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Soca Princesses collapse - World Cup dreams crash at final hurdle
T&T’s dream of becoming the first team to represent the Caribbean at the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup came to bitter end in the Cayman Islands, yesterday, when the Soca Princesses suffered a heartbreaking 7-3 defeat in overtime to Costa Rica in the third-place play-off of the Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championship.
This was a result of a tired second-half performance from the team which closed the first half with a 3-1 lead. In fact, the T&T team which stormed to a two-goal lead by the half-hour mark, courtesy of a classy brace from Anique Walker, before she drifted out of the match, showed signs of slowing down. Khadisha Debesette, did, however, score the goal of the match, a blistering effort midway into the Costa Rica half, but it seemed only to invite a more determined response from Costa Rica.
Without taking too many risks, Costa Rica patiently capitalised against a tired looking T&T, who ran out of steam in the last 20 minutes of regulation time.
Costa Rica pulled a second goal back in the 71st minute from Yesmi Rodriguez Talavera, at which point a total collapse was imminent.
Second-half substitute Michelle Montero beat on a messy T&T defence with four minutes left to take the match into extra-time.
Another second-half substitute Nicole Araya Munoz scored two simple goals in the first half of overtime, before Katheryn Arroyo and Benavidez Arguedas put the match to rest with one item each in the closing moments. T&T never looked likely to reply to Costa Rica’s second-half efforts as most plays were broken down in the final third of the pitch, unlike that from T&T’s energetic showing in the first half-hour.
As a result of its deserved victory, Costa Rica joined finalists, USA and Mexico as the teams to represent Concacaf in August’s 2014 Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. The two finalists were in action in the second match which concluded after press time last evening.
Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championship
Third place play-off result
Costa Rica 7 (Daphne Herrera Monge 34th, Yesmi Rodriguez Talavera 71st, Michelle Montero 86th, Nicole Araya Munoz 94th, 96th, Katheryn Arroyo 115th, Benavidez Arguedas 120th+1) v T&T 3 (Anique Walker 16th, 28th, Khadisha Debesette 42nd)
T&T: Keri Myers; Khadisha Debesette, Otisha David, Daniella Findley, Jonelle Warrick, Liana Hines, Brianna Ryce, Patrice Campbell (Donika Murray 75th), Khadidra Debisette, Anique Walker, Shenelle Henry.
Costa Rica: Mariela Fuentes; Mariana Benavidez Arguedas, Michelle Rodriguez Mendoza, Raquel Matarrita, Yesmi Rodriguez Talavera, Noelle Sanz Cale, Viviana Chinchilla, Gloriana Vega, Krista Chavarria Hernandez (Michelle Montero 47th), Daphne Herrera Monge, Jazmin Elizondo Villalobos (Nicole Araya Munoz 67th).