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Terminix La Horquetta Rangers Laurelle Theodore, left, and Trincity Nationals FC Natisha John vie for the ball during the TTWoLF Ascension Tournament match, at the La Horquetta Recreation Ground, La Horquetta, on Sunday January 26th 2022. - AYANNA KINSALE

TERMINIX La Horquetta Rangers kicked off the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s League Football (TTWOLF) Ascension Tournament in dramatic fashion as they netted a late winner to overcome Trincity Nationals 2-1 at Phase 2 La Horquetta Recreation Ground on Sunday.

Both teams battled on a soggy pitch due to the torrential rain that plagued the evening’s proceedings. However, Rangers began on the front foot and enjoyed the majority of possession as well as chances created. Their early dominance was rewarded in the 12th minute when Alexcia Ali pounced on a ball parried by goalkeeper Nicole Mitchell-Thomas, and the Rangers number 12 calmly tapped home from six yards out.

After the half-time break, the pendulum swung in Trincity’s favour as they conducted most of the play.

Felicia King brought the Nationals back on level terms with a well-struck free-kick from the top of the penalty area in the 60th minute.

But with the help of the loud and zesty support of the home crowd, Rangers found the winning goal nine minutes from the final whistle through Sharain Cummings’ clinical volley from a cross delivered from the right flank. The second-half substitute escaped her marker to find open space near the penalty mark and smartly rifled the ball into the back of the net.

The hosts strongly saw the game out and ensured that they began their season with all three points. In his post-match interview with Newsday, Rangers coach Dale Quamina expressed his delight with his team’s opening day victory but admitted that there is still work to be done.

He said, “We can always improve. Today, the conditions were not the best for both teams and I think we can both be better.

“However, the game was entertaining for the crowd; it was quite a big crowd for a women’s game, which was good to see… and things can only progress from here.”

When asked about his team’s dip in quality in the second half, Quamina claimed, “The ground in the first half was a bit lighter (than in the second half) and the girls had to adapt to the difficult conditions after the break. But they showed their grit and determination to drag through and get over the line.”

Quamina then praised the scorer of his team’s first goal, Alexcia Ali, but believes that there is more that needs to be added to her game. “I think she needs to work on her fitness”, he said, “fitness in the women’s game is very crucial.”

“Our ladies in this part of the world struggle with fitness and that is one of the main things that we are trying to work on. We are also developing them to play the La Horquetta way and we are looking forward to how things progress as we go along.”

The Rangers coach also expressed that his team doesn’t feel any pressure to win as tournament hosts but racking up victories will be difficult as there are many quality teams in the competition that wants to win as much as they do.

The game between Defence Force and Police, initially carded to be the tournament’s opening fixture, was abandoned after half an hour due to lightning and heavy rainfall. It was then regarded as an exhibition match. The official Battle of the Forces will be replayed at a later date to be determined. 

SOURCE: T&T Newsday