25 Jan 2010
- Written by T&T Guardian
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It was probably the most passionate performance ever given by the T&T U-20 women’s football team, but it was simply not enough to overcome the powerful and superior skilled Americans, as T&T crashed out of the Concacaf Final Round Tournament in Guatemala on Saturday after a 4–0 defeat to USA.
It was a ‘do or die’ match for the Soca Princesses, having lost their first match to Mexico 2–1 on Thursday, but even with a much improved performance and another display of superb keeping from goal keeper Kimika Forbes in the second half, T&T will have to wait another four years for a World Cup berth.
The win qualifies Mexico and USA for the semi-final round while, T&T will face Jamaica today from 5.30 pm in its final match before returning home on Wednesday. Morgan Marlborough put USA ahead in the fifth minute, running down the left flank from midfield, before lofting the ball from the top corner of the penalty area, over Forbes, who was caught off of her line and in no man’s land.
T&T made significantly more advances than in their match against Mexico, and forced the American defence into action consistently throughout the first half, but the Americans produced the shots on goals that eventually made the difference.
Kristie Mewis then doubled the tally in the 23rd minute from a free kick by Rachel Quon which reflected off of T&T defender, Camille Borneo’s head, before landing at the feet of Mewis, who then beat Forbes to add her name to the score card. Sydney Leroux scored her first goal in the 36th minute, from a well placed corner that Forbes could do nothing about.
She then rounded off the scoring for the match and T&T’s World Cup bid nine minutes later, with a very well placed shot, that she easily guided into the far left post, beyond Forbes’ reach.. The Soca Princesses did not bow their heads however, and their passion and determination was still evident even going into the second half 4–0 down.
They kept their composure and managed to play out the final 45 minutes without conceding another goal, with Forbes once again doing an outstanding job to prevent a more lopsided scoreline. T&T coach Jamaal Shabaaz admitted that getting a result against the Americans was going to be an uphill battle for T&T again but added that they will go all out for a win against Jamaica.
“Looking forward to the game against Jamaica we will use this game as an opportunity to give more exposure to some of the younger players in the squad. It is important that we play hard right down to this last game,” Shabazz said on Sunday. “Games against Jamaica are always a derby and playing in the 2 pm heat makes it even more competitive.”
Reflecting on the loss to the USA, he added: “Despite the 4-0 loss, I am proud that the girls tried to play disciplined worked their socks off and played with tremendous pride.
We let in some soft goals but we forced a strong USA team to work hard. “Six of our players in the team are under 17 years old and when you consider we have our Under-17s playing in the World Cup in two years time, teams like the United States and Mexico will meet a different T&T Under-20 squad. As I said to the girls our time is coming and the gap is closing.”
In the evening’s other match, Mexico got goals just before the break and immediately after to sink the young Reggae Girlz, who had lost 0–6 to the USA on Thursday. Mexico will face the USA in the group decider today while Jamaica and T&T will clash in a battle to avoid the group’s cellar position.
The finalists and third-place team in the tournament will qualify for the Fifa U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany July 13 to August 1.
Limping Girlz face T&T in pride match.
Pride will be at stake when Jamaica's Under-20 female footballers tackle Caribbean neighbours Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) in their final CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Group B encounter today at the Estadio Cemtentos Progresso here. Game time 3:00 pm (4:00 Jamaica time).
Both teams are winless and out of contention for a semi-final spot, and only bragging rights and a useless third spot finish are left for the taking.
Jamaica lost 0-6 and 0-2 to the USA and Mexico in that order, while T&T lost 1-2 and 0-4 to Mexico and the USA, respectively. Based on goal difference, if the game ends in a draw, the Soca Warriors would finish ahead of the Reggae Girlz.
Head coach Vin Blaine said Jamaica have to win as pride is at stake. "We can't go home bottom of the table. We have to get this one for pride and the Jamaican people," said Blaine.
Without a doubt, Blaine will have a difficult job trying to motivate his charges.
"I saw a little dip in going to training this morning (Sunday), but as soon as they got on the field they lifted their spirits," he noted.
"Traditionally when we play against Trinidad, they would lift their games and I know Trinidad will lift theirs. We are both in the same position and want to leave with a win," he added.
Both teams drew 1-1 in the final Caribbean Football Union (CFU) game in Trinidad in November and T&T coach Jamal Shabazz, has vowed to beat Jamaica.
"Whenever we play Jamaica in sports whether it is football, cricket or tennis, it is always going to be competitive because we are neighbours and this is the nature," said Shabazz.
"We want to give the Guatemalan public a chance to see the intense way we play each other and the free style.. it's about who wants it more on the day," he noted.
Blaine, meantime, has made four changes to Jamaica's starting line-up, bringing in Jamilia Campbell-Henny for her first game of the championship. The US-based midfielder will replace Monique Pryce.
Three players which will be playing in the CONCACAF Under-17 qualifiers will also start. Shanise Foster returns to the right back position ahead of Sushana Dobson, the skilful Trudy Carter gets the nod ahead of Canadian-based Cathryn Rogers and Shenika Williams replaces Teashian Thomas up front.
Defender Lia Blake has a grade one groin injury, while striker Semone Honeygan is nursing a thigh injury, but both are expected to play.