Wed, Jun

Trinidad and Tobago's Asha James (left) challengers for the ball during an International Friendly against Dominican Republic at the Estadio Panamericano, San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic on Friday, November 26th 2021.

Trinidad and Tobago senior women’s footballers fell to a dramatic 2-1 defeat to hosts Dominican Republic in the first of a two-match series played last night at the Estadio Centroamericano.

With the very last kick of the match, Dominican Republic midfielder Manuela Laredo stole the win with a long-range free kick which saw the ball sail over everyone and bounce past T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, before finding the far corner of the net. The winning goal came three minutes into added-on time.

Until the late drama, the main concern for newly confirmed head coach Kenywne Jones was that his Women Warriors had failed to score more than one goal in his three matches in charge and have also not created many clear chances.

Jones maintained the starting core of his team, but also gave newcomers Asha James and Chelsi Jadoo a start, along with returning Kedie Johnson. It was a first defeat under Jones for the Women Warriors, who also drew last month’s pair of home friendly internationals with visiting Panama.

There were first half chances for both sides, yesterday, although the Dominican Republic came closest to scoring with a goal bound shot on either flank, forcing T&T keeper Forbes into action to keep her team level.

For T&T, yesterday’s best first half chances saw former captain Maylee Attin-Johnson and veteran striker Kennya “Ya Ya” Cordner both shooting tamely and straight at keeper Claudia Torres from inside the penalty area.

T&T opened the second half with captain Karyn Forbes putting a free-kick on goal and forcing keeper Torres to fan away the goal-bound shot.

But it was the home team who took a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute, with the striker Vanessa Kara having only to re-direct a square pass to beat the T&T goalkeeper from a few yards out, after the midfielder Lucia Marte far too easily eluded left-side T&T markers Johnson and Jadoo.

The lead lasted just five minutes. T&T were level at 1-1 via a gentle, but accurate penalty from James, the Tobago-born college student, who is coming off a season where she scored 14 goals for West Texas A&M in the United States and was named on the All-State second team. Former Norway-based striker Cordner won the spot-kick when bundled over by huge central defender Brianne Reid as she ran into the penalty area.

However, when it looked like the match would end tied, the Dominican Republic took it all with the winning late goal.

T&T 22-member squad:

Tenisha Palmer, Naomie Guerra, Dennecia Prince, Kimika Forbes, Kennya Cordner, Collette Morgan, Karyn Forbes, Tsianne Leander, Rhea Belgrave, Jaasiel Forde, Maylee Attin-Johnson, Chelcy Ralph, Akyla Walcott, Raenah Campbell, Liana Hinds, Kedie Johnson, Asha James, Kaydeen Jack, Chelsi Jadoo, Victoria Swift, Lauryn Hutchinson, Chrissy Mitchell.

SOURCE: T&T Express