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Soca Princesses blank Honduras 2-0
T&T’s Soca Princesses will be going all out to secure a first ever semifinal spot in a Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championship when it faces host Cayman Islands in their second Group B encounter at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, George Town, from 8.30 pm (9.30 pm TT time). In today’s first match, Mexico faces Honduras in a all-Central American from 5 pm (6 pm TT time). This after the Izzler Browne-coached T&T women blanked Honduras 2-0 in their tournament opener on Friday night with a goal each from captain Anique Walker and Brianna Ryce for its first win ever at this level in six tournament appearances while Mexico dominated Cayman Islands 6-0 in the second match. For the match against the Central Americans, who were making their tournament debut, the Soca Princesses wore black armbands as a mark of respect for deceased national men’s player Akeem Adams.
And on a request to Concacaf from the T&T Football Association, there was also a moment's silence before the start of the match in memory of the former player, who had appeared in the men's version of the Concacaf U-20 World Cup Qualifying final round. When the match kicked off Honduras, which qualified for the tournament as winners of its four-team round-robin Central American group which also included Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala, started brightly and remained active throughout the evening. In the 19th minute, Lauren Hall dribbled into the right side of the T&T box and unleashed a shot that goalkeeper Tanesha Palmer did well to palm over the crossbar. Two minutes later, T&T went on attack as the influential Patrice Campbell burst into the left side of the Honduran box, ripping an attempt that goalkeeper Kelin Palma couldn’t catch, however Maribiz Guevara was able to clear the ball from danger. At the half-hour mark, Honduras was presented with a free-kick positioned at the upper-right corner of the penalty area. Hall’s ensuing effort did not miss by much as it whistled past the near post.
Ryce then showed some silky skills, dribbling on the left-side and snaking a cross that travelled in front of the Honduran goal before it was kicked out of bounds at the far post. T&T, though, would not pass up on the next opportunity that presented itself in the 39th minute when Campbell delivered a corner-kick that Walker flew through the air to meet powerfully and despite Palma getting her hand to it, the ball rebounded off the crossbar and landed just over the goalline for the opener. Two minutes after the interval, Campbell was in the thick of the action once again as the 19-year-old lofted a delightful feed on the right side of the box to Donika Murray, who cut back inside and cracked a left-footed shot that Palma saved. The ball bounced around with Ryce and Campbell looking to follow up, but the Hondurans kept it out of the net as the Soca Princesses searched for a second goal. Ryce eventually made it 2-0 in the 49th minute, sending a wonderful glancing header past Palma off a left-side cross from the ever-present Campbell.