Soca Princesses in CFU final
The Caribbean’s top two, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, will contest today’s final of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Under-20 Championship from six p.m. at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, in Jamaica.
Late on Friday, T&T edged Dominican Republic 2-1 in the first semi-final, while hosts Jamaica whipped Cuba 5-1.
Victory ensured both finalists automatic qualification for the CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championships, from January 9-19, 2014 in the Cayman Islands. Friday’s beaten semi-finalists, Dominican Republic and Cuba will battle for the other Caribbean qualifying place when they meet at four p.m. for third spot in today’s opener.
For T&T, Patrice Campbell opened the scoring in the 13th minute. This spurred the Dominican Republic into action, and the team pushed hard against the Soca Princesses and came close to scoring in the 39th. The sustained pressure paid off minutes later, however, when Yaqueisi Nunez Soriano got the ball past Tenesha Palmer and into the T&T goal in the 44th minute.
With the commencement of the second half, the pace and physical intensity of the game increased, as both teams tried to force the winning goal. With time running out and the scores level, a hard foul by Franyeli German earned her an immediate ejection from the field. With ten Dominican Republic players remaining, T&T applied even more pressure and scored through Khadisha Debesette. Dominican Republic never recovered, and at the final whistle, the Soca Princesses celebrated their entry into today’s final.
T&T will face the Jamaican team, who, after a period of intense end-to-end action, dispatched Cuba 5-1 in the second match of the double-header.
Khadija Shaw established the lead with a powerful header in the 18th minute. Ten minutes later, Kayla Gray breached the Cuban goal by beating goalkeeper Monica Padilla at the far post. And though Cuba increased the pace and intensity of the game in search of goals, Oshay Lawes increased the margin with a goal in the 64th minute.
The Cubans finally got the goal they were looking for when the tournament’s leading scorer, Yoanna Calderon Gonzanez capitalised on a goalkeeping error in the 70th minute, and struck home firmly, making the score 3-1.
Not satisfied with a two-goal cushion, Jamaica scored again in the 78th and 92nd minutes, through Gray, who completed a hat-trick.