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Jamaica, Haiti women start with three points
Jamaica and Haiti took all three points from their respective matches when the inaugural Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Cup kicked off at the Ato Bolton Stadium, Couva, on Tuesday night.
In their Group A opener, the Jamaicans, who swept past St Lucia (14-0) and Dominican Republic (7-0) in their round-one qualifiers, maintained their scoring form with a comfortable 4-1 whipping over Puerto Rico.
Within six minutes of the kick-off, Jamaica opened its account via a penalty from Donnakay Henry, however, Laura Suarez levelled the score in the 25th minute for Puerto Rico.
The Jamaicans then took a 2-1 lead into the half-time interval when Shakira Duncan netted in the 34th minute, but Jamaica was not happy with that, so two minutes after the resumption, Nicole Campbell-Green extended the lead to 3-1, before Duncan completed her double in the 51st to seal all three points.
Haiti also wasted little time in stamping its authority on its clash with Bermuda and went ahead in the eighth minute through Marie Yves Dina Jean Pierre.
However, it took the Haitians another 30 minutes before Lindsay Zullo doubled the lead and two minutes later Monocheka Pierre Louis made it 3-0 for a comfortable cushion at the half.
During the second half, the Haitians, who trounced Suriname 3-0 and edged Cuba 1-0 in the first round qualifiers, went in search of more goals but had to wait until the 86th minute for a fourth item from Wisline Dolce.
With two minutes left on the clock, Shuntae Todd pulled a goal back for the Bermudans, who entered the competition unbeaten in three previous matches, courtesy of victories over Turks & Caicos (5-0), and St Kitts/Nevis (3-1), coupled with a 2-2 draw with Cayman Islands.
But the Haitians were not done with their scoring and added a fifth item in the 89th minute thanks to Jenerve Charles to move ahead of Jamaica on goal-difference at the top of the four team table.
Today, Group A matches will continue at Couva, with Bermuda tackling Jamaica from 5 pm, followed by Puerto Rico and Haiti at 7.15 pm.
Last night at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, Group B kicked off with Antigua & Barbuda and Martinique facing off, followed by host T&T against St Kitts/Nevis.
At the end round-robin play in both pools on Sunday, the top teams will meet in the final on August 26 at Mucurapo, while the second-placed teams in each group face off for third, with all four certain of qualification to the Concacaf tournament.
Already through to the Concacaf final round are host USA and Mexico, who both received byes, and they will be joined by Costa Rica and Guatemala, the winner and runner-up of Central America qualifying.
At the conclusion of the Concacaf qualifiers, both finalists and the third-placed team will qualify automatically to next year’s Women’s World Cup, while the fourth-placed team will meet the third-placed team from South America for an additional World Cup berth.
Admission to the CFU matches for each match day is $20, while the final, which will be a double header including the third-place playoff, will be $50.
Tuesday’s Group A results:
Jamaica 4 (Shakira Duncan 34th, 51st, Donnakay Henry 6th pen, Nicole Campbell-Green 47th) vs Puerto Rico 1 (Laura Suarez 25th)
Haiti 5 (Marie Yves Dina Jean Pierre 8th, Lindsay Zullo 38th, Monocheka Pierre Louis 40th, Wisline Dolce 86th, Jenerve Charles 89th) vs Bermuda 1 (Shuntae Todd 88th)
Remaining group fixtures
Group A: Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Bermuda
Venue: Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Today (August 21):
Bermuda vs Jamaica, 5 pm
Puerto Rico vs Haiti, 7.15 pm
Bermuda vs Puerto Rico, 5 pm
Haiti vs Jamaica, 7.15 pm
Group B: T&T, St Kitts/Nevis, Martinique, Antigua & Barbuda
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo
Tomorrow (August 22):
St Kitts/Nevis vs Martinique, 5 pm
T&T vs Antigua & Barbuda, 7.15 pm
Antigua & Barbuda vs St Kitts/Nevis, 4 pm
T&T vs Martinique, 6.15 pm
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo
Third place: Runner-Up Group A vs Runner-Up Group B, 5 pm
Final: Winner Group A vs Winner Group B, 7.15 pm