyd Mayweather made it 49 straight wins with a wide points victory over Andre Berto in Las Vegas last night and promptly declared that he was going to retire as promised.
 
The challenger was game but like so many of Mayweather's fights, he set the tone early by establishing his lightning fast left jab, as he won the early rounds with ease, making Berto miss repeatedly.
 
Throughout the fight Mayweather kept his distance, but even when Berto engaged him and had him on the ropes, he used his experience to keep scoring on the inside using his tremendous hand-speed and movement to get himself out of trouble time and again.
 
With the win, Mayweather retained his WBC and WBA welterweight titles and upped his record to a stunning 49-0, drawing him level with the legendary Rocky Marciano.
 
The 38 year-old was awarded a unanimous verdict winning 120-108, 118-110 and 117-111.
 
And immediately after the fight Mayweather was adamant it was his last outing in the ring, saying his career is over, and there was nothing else he has to achieve in the sport, and all he wanted to do now was spend time with his family after 19 years as a professional boxer, 18 of them as a world champion.

Aussies wrap up ODI series win

England slumped to 138 all out to hand Australia an eight-wicket win and a 3-2 series victory in the deciding one-day international at Old Trafford.
 
The home side were reduced to 22-3 in the sixth over and then saw captain Eoin Morgan retire with concussion.
 
They failed to recover and were eventually bowled out in 33 overs, Ben Stokes making 42 and Mitchell Marsh taking 4-27.
 
Australia eased to their target inside 25 overs, with Aaron Finch 70 not out.
 
For the visitors, sealing the one-day series on the final day of their tour represents a degree of consolation after a 3-2 defeat in the Test series.

Defender Andre Ettienne scored the winner as Central FC beat three-time holders W Connection to lift the 2015/2016 season opener, Digicel Charity Shield at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Friday night.

The Central Sharks lost the corresponding fixture 1-0 last season against W Connection.

Ettienne scored in the 69th minute from Jason Marcano’s corner.

New Central FC head coach Ross Russell was delighted with the win, “I made it to the Charity Shield twice before and lost. Now I have won it over the same club that beat me twice. I am confident now to go forward and do my job. “I’ve adopted a winning team that won four major titles last season but lost this one. Now it’s good that the players came back this season to win it.”

Central won four major titles: First Citizens Cup, Digicel Pro League, Caribbean Club Championship and Digicel Pro Bowl.

W Connection will tackle Saprissa of Costa Rica on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Chammpions Leauge before wrapping up their Group A fixtures against Mexico’s Santos Laguna on September 22.

Central must host Guatemala’s Comunicaciones on Thursday then LA Galaxy of the USA September 23 to complete their Group D fixtures.

All matches are hosted at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. 

 

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