Trinidadians celebrates historic World Cup feat

Trinidadians clad in the national colors of red, white and black overwhelmed the streets of the capital Port-of-Spain on Wednesday, jumping, screaming, and crying to celebrate their nation's first-ever qualification for the World Cup.

The spontaneous revelry was sparked by Trinidad and Tobago's 1-0 victory over Bahrain in Manama to win the two-leg playoff 2-1 on aggregate.

Thousands of people left work and school after the victory, many chanting "Germany, Germany, Germany!" and celebrating on nearly every corner in the capital, waving the country's flag, performing acrobatics and dousing themselves with beer.

Trinidad and Tobago will be the smallest nation among 32 to play June 9-July 9 in 12 German cities. Some merrymakers gathered in pubs, while motorists punctuated the carnival-like atmosphere by blowing their horns.

Trinidad's government declared a national holiday for Thursday to honor the victory. The twin-island nation of 1.3 million is only the second country in the English-speaking Caribbean to qualify in the tournament's history, after Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in 1998. Haiti, a former French colony, qualified in 1974.

Trinidad's Prime Minister Patrick Manning interrupted parliamentary deliberation to congratulate the "Soca Warriors." He promised a "proper" welcome to the 21-man squad on their return home on Thursday, AP reports.

А. А.

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