T&T's beach soccer women ended their participation at the ANOC World Beach Games Qualifier El Salvador on a high with a 4-1 come-from-behind whipping of the Bahamas at the Costa del Sol National Stadium on Saturday.
Janeka Edey fired the Bahamians ahead, but T&T responded with a double from Adanya Phillip and one each from Daniella Findley and Alexcia Ali to close out their tournament on a high.
The win followed a 5-2 loss to host El Salvador in their opener on Thursday and a 7-2 defeat at the hands of USA on Friday.
The USA got off to a rapid start with a brace from Kilee Quigley followed by goals from Lauren Leslie and Hannah Adler to put them ahead 4-0.
In the second half, Vanessa Lynn scored the fifth goal for the Americans, but Ketara Munreo got one back for T&T to make it 5-1. Ali Hall extended the lead to 6-1.
In the final period, the USA focused on maintaining possession and keeping the opponent away from their goal, and with six minutes to play, Hannah Adler scored the seventh goal, but Shaunalee Govia reduced the deficit by making it 7-2.
Also on Friday, El Salvador whipped the Bahamas 5-1 to improve to a 2-0 record as well ahead of their meeting with the USA for the top spot last night with both teams having secured the two tickets from the North- and Central America and the Caribbean to the World Beach Games Bali, Indonesia in August.
The T&T men ended in the fourth spot after losing their third-place playoff to Costa Rica 0-4 with Jeaustin Medina scoring twice, and Greivin Pacheco, and Christian Prado, the other scorers.
In the semifinals on Friday night and with a spot in Bali at stake, USA blanked T&T 5-0 with goals from Christopher Albiston and Cody Valcarcel scoring early on to put pressure on the Caribbean nation.
Trinidad and Tobago made attempts to score but struggled to create clear chances against the American goalkeeper, Christopher Toth, who only had to make a couple of interventions.
In the second period, the USA maintained possession of the ball for most of the time, creating more opportunities to score, but only managing to convert one more goal, scored by Gabriel Silveira to make it 3-0.
The fourth goal for the North American team came early in the third period, scored by Conner Rezende, and Álvaro Franco completed the 5-0 victory with the fifth goal.
The semifinal between the host team and Costa Rica was a match of high intensity and great emotion from start to finish with EL Salvador securing a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win after an enthralling 5-5 draw.
In the penalties shoot-out, Frank Velásquez, Óscar Cruz, Darwin Ramírez and Melvin Quinteros scored for El Salvador, while Christian Prado and Ratchith Gómez were the only ones able to convert their shots for Costa Rica, as captain Greivin Pacheco and Jonaiker Gamboa missed their turn.
The Bahamas defeated Belize 7-3 in the first game of Friday’s session to set up a meeting with Guatemala for the fifth spot which the latter won, 2-1.
T&T beach soccer men victorious, women beaten.
By Hakeem King (T&T Express).
Trinidad and Tobago’s men defeated Bahamas and are through to the semi-final round of the ANOC World Beach Soccer Games Qualifiers taking place in El Salvador. However, the women’s team lost to hosts El Salvador on opening night, Thursday.
The Estádio Nacional Costa del Sol was the stage of an exciting first day of competition.
Costa Rica, T&T and the USA men all emerged victorious and booked a place in the semi-finals.
Costa Rica defeated Guatemala 5-4 while the USA humbled Belize 8-2. Meanwhile, T&T’s “Sand Warriors” won a nailbiter 3-2 over Bahamas to advance to the semis.
Costa Rica were up against El Salvador in last night’s semi-final round while T&T were taking on a USA team they have never beaten.
The two semi-final winners qualify for the next ANOC World Beach Games 2023 to be held in Bali, Indonesia, from August 5-12.
On Thursday, the T&T men came from behind to beat the Bahamas, who scored first through Wood Julmis in the eighth minute. But T&T restored parity before half-time thanks to Anderson Peters before Hakeem King put T&T ahead with a superbly executed chip in the seventh minute of the second period, as the game remained open for the final stretch.
Goalkeeper Jabari Grays then scored T&T’s third goal, his long punt bouncing on the sand and deceiving Bahamian goalie Michael Buttler to provide T&T a 3-1 cushion with eight minutes left.
Both teams came close to scoring on several occasions and the contest became more frenzied when Gavin Christie reduced the deficit to 3-2.
But T&T men, coached by former player Chad Appoo, held on to their advantage to book their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.
Meanwhile, the round-robin women’s tournament saw the T&T team suffer a 5-2 defeat to El Salvador.
Against the hosts, the T&T women fell behind when Fátima Pérez put El Salvador ahead after just three minutes, before Aliyah Prince and Tsai-anne Fernandez scored to make it 2-1 in T&T’s favour.
In the second period, Marisa Gonzales was brought down in the box and she converted the penalty to level the match at 2-2.
Then El Salvador took firm control. Irma Cordero made it 3-2 for the hosts before Yaquelin Durán consolidated their advantage for 4-2.