Thu, Jan

Woodley's hat-trick sends T&T to quarters.

A hat-trick by pro­lif­ic goal-scor­er Kevon 'Show­time' Wood­ley and dou­ble strikes each from Jesse Bai­ley and Ha­keem King guid­ed T&T's beach soc­cer men to the quar­ter­fi­nal round of the CON­CA­CAF Beach Soc­cer Cham­pi­onship in Puer­to Val­lar­ta, Mex­i­co with a com­pre­hen­sive 7-2 tri­umph over the USVI on Tues­day.

The Beach War­riors need on­ly to beat Pana­ma in their next game to­mor­row to top Group B of the play-off and de­ter­mine whom they will face in the knock-out phase. T&T en­coun­tered ear­ly USVI re­sis­tance but broke free when Wood­ley, a scor­er of two goals in the team's open­ing match against the Turks and Caicos Is­lands the day be­fore, guid­ed Shane Hospedales' left-side cor­ner past goal­keep­er Michael Vollmer in the 2nd minute.

How­ev­er, Ra­keem Joseph equal­ized a minute lat­er from a de­fen­sive blun­der by goal­keep­er Zane Cook­er. The T&T cus­to­di­an, un­der pres­sure from Joseph, fum­bled in the 3rd minute for the lat­ter to fire the ball in­to an emp­ty net. The War­riors, who ham­mered the Turks and Caicos 6-0 on Mon­day, went ahead for a sec­ond time in the game when Bai­ley found him­self at the end of an ac­ro­bat­ic at­tempt from Wood­ley in the cen­tre of the park. And with the goal at his mer­cy, Bai­ley placed his shot wide of a div­ing Vollmer in the 9th minute for a 2-1 ad­van­tage.

But af­ter be­ing ham­mered 8-0 by de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Pana­ma in the first match two days ago, the USVI men did not give up, and Joseph Leto, drove his shot pow­er­ful­ly past Cok­er a few sec­onds lat­er to lev­el the scores at two-apiece.

The War­riors though would not be de­nied the lead for the third time. This time Wood­ley, on an­oth­er telling run at the op­po­si­tion's de­fence was brought down in the area with 2:48 sec­onds on the clock, forc­ing the ref­er­ee to point to the penal­ty spot. King stepped up and placed the ball in­to the top left-hand cor­ner for a 3-2 lead at the end of the first pe­ri­od.

At the re­sump­tion King got his sec­ond item of the game, ben­e­fit­ting from a neat lay-off from Wood­ley in the 17th minute to ex­tend his team's ad­van­tage.

A minute lat­er, T&T in­spi­ra­tional goalscor­er Wood­ley found room in the cen­tre of the park and fired a rasp­ing shot that Vollmer could on­ly par­ry in­to his own nets for a 5-2 lead. Wood­ley then com­plet­ed his hat-trick from the penal­ty spot, plac­ing his shot wide of the out­stretched arms of the USVI goal­keep­er.

In the third pe­ri­od, USVI was re­duced to four when Troy An­drews was giv­en march­ing or­ders for a foul on King. And from the free-kick Bai­ley fired a pow­er­ful grounder past Vollmer to com­plete the rout in the 30th minute.

Al­so yes­ter­day Guade­loupe edged Be­lize 7-6, and in late match­es on Mon­day, USA ham­mered Bonaire 14-1 and Mex­i­co clob­bered Guatemala 4-0.

The quarter-finals will take place on Friday, followed by the semi-finals on Saturday and the final, and third-place match, on Sunday.

The finalists will be the Concacaf representatives at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay.