BY CAROL MATROO, www.guardian.co.tt
The honking of horns and the chant, "Ole, ole, ole, ole, ole!" alerted the country to the victory of the T&T Warriors over Bahrain in the decisive World Cup qualifying match in Manama yesterday.
After 90 heart-stopping minutes of holding their breaths, pounding tables, beating bottles, booing the opposing team and cheering on their team, people took to the streets of Port-of-Spain to celebrate the victory.
In just one and a half hours, T&T was transformed. Crime took a back seat.
The phrase, "We win" was all-encompassing as every creed and race celebrated the first time T&T has ever made it to the World Cup. Everyone feted as one.
The true spirit of T&T emerged yesterday, showing that they could live together as one.
"It was like we was in Bahrain. All of we is one. You could see your enemy now and you could hug him up," Jude Cuffie said as he celebrated.
Workers, students and limers alike crowded the streets giving it a Carnival-like atmosphere, only this time without the masqueraders.
All the popular bars in downtown Port-of-Spain, which were crowded before, were filled to overflowing.
Pancho’s at the corner of Queen and Abercromby streets saw patrons hailing all drivers, encouraging them to blow their horns.
"We win. Blow your horn. What? Your horn bust?" a jubilant fan asked.
Along Frederick, Henry and Charlotte streets, fans trudged behind music boxes and rhythm sections as they headed for Independence Square where the celebration culminated.
A sea of red floated across Independence Square as ecstatic fans jumped and waved, jumping on every conceivable mode of transport they found—car bonnets, hoods, trunks.
Big trucks abounded. Machel Montano would have been proud.
One section of revellers proudly carried a chequered red, white and black banner with followers shouting: "We are the conquerors!"
Hundreds of football fans, young and old alike, danced around the square, most of them holding up T&T flags in every conceivable size.
Even a policeman directing traffic was holding a miniature flag.
"I want a flag! I want a flag!" an elderly woman cried frantically.
Children were let out of school early, but gave not a thought to returning home.
When asked if she was finished working for the day, one woman replied: "Lady, what you talking about going home? We not going home. We going Germany."
One man said: "We so overjoyed it ent funny. We created history."
One woman claimed that "(Leo) Beenhakker is the best coach in the world."
A Nalis crew outside the National Library also "took their hats off" to the T&T coach.
Staff at Puff ‘n’ Stuff also took some patriotic time out to wave their flags in their doorway.
The feting went on for hours and police tried in vain to move the revellers to the side of the streets to prevent a pile-up of traffic.
They paid no attention.
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