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T&T, Jamaica lock horns in CFU Women’s Cup final today
With the first objective of a spot in October’s Concacaf Women’s Championship having already been achieved, T&T’s senior women’s team now has in its sights the prospect of winning the inaugural Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Caribbean Cup on home soil, in the final against Jamaica, which is scheduled to kick off at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain, from 7.15 pm.
Both teams are off a stellar run of three straight wins against the teams which will contest the third place playoff in the double-header opener from 5 pm. Jamaica topped Group A and moved into the final following a hard-fought 2-0 win over Haiti on Saturday, a day before T&T’s “Soca Princesses” obliterated eventual Group B runner-up Martinique 7-0. T&T’s win followed a 10-0 opening victory against St Kitts last Wednesday and a 3-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda two days later.
Despite managing to score 20 goals in three matches without conceding even one, recently appointed head coach Randy Waldrum expressed sentiments of cautious optimism following Sunday’s easy win over Martinique.
“We asked them to get a quick, fast, early start. We felt like our pace, if we jumped on them early, would be a problem and it payed off,” he said in the post-match media conference.
“More importantly,” he added, “the things we’ve been trying to work on in training, even getting a couple goals off of set pieces tonight, what we’ve been working on, was great to see. So, I just thought the performance overall was a very professional performance tonight.”
In turning his attention to Jamaica, he said he and the team welcomed the opportunity to play against a team which showed the qualities to ease its way into the final. Waldrum said that as qualification for the Concacaf Women’s Championships was already secured, the chance to better test their abilities against a strong team was a welcomed one.
“We look forward to the opportunity to play Jamaica because I want them to get pushed, I want them to get stretched in every game. Whether we win or lose now, at this point, since we qualified, we need games that are going to stretch us, expose us to some things. And, we know Jamaica will expose us in some ways that the other three games have not so far,” he said.
Like T&T, Jamaica made its berth into the finals look easy with three comfortable victories. The “Reggae Girls” opened its account against Puerto Rico on the first day of competition with a 4-1 win. On Thursday, Jamaica confirmed its spot in the Concacaf Championship with a 9-1 win over Bermuda, before confirming its spot atop the group and into the final with the win against Haiti.
“I still think defensively at times, we got to make sure we don’t switch off,” Waldrum said as he referred to T&T’s match-up against higher ranked teams. “These three games, we’ve had the ball so much, and at times they’ve countered us, and our shape hasn’t been exactly the way we wanted it to be.”
Waldrum heaped praise on Kennya Cordner, who returned to the line-up on Sunday after sitting out the Antigua clash after experiencing chest pains. Cordner played the full 90 minutes and showed her worth within the opening minute to slot home her third goal of the tournament with the help of Karyn Forbes, who whipped in a lobbed pass after a series of slick passes. Only three minutes expired before T&T got a second goal, this time from Tasha St Louis, who by the end of the half, sealed another hat-trick (her second of the tournament) to take her tally to seven.
Another three minutes elapsed after the resumption for the free-scoring spree to continue with Mariah Shade adding another pair of goals in the second half, to carry her total to five in three matches. The drubbing eventually subsided after Darnelle Mascall scored T&T’s seventh in the 69th minute.
Kimika Forbes, T&T’s goalkeeper was a virtual spectator throughout the match, having not been forced into any saves. The Soca Princesses displayed a well marshalled cohesive unit, which dealt with almost every one of Martinique’s build-up play and counter-attack with relative ease.
Following today’s final, the team will shift its focus to the Concacaf women’s Championships, which will run from October 16-26 in the US. That tournament serves as qualification for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, of which three and a half-places are up for grabs for the confederation. Canada has already qualified as tournament host.
results & standings
St Kitts/Nevis 2 (Kerisha Powell 70th, Pheonetia Browne) vs Antigua and Barbuda 1 (Breanna Humphreys 5th)
T&T 7 (Kennya Cordner 1st, Tasha St Louis 4th, 9th, 45th, Mariah Shade 47th, 63rd, Darnelle Mascall 69th) vs Martinique 0
Kimika Forbes, Khadidra Debesette (Patrice Superville 46th), Rhea Belgrave, Arin King, Lauryn Hutchinson; Ayanna Russell (captain) (Dernelle Mascall 46th), Karyn Forbes, Janine Francois (Shenelle Henry 75th), Mariah Shade, Tasha St Louis, Kennya Cordner.
Unused substitutes: Tinesha Palmer, Afiyah Matthias, Annalis Cummings.
Coach: Randy Waldrum
Today’s Fixtures - Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain
Third place playoff- Haiti vs Martinique, 5 pm
Final- Jamaica vs T&T, 7.15 pm
Teams Pld W D L F A Pts
Jamaica 3 3 0 0 15 2 9
Haiti 3 2 0 1 9 3 6
Puerto Rico 3 1 0 2 6 9 3
Bermuda 3 0 0 3 3 19 0
T&T 3 3 0 0 20 0 9
Martinique 3 2 0 1 3 7 6
St Kitts/Nevis 3 1 0 2 2 12 3
Antig/Barb 3 0 0 3 1 7 0