TWO DAYS after returning from a training camp in Houston, Texas, USA, Trinidad and Tobago’s senior women’s national team will begin World Cup qualifying when they take on St Kitts-Nevis in their first match of the inaugural Women’s Caribbean Cup.
The 2014 Women’s Caribbean Cup qualifies the top four Caribbean teams for the eight-team CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers to be held in the US in October. There, the top three automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, while the fourth team earns a playoff phase against the third-placed South American team.
The T&T senior women’s team return on Monday from Houston where they were in a training camp under newly-installed national coach American Randy Waldrum. They open the tournament on Wednesday against St Kitts-Nevis in the second match at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, while earlier Antigua & Barbuda vs Martinique in other Group B action.
Meanwhile, Group B contains Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Bermuda and begin a day earlier. Jamaica face Puerto Rico from 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, while just over two hours later Haiti meet Bermuda. Admission for each match day is $20 while the final, a double header which includes the third place playoff, will be $50.
The top two teams in each group of the Women’s Caribbean Cup will qualify for the CONCACAF round which will be held in the US from October 16 to 26. The US and Mexico received byes to the tournament, where they will be joined by four teams from the Caribbean zone and two from Central America.
Both finalists and the third-placed team will automatically qualify to the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The fourth-placed team will meet the third-placed team from CONMEBOL for an additional World Cup berth. Waldrum recently spoke to FIFA.com where he said qualifying for Canada 2015 is an attainable goal, one that would provide impetus to women’s football across the region. “We have a good group,” Waldrum said of his T&T squad. “We will try and get as organised as possible in this two-week period, and hopefully qualify. Then we would have six weeks to prepare for the CONCACAF tournament.
“It is as good a chance as there has ever been for a Caribbean nation to get in” Waldrum said. “If we qualify (for Canada 2015) it would be a first for the Caribbean. It would be a good boost for women’s football in Trinidad and maybe for the region itself. I’m hopeful good things can happen, but I’m not taking anything for granted by any means.”
CFU WOMEN’S CARIBBEAN CUP
(FINAL ROUND FIXTURES)
5:00 P.M. - Jamaica v Puerto Rico, Ato Boldon Stadium
7:15 P.M. - Haiti v Bermuda, Ato Boldon Stadium
5:00 P.M. - Antigua & Barbuda v Martinique, Hasely Crawford Stadium
7:15 P.M. - Trinidad & Tobago v St. Kitts-Nevis, Hasely Crawford Stadium
5:00 P.M. - Bermuda v Jamaica, Ato Boldon Stadium
7:15 P.M. -Puerto Rico v Haiti, Ato Boldon Stadium
5:00 P.M. - St. Kitts-Nevis v Martinique, Hasely Crawford Stadium
7:15 P.M. - Trinidad & Tobago v Antigua & Barbuda, Hasely Crawford Stadium
\\ (Saturday, August 23)
5:00 (P.M.) - Bermuda v Puerto Rico, Ato Boldon Stadium 7:15 (P.M.) - Haiti v Jamaica, Ato Boldon Stadium
\\ (Sunday, August 24)
4:00 P.M. - Antigua & Barbuda v St. Kitts-Nevis, Hasely Crawford Stadium
6:15 P.M. - Trinidad & Tobago v Martinique, Hasely Crawford Stadium
\\ (Tuesday, August 26)
5:00 P.M. - (3rd Place) Runner-up Group A v Runner -up Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium
7:15 P.M. - (Final) Winner Group A v Winner Group B, Hasely Crawford Stadium