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Pro Series players celebrate with the championship trophy and winners' medal after defeating MIC Matura ReUnited in the final of the Trinidad leg of the Republic Cup girls' under-20 tournament on Saturday, June 8th 2024. PHOTO BY: 12 Media Productions

Pro Series copped the Trinidad leg of the Republic Cup National Youth Football League girls' under-20 title when they got an exciting 6-5 penalty shootout win against MIC Matura ReUnited at the Republic Bank Sport Club in Barataria on June 8.

It was a tense affair between the two teams, as Pro Series saw a 2-1 halftime lead overturned in the dying moments of the game before they struck a late goal themselves to salvage a 3-3 tie. The Pro Series girls then held their nerves to win the thrilling 11-goal shootout.

MIC Matura got the ball rolling early in the contest, and they took the lead in only the second minute through Tyeisha Griffith. The prolific Hackeemar Goodridge then equalised in the 23rd minute for Pro Series, before Daneelyah Salandy gave them a 2-1 lead in the 37th minute.

Pro Series maintained their slender one-goal advantage for most of the second half, but MIC Matura threatened to take the game away with a pair of quick strikes near the end of the match. Attacking midfielder Luann Craig made it 2-2 in the 82nd minute, and Orielle Martin then made it 3-2 for the MIC Matura squad with her 84th-minute goal.

Martin, a standout player in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), was among a host of teenage players who featured for the T&T women's football team in the Caribbean Queen's friendly tournament in Curacao earlier this month. Martin looked to have assured MIC Matura of the crown with her go-ahead goal, but Scarlette Cole had the last say when she scored in the 86th minute to bring Pro Series back on level terms with just four minutes of regulation time left.

With a $2,000 first-place prize on the line, Pro Series did the business from the spot to get the 6-5 win and seal the Trinidad leg of the under-20 tourney.

From 2 pm on June 15, Pro Series will put their skills to the test once more when they battle Tobago champions Tobago Chicas in the national final in Barataria.

SOURCE: T&T Newsday