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T&T women hungry to defy odds semi-final clash with World Champions
Friday, February 19, 2016
T&T's Kennya Cordner (19) tries to steal the ball from Canada's Diana Matheson (8) during the first half of a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament soccer match last Sunday, in Houston. T&T lost the match 6-0. AP Photo

T&T’s Women senior footballers will be making another attempt to defy the odds and create history when they seek to defeat the United States for a place in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as both teams face off at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston from 7.30 pm (9.30 pm TT) tonight.

A convincing 5-1 victory over Guyana on Tuesday sent T&T into the semi-finals and their attacking trio of Kennya Cordner, Ahkeela Mollon and Mariah Shade will be banking on their current improving run of form to lead T&T to what would be a major upset as the Americans are reigning world champions and are definite favourites to come away winners. But the game is no stranger to the most unexpected.

“We have to believe that if our best game is good enough then we can get the result that will take us through,” team captain Maylee Attin-Johnson said yesterday.

“With our attacking duo of Kennya Cordner and Ahkeela Mollon, we know our capabilities up front are quite good. We just need to stay focused, composed and avoid too many errors in order to try and get the result. I think the longer we can keep ourselves in the match the better it will be. We have showed before that we can compete with the US and there is no reason why we shouldn’t believe the same thing going into the match.”

T&T, which lost with an under-prepared team to the US 6-0 in December, meantime will be looking to Cordner, Mollon, Shade, Tasha St Louis and Attin-Johnson and hoping that sisters Kimika and Karyn Forbes also bring their A-game on the day. Defender Arin King will have her work cut out as well.

At the last competitive meeting in 2014, Randy Waldrum led the T&T team and he has visited the training sessions twice in Houston and has watched the matches from the stands. T&T trained once at the Houston Dynamo training centre yesterday after most of the players underwent recovery treatment the previous day.

“We are going to give it our best shot. Getting to the semi finals was an accomplishment for us but now we have one final opportunity to achieve something great and that is the mindset we will take into the game,” head coach Hood said.

“We have seen the Americans and what they are capable of in their last three games and of course they will be favourites but our task is not beyond us. We will have to stick to our game plan and of course not become flustered during the game which I expect will be very high tempo because the Americans will try to take control from the opening whistle,” Hood stated.

“But again, I believe it is a tremendous opportunity for our team and for the women’s game on a whole and we will go all out to produce a performance that we can be proud of and hopefully it brings us that good or satisfied feeling at the end,” he added.

The BBVA Compass which has a seating capacity of 22.039 is expected to be packed with tickets going quickly over the past couple days. Canada takes on Costa Rica in the earlier game of the double header.


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