Sunday, December 17, 2017

Costa Rica win or bust

After USA loss, U-20s seek 3rd place W/Cup qualification


Captain’s turn: Trinidad and Tonbago Women’s Under-20 skipper Aniuque Walker, right, turns neatly on United States midfielder Mallory Weber during Friday night’s 6-0 defeat to the Americans in their CONCACAF Women’s Championship semi-final at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, Cayman Islands.

Mark Fraser

 The game of their lives. That is what it will amount to for Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-20 women’s football team as it goes into action against Costa Rica at 5pm today in the third place match at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex knowing that a victory will take them to the 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.

T&T have never found themselves in such a position in the women’s game, participating only in one Women’s World Cup—the Under-17 version hosted in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010. But now they have worked their way into a position where qualification is looming 

Head coach Izler Browne, an outstanding senior team player of the past, wants to see the dream realised.

“This is what we’ve trained hard for, this is what we spend all these hours preparing and working towards,” she told TTFA Media.

“As a player it was always an ambition but now the opportunity is there for these girls and it would be a most fitting achievement… to get to an Under-20 Women’s World Cup. I really want it for these players and for the overall development of the women’s game in the country,” Browne added.

Team captain Anique Walker and her teammates went down 6-0 to the Unites States in Friday’s semi-final and the result was not entirely a surprise as the Americans are the world powerhouses and are pushing towards defending their title.

“But we know which game is of bigger importance for  us and we will go all out to try to bring this one home, said Walker who was a member of the Under -17 team that appeared at the 2010 World Championship.

TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee is simply asking the team to give it their best effort.

“They have done us proud and they are one victory away from a fantastic achievement and a bit of history as we have never qualified for a Women’s World Cup. This is their time to achieve. I simply want them to go out there and play their best game. Give your best on the field of play on Sunday,”  said Tim Kee. 

T&T’s journey so far includes victories over Cuba (3-1), Grenada (9-1), Anguilla (3-0), Dominican Republic (2-1), Honduras (2-0), Cayman Islands (4-0) and a loss to Jamaica 1-0 in the Caribbean final last year, as well as 6-0 and 3-0 defeats in this final round to Mexico and USA respectively.

Costa Rica lost 3-0 to Mexico in Friday’s other semi-final. USA and Mexico will meet in today’s final. Meanwhile, local fans will be able to follow the match live on CTV.