Meets USVI in opener in Couva
T&T’s women footballers will begin their quest for FIFA World Cup qualification today when they clash with the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) in the feature match of a double-header from 6.30 pm at the Home of Football, Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
The Group C match will follow an earlier encounter at 4 pm in which St Kitts/Nevis will take on Dominica.
The T&T women will be attempting to replicate their performance at the 2015 qualifiers that saw them finish fourth in the Concacaf Championship, before being edged out 1-0 by Ecuador in the Inter-Continental play-off, to narrowly miss out on a spot at the Fifa World Cup in Germany.
Yesterday Mariah Shade, one of the most experienced players in the team, stressed the importance of starting on a winning note. “We are very much excited about this World Cup campaign. We have been training really hard and we are focused on the task at hand. We are committed to the goal which is to qualify for the World Cup,” Shade said.
“The mindset for us is to dominate. We know at this level we usually put in a lot of goals. We don’t just want to win but we want to dominate the matches as well. It is just to put in the work and hopefully, with the blessing of God, we can achieve this.
“We need to go in there with a mindset in spite of the score, we need to finish off the games strongly.”
USVI coach Izler Browne, who is a former national player and coach, said her team will not be intimidated by the hosts. “I had to go in and put things in place for consistency in the Women’s game in the USVI,” Browne said, following her appointment as coach.
“At the senior team level, we are at a transitional stage. It’s a relatively young team with a couple older players. We are trying to ensure the younger players all get a taste of international football in this tournament.
“We understand the magnitude of the team we are playing against. We want to be able to give a credible performance. We understand that for us we may not play the game in the way we want or the result may not be what we want but it is important for us to ensure that this is something we can build on,” Browne said.
Another T&T coach Rajesh Latchoo, who is at the helm of the Dominica team said he is anticipating a decent showing from his troop.