“Winning a Cup at home is a big thing for us, and I think going to the Gold Cup with high spirits is a very good thing for us.”
That statement of intent was made on Sunday night by experienced Trinidad and Tobago footballer Tasha St Louis after T&T dismantled Martinique 7-0 to win Group A and storm into this evening’s final opposite Jamaica from 7.15 p.m. at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
That match will follow the third-place playoff between Martinique and Haiti, who finished second to Jamaica in Group A.
St Louis registered a first half hat-trick to ensure T&T would not be stopped by the Martiniquans, and now the hosts’ number 10 wants to ensure they go all the way against the “Reggae Girls”.
She said: “Jamaica has always been our good neighbours when it comes to football. We’re not taking any risks, we want to win this as bad as they want to win it.”
Despite having to undertake a medical after feeling chest pains last week and sitting out their fixture against Antigua and Barbuda, Kennya “YaYa” Cordner said she felt “very well”, having been given the all-clear to return to the field. She showed just how much it meant with her tormenting of Martinique’s backline from her favoured position on the left flank.
“We played a good game, starting on a high note scoring in the first (minute),” Cordner said of the match. “Overall, collectively in the three games, I think we played extremely well, but there are still areas we need to work on and I know that come Tuesday, we’ll beat up Jamaica.”
The match was effectively over inside of ten minutes. Before a minute was on the clock, T&T were ahead, Cordner leaving her marker for dead before slotting home before finishing off a lightning fast move.
Another break in the fifth minute saw St Louis double the advantage, her close range finish followed up four minutes later by another excellent touch in off a right side cross.
T&T toyed with Martinique’s defence, especially Cordner, who was a threat for the entire match. Her over-ambitious overhead kick though, did not come off midway through the first half.
Once again T&T carved open Martinique on the stroke of half-time, and St Louis was there to slot home the fourth.
It took four further minutes in the second half for T&T to make it 5-0, half-time sub Dernell Mascall, who replaced skipper and defender Ayanna Russell, beating everyone but the far post from the left, and Mariah Shade had the simple task of slamming the rebound home in the 49th.
It was 6-0 again through Shade, this time after Cordner left the visitors reeling from some fantastic solo play before laying off the pass for Shade to complete in the 63rd.
Mascall capped off the scoring in the 70th, with the Jamaicans watching in the stands to see what they will have to deal with today.
T&T’s US-born coach Randy Waldrum was happy with his team’s display, but hopes to see some improvement for today’s encounter.
“Jamaica are obviously a very good side,” the coach said after the match. “We watched them play a few times. We went to see them play [on Saturday] night, and you can tell they’ve been together for a while, and I think it could be a great match-up.”
2014 WOMEN’S CARIBBEAN CUP FINAL STANDINGS:
(Group A )
Teams P W D L F A PTS
Jamaica 3 3 0 0 15 2 9
Haiti 3 2 0 1 9 3 6
P/Rico 3 1 0 2 6 9 3
Bermuda 3 0 0 3 3 19 0
Teams P W D L F A PTS
T&T 3 3 0 0 20 0 9
Martinique 3 2 0 1 3 7 6
St Kitts 3 1 0 2 2 12 3
Antigua 3 0 0 3 1 7 0