Trinidad and Tobago coach Leo Beenhakker admitted he was proud of his players after a surprise 0-0 draw against Sweden on their World Cup debut.
“Sweden had the better chances, but it was a great performance by us,” said the Dutchman, whose team played with 10 men for the entire second half.
“The way they fought and stayed alive during the game was fantastic.
Captain Dwight Yorke added: “It’s brilliant, this is what footballing dreams are all about.”
Trinidad and Tobago, with a population of just 1.3 million, is the smallest country ever to reach the World Cup finals.
“To come up against a mighty footballing country of Sweden’s status with obviously a tiny country like ours, it’s a massive result for us,” added Yorke.
West Ham’s 37-year-old goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, called into the side after Kelvin Jack injured his knee in the warm-up, produced numerous great saves to keep the score at 0-0.
“They (Sweden) have a little bit more talent than we have but we never stopped fighting and stayed alive until the end,” said Beenhakker.
“I recognise the better chances went to Sweden. If you see their front line they have guys who play for Juventus, Anderlecht and Arsenal. We have guys who play for the smaller clubs in England.”
After Avery John’s dimissal, Beenhakker caused a surprise by bringing on striker Cornell Glen.
“When a defender is sent off everyone expects you to bring on another defender. It was amazing it worked,” he said.
“They worked very hard. Everyone was more than 100 per cent focused on the game. We are very proud and happy.”