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Jillienne Aguilera, left, the USA-based Chicago Red Stars and Puerto Rican captain, chases down Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Alexcia Ali, while team-mate Asha James, right, looks on as Puerto Rico and T&T drew 0-0 in a 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup qualifier on Tuesday, October 31st 2023 at the Juan Ramón Loubriel stadium in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Women’s national team head coach Richard Hood is extremely satisfied by the improved showing as Trinidad and Tobago drew their 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup qualifier 0-0 with Puerto Rico on Tuesday night at the Juan Ramón Loubriel stadium in Bayamon.

It was an improved effort on what the Women Warriors showed when suffering a 2-1 home loss to the Puerto Ricans in the first game of the two-match series in Port of Spain on Friday.

“Overall, I told the girls I was very proud of their efforts. Not all the time the football would have been what we wanted throughout the game, but we are improving, we are gradually improving,” Hood announced in a post-match interview.

“We have to remember that these girls are very young in their careers, really. So, I was pretty happy with what we did tonight, and again, incremental improvements,” stated Hood.

“The performance was a good one for the most part. I thought that the girls really worked hard and they tried to do the things that we wanted.” He added: “That’s what I ask of the ladies, that in every game they show incremental improvement and I think we got that tonight.”

Where Hood thought there was most improvement was in the middle of the field and the defending.

Puerto Rico were not allowed to dominate the flanks, since the wide midfielders paid attention to defence; and the addition of Jonelle Warrick-Cato also boosted the centre of the defence.

Puerto Rico were restricted mainly to shots from outside the penalty area. “In the first half, particularly, we had to weather the storm a ‘lil bit. They did that,” Hood noted. “Again, Simone (Eligon) was very good in goal. I thought the back-four was tremendous as well.

“I believe all-around we were better today. I thought the back-four was solid and I thought we were solid in midfield as well,” said Hood who also felt that shifting captain Karyn Forbes from central defence to defensive midfield, also boosted his midfield strength.

“Moving Karyn into the midfield, she did a tremendous job for us, and Zoe (Maxwell) was her normal self in the middle of the field, working hard and a very good, calming presence in the middle as well.

“Up front, we created opportunities. We had more combinations, more passes in the final third,” he said. “Early on as well, I thought we pressed the ball pretty good as well on the defensive part.”

SOURCE: T&T Express