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T&T’s Avanelle Isaac, right, holds off Barbadian Gabrielle Lopez in their Caribbean Football Union Second Round Group F Women’s Gold Cup/Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) qualifiers at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya on Wednesday night. T&T won 6-0. Photo: Anthony HarrisTrinidad and Tobago National Women Team (NWT) defeated Guyana's NWT 3-0 yesterday at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya as they finish their second phase series as winners of Group F.

It was a match where pride was at stake as both teams had already claimed two of the Caribbean's four berths in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games carded for Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, July 17 to August 1.

Both teams also qualified for a third round, four-team series consisting of Group G winners and runners up from which the top three will qualify for the 2010 Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup.

Made up mainly of Canada and USA-born players of Guyanese heritage, Guyana have been the tournament’s surprise beating St Lucia 8-0 on Wednesday, to add to their opening night 3-0 defeat of Barbados and has been undefeated until now.

T&T, also undefeated have now finished the second phase of the series as winners of Group “F” and will now move on to the next phase of the 2010 Women’s Gold Cup Qualifying series.

Three teams will qualify from the Caribbean for the Women's Gold Cup, expanded to eight teams for this year's event scheduled for late October-early November.

Tobago born striker Kennya Cordner open the scoreline in the 15th minute, Afiyah Matthias added the second in the 34th before Cordner completed her double in the 65th to seal the victory for the talented Soca Princesses.

Final Recap

T&T 3 (Kennya Cordner 15, 65, Afiyah Matthias 34 ) v Guyana 0

Teams

Trinidad & Tobago - Kimika Forbes, Rhea Belgrave, Arin King, Anastasin Prescott, Danielle Blair, Avanelle Isaac, Afiyah Matthias (Candace Edwards 46th), Nadia James, Ayana Russell, Kennya Cordner (Jenelle Nedd 73rd), Ahkeela Mollon (Mariah Shade 84th).

Coach - Jamaal Shabazz.

Guyana - Tenyka Francique, Daria Owen (Akilah Castello 67th), Justine Rodrigues, Kayla Desouza, Alyssa Budhoo (Jordanna Phillips 27th) (Catherine Kobelka 77th), Brittany Persaud, Nikkita Persaud, Ashley Rodrigues, Mariam El-Masri, Alison Heydorn, Ashlee Savona.

Coach - Mark Rodriques.

Officials

Referee - Sabina Charles-Kirton (St Lucia).
Assistants - Jorraine Muduro (Aruba).
Assistants - Antoinette Williams (Jamaica).
Fourth Official - Gillian Martindale (Barbados).

Venue - Marvin Lee Stadium.

Attendance - 300.

Standings

P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
T&T  3  3  0  0  14  1  9
Guyana  3  2  0  1  11  3  6
Barbados  3  1  0  2  4  11  3
St Lucia  3  0  0  3  4  18  0


Pellerud, Shabazz assess T&T performance in Gold Cup/CAC qualifiers.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).


With the second round qualifying phase for the Concacaf Gold Cup now over and Trinidad and Tobago one step away from securing their spot in the prestigious tournament.

Director of local women’s football Even Pellerud and head coach Jamaal Shabaaz gave their views on the team’s performance over the last three matches which saw them winning all including a 3-0 victory over Guyana on Friday night in what was billed as the encounter expected to be the most testing for the hosts.

Pellerud feels the current team comprises more than a handful of quality players but there is still some sharpening up required.

“I liked what I saw. The team has many good players. With some more time together, this could easily become a Concacaf contender, but needs to sharpen up 1. Fitness level and 2. Team shape/Discipline,” Pellerud told TTFF Media
 
He added that there as specific reason why Under 17 team goalkeeper Keri Myers was used and that the time will come for other players from her age group to represent the senior team.

“Kerri was included, simply because there are very few options at the senior level at this time - which is indeed a concern for all of us. There might be a couple of U-17 players competitive at this level, but the young ones have more than enough time following this year’s U17 World Cup. Their time will come!”

Pellerud added that it was vital for the Senior Team to keep a high momentum leading up to the World Cup which will be held here in September

“The more high level football we can see, the better (for the young girls). To do well is very important for any Women's team at this time because we are trying to build confidence and long term momentum!”

Shabaaz also replied to the following questions relating to the Team’s display in the just concluded CFU Gold Cup and CAC Games qualifying for which T&T booked its place for the tournament in Puerto Rico in July.

Now that the three games are over, what are your overall thoughts?

Our girls played with grit and determination and at times real maturity. Given the fact that half the team being foreign-based and we got together the full squad for only three sessions before the tournament, I am happy with the results and the overall performance as a group.

However I think some players underperformed in some cases due to injury in some cases due to inadequate fitness.

How you felt your team handled the Guyana match which was billed the expected toughest opponent of the three teams?

I thought we did very well against Guyana who with almost their entire team being North Americans proved to be a formidable opponent.

Guyana needed a draw to advance and the fact that we had to win was just the kind of challenge our girls needed to take it up a gear.

I was very impressed in how they stepped up their intensity and while Guyana never stopped playing if their goalkeeper was not so brilliant we would have won the match by a wider margin.

What are our thoughts on the showing of Arin King and the decision to shift her to striker.

In Arin King T&T has definitely gotten a player who has made a smooth transition from youth to senior football. For her school and her club in Canada she plays striker but for the national team she is a better defender.

With Maylee Attin-Johnson nursing an injury we needed someone up top who could hold the ball up and play with her back to defenders. King did this very well and her finishing was almost immaculate.

While we see her primarily as a defender we will continue to use her as a utility player because she can play well in midfield as well.

Where does the team go from here, one more round to play but is the focus already on the Gold Cup?

Before the Gold Cup there is the CAC games which is what we have just qualified for out of this tournament. So the very next move is to call together a squad of local and foreign based players to start preparations for that CAC tournament which will be held in Puerto Rico from mid-July.

We are looking at no fewer than 6 sessions a week to get our team into the right shape. This is in itself a preparation for the Gold Cup.
 
And at were some of the areas you think will need to be addressed now?

Fitness is certainly an area that needs our immediate attention and one that we will address instantly. Now that we will have 90% of our squad home we can also cover a lot of technical tactical areas and raise the overall intensity of our play.

And what were the satisfying elements of the team that you saw in the past week?

The camaraderie and team spirit among the girls really pleased me. The majority of them have played together in our national program since 2000 and I am seeing a more mature bunch of players who really want us to become a force in CONCACAF.

I see some players wanting to become professional footballers and some showing a desire to help in different ways to take women's football to another level. It is clear that the vision of Dr. Iva Gloudon 8 years ago to try to get them scholarships in North America has borne fruit.

These kids are now holders of degrees in management; sports science etc and they understand better the kind of work we need to do to go to the next level.

Seeing them mature like this is a big victory for the program and having someone with the international experience as the Director of the Women's Program Mr. Even Pellerud here to add his bit certainly excites me.