21 Jan 2010
- Written by Shaun Fuentes (TTFF Media)
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Trinidad and Tobago’s National Under 20 footballers suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Mexico in their opening Group B encounter of the Concacaf Final Round of qualification towards the 2010 FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup.In the game played at the Estadio Cementos Progreso Ciudad de Guatemala, T&T started brightly and stunned their opponents by grabbing a first minute lead through Natasha St Louis.
She touched ahead what appeared to be an innocent ball out of midfield, then sprinted around Mexican central defender Alina Garciamendez and - with Garciamendez tugging on her left shoulder - finished from the middle of the penalty area on 51 seconds
But despite a courageous effort by the T&T team and its defence marshalled by Canadian-based player Arin King, the Mexicans prevailed, getting their equalizer on the stroke of half time when Charlyn Corall’s delivery from the left was headed into the corner of the net by Liliana Godoy past goalkeeper Kimika Forbes. The Mexicans then got their winner from Natalie Lagunas in the 80th minute when she collected a left side pass from Corall and made no mistake, hitting low into the right corner. Corall who has been playing for the Mexican Under 20 team since age 14, also hit the woodwork on two occasions.
T&T made a late effort to snatch an equalizer but it was not to be and they now look forward to facing the United States in their second match on Saturday.
T&T head coach Jamaal Shabazz was obviously disappointed with the result but not with his team’s effort.
“I think all the players are disappointed to have not come away with at least a point, especially after taking the lead so early and fighting so hard for long periods. We played to a plan and it worked for us but not for the entire game. I must give credit to the players for a really good effort against what was a more experienced Mexican team. Our heads may be down for a little but we will take a lot from this game and look ahead to the remainder of the tournament with a lot of interest and optimism,” Shabazz said.
The top three teams from the eight- nation tournament will advance to the Under 20 World Cup in Germany in July, 2010.
Mexico rallies to subdue T&T 2-1
Charlyn Corrall set up both goals, including the winner in the 80th minute, to rally Mexico past Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 in the opening match for both at the CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship on Thursday.
Natasha St. Louis gave Trinidad a lead less than a minute after the opening kickoff, but Mexico controlled the match from that point. Corral hit the post twice before assisting on strikes by Liliana Godoy and Natali Lagunas to keep El Tri unbeaten in four meetings against the Soca Princeses.
St. Louis, who had eight goals in qualifying, put Trinidad ahead 51 seconds after the opening kickoff. She touched ahead what appeared to be an innocent ball out of midfield, then sprinted around Mexican central defender Alina Garciamendez and - with Garciamendez tugging on her left shoulder - finished from the middle of the penalty area.
It was only the second goal by the Soca Princesses against Mexico in the four matches at the Under-20s and first since 2002.
But it was all Mexico from then on. With the help of captain Lydia Rangel, Corral kept Trinidad pinned in its own half for nearly the rest of the game. The Soca Princesses rarely maintained any possession in the Mexican half and finally succumbed late.
Corral, who played with the Mexican U-20s when she was 14 and made her senior national team debut two years later, hit the crossbar from 25 meters with a free kick in the 15th minute, and hit a left-footed a shot from the top of the area seven minutes later.
After Godoy was denied a goal in the 32nd minute for offside, she outleapt teammate Sandra Mayor to get to Corral's bending left-footed free kick in the 45th to pull Mexico even.
Mexico resumed its domination in the second half, hitting the crossbar a third time when Garciamendez's header from a step off the goal line banged off the bar and back into the penalty area.
Corral, who is playing in her third U-20 championship, then created the winner, breaking down the left side of the area before laying a rolling ball across the area. Lagunas, who replaced Bianca Sierra in the 61st, one-timed the pass before a late-arriving Taylor Mims could react, and easily beat keeper Kimika Forbes from the middle of the penalty area.