Two senior members of the Trinidad and Tobago national football team felt an overall sense of satisfaction as the country began the road towards the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 2-0 defeat against Peru.
"We played a world class opponent in Peru," said Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones. "They have a lot of experienced international players, obviously the Pizarros and the Farfans. We on the other hand are coming together with a less known squad. I think going back quite a few years now we have been on a downward spiral, since 2007 maybe, with everything that had been going on. Now we are trying to rebuild for the future. The short term goal has been achieved by qualifying for the Gold Cup again after five years, and now we are going towards the Gold Cup. With the new players that we have I think we have to rebuild a lot, and hopefully in the coming months we have we can do that."
Playing for the first time under their management, both Jones and Ipswich Town defender Carlos Edwards were pleased with co-head coaches Hutson Charles and Jamaal Shabazz.
"We are very happy with what they were trying to do," said Jones. "We all know this is a work in progress, but I think we have some time before the Gold Cup for us to sharpen up a lot of things and be able to give a good showing."
Edwards described the T&T showing as a step in the right direction.
"We did play, at times, positive football. I think what we did today (Wednesday), some of it came off in a positive way."
Meanwhile, T&T Football Federation (TTFF) president Raymond Tim Kee has thanked the 4,000-plus supporters who turned up at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on Wednesday night.
"We would like to extend a big thank you to all those who attended and supported Wednesday's friendly international between our national men's team and Peru," Tim Kee stated. "We knew from the first day that we agreed to host Peru in this international match that it would have been a huge undertaking, but we decided to go through with it because of the importance of our national team being exposed to this level of international opposition in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"We were very much aware that hosting a match in Couva would be challenging in the midst of the Carnival festivities. With all that considered, the eventual number of fans that came out to see the match left us far from disappointed. In fact, I could go as far as to say that it left me pleased and with a sense of hope going forward as we attempt to bring our football back to a level of respectability and attraction that will be beneficial to this country. The fans were trouble free and we were happy as hosts to have them at the match at the Ato Boldon Stadium."
The TTFF president was also grateful for the "tremendous support extended by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Sport towards this event and the preparation of our national team". Gratitude was also expressed to the Hilton Trinidad and the Holiday Inn Express for their cooperation and fine service while hosting the two teams, as well as all other persons who assisted in the running of the event.
Edwards and Jones also expressed their gratitude to the supporters.
"It could always be better," said Jones, "but considering everything our football has been through since 2006 and the fact that everything is focused on Carnival now, I was pleased with the turnout. We want to say thank you and keep it up. It helps us as players when the fans, and supporters on a whole, are behind the team."
Edwards said: "I always love playing in front of the home fans, and tonight was no different. I hope this continues to grow and that we could be playing in front of sold out crowds in other matches to come."