COACH KENWYNE JONES got more of the desired effort he asked of his players. But it still was not enough.
Trinidad and Tobago’s women’s football team’s qualification campaign for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup ended with their third defeat at the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, last night, in Mexico.
The Women Warriors went down 1-0 to Panama, after giving their best attacking show of the tournament. Jones’ squad still had a few of the recurring defensive lapses, and they went unpunished until approaching half-time when Panama scored the only item of the game, through midfielder Marta Cox (43’), the Central American’s most potent player.
T&T had 50 per cent first-half possession, but even so, failed to create enough goal-scoring opportunities, against a Panama team which only needed to draw the match.
T&T had the first salvo in the 17th minute, with Karyn Forbes free-kick appeared set to enter the top corner until goalkeeper Yenith Bailey seemed to pluck the ball out of the net.
Another Forbes run up the right flank also resulted in a low cross towards the first post, but under pressure and at a tight angle, Maria-Frances Serrant did not know what to do with the ball and turned it outside. Serrant was also the focus of a couple of attacks as the Women Warriors tried to penetrate up the right flank, but Serrant either failed to pick out a teammate or delayed too long and lost the initiative.
Panama looked to take control early in the second half, prompting changes from Jones. Asha James and Jolie St Louis coming in to refresh the midfield. Despite the changes, however, it all looked very predictable and regimented.
The players tried to play the Kenwyne Jones way, by stroking the ball around, but with few individual moments of inspiration except those coming from Liana Hinds, Rhea Belgrave when pushing into the midfield, and the hard working Brianna Austin up front.
The T&T defence, comprising the back four and goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, again held their own. But up front, Jones’ charges failed to score a single goal in the tournament. Truth be told, at this stage, Trinidad and Tobago were simply not good enough and elimination at CONCACAF probably only served to avoid likely further embarrassment for the Women Warriors were they to face African, European and even South American teams in the final playoff tournament, which Panama will now contest in New Zealand next February.
A good few minutes before it ended, Jones had already seen the writing on the wall and he decided to give a couple of players their first run in the tournament.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-3-3): 1.Kimika Forbes (GK), 3.Shadi Cecily Stoute, 4.Rhea Belgrave, 8.Victoria Swift, 2.Chelsi Jadoo (23.Sarah De Gannes 88); 14.Karyn Forbes (captain), 7.Liana Hinds, 13.Amaya Ellis (10.Asha James 64); 9.Brianna Austin (16.Cayla Mc Farlane 88), 18.Maria-Frances Serrant (17.Jolie St Louis 77), 11.Raenah Campbell (15.Tori Paul 72).
Unused substitutes: 21.Tenesha Palmer (GK), 22.K’lil Keshwar (GK), 5.Shaunalee Govia, 12.Chelcy Ralph, 19.Maya Matouk, 20.Lauryn Hutchinson.
Coach: Kenwyne Jones
Panama (3-4-3): 12.Yenith Bailey (GK); 5.Yomira Pinzón, 14.Yerenis De León, 13.Wendy Natis; 3.Carina Baltrip (23.Rosaria Vargas 73), 6.Deysire Salazar, 8.Laura Batista (captain) (19.Lineth Cedeño 35), 2.Hilary Jaén; 10.Marta Cox (vice-captain), 9.Karla Riley (17.Gabriela Villagrand 73), 20.Schiandra Gonzales.
Unused substitutes: 1.Sasha Fabrega (GK), 22.Nadia Ducreux (GK), 7.Kenia Rangel, 11.Shayari Camarena, 15.Maria Guevara, 16.Rebeca Espinosa, 18.Erika Hernandez, 21.Whitney De Obaldia.
Coach: Ignacio Quintana
Referee: Astrid Gramajo (Guatemala)
VAR: Carol Anne Chenard (Canada)
SOURCE: T&T Express