Mexico will meet Costa Rica in the semi-finals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship after defeating Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Princesses 3-0 in the Group B decider on Tuesday at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The Mexicans made it five wins in five all-time encounters against T&T in the competition, concluding first-round play with maximum points from three games. Runners-up T&T, who lost for the first time in three outings, will meet the Group A winners United States in the second game of tomorrow’s knockout stage doubleheader.
T&T need a win either tomorrow or in Sunday’s third place playoff (depending on the result of tomorrow’s semi final clash) to qualify for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
On Tuesday, the opening half hour was played at a fairly even pace with little difference between the sides evident.
Mexico finally broke the stalemate, however, in the 33rd minute. Paloma Zermeño sent a speculative left-footed effort from 28-yards out towards the T&Tgoal that slipped underneath goalkeeper Tenesha Palmer and rolled across the line
The Mexicans kept their foot on the gas, looking to net a second goal before the break.
Palmer made amends for her earlier misstep in the 42nd minute by leaping magnificently to save a looping header from the edge of the 18-yard box by Zermeño.
In the second minute of first-half injury time, T&T went for an equalizer, but Shanisa Camejo’s long-range attempt was seized confidently by goalkeeper by Cecilia Santiago.
Three minutes following the break, Mexico would go ahead, 2-0. Zermeño popped a corner kick into the air and Paulina Solis was there to head it home.
Seven minutes later, a right-sided cross by T&T’s Donika Murray found Brianna Ryce at the top of the box. The DePaul University midfielder immediately took a shot that Santiago bobbled, but gathered in before the arrival of a lurking Anique Walker.
Solis completed her brace with 13 minutes left in normal time, converting on a penalty kick after Fabiola Ibarra was fouled in the box