Fri, Sep

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender J’elecia Alexander (left) tries to escape from two Suriname opponents during CFU Challenge Series action at Couva on 27 October 2019. (Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

Trinidad and To­ba­go and Cu­ba will meet for the Caribbean Foot­ball Union Girls’ Un­der-14 Chal­lenge Se­ries ti­tle at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um, Cou­va, from 7 pm this evening af­ter both teams won for a sec­ond time in as many match­es at the same venue on Sun­day.

Cu­ba, com­ing off a 7-0 tri­umph over Suri­name on Fri­day, record­ed a sim­i­lar 7-0 thump­ing of Grena­da in Sun­day’s open­er, led by two goals each from Ainady Mon­tal­vo Batista (11th, 23rd) and Dalia Ledes­ma Baez (13th, 26th), while cap­tain Yeseal Castil­lo Napotes (39th), Sheila Ve­ga Her­nan­dez (54th) and Aman­da Ros­a­bal Ros­ales (62nd) added one each.

T&T, who ham­mered Gren­da 10-0 in their open­er, al­so dom­i­nat­ed their sec­ond match and came away 3-0 vic­tors over Suri­name.

Strik­er Bre­ana Smith, who scored five goals in the open­ing win as a sub­sti­tute, opened scor­ing in the 21st minute when she eas­i­ly fired past goal­keep­er Mea­ga Bol­man on a break­away af­ter Suri­name de­fend­er Tamar Soes­man failed to deal with a long clear­ance from the T&T half of the field.

Talia Mar­tin dou­bled T&T’s ad­van­tage in the 46th minute when she slot­ted home from close range fol­low­ing a flight­ed free-kick in­to the 18-yard box by Twin­kle Thomas be­fore Gamie Wal­dron com­plet­ed the scor­ing in the 49th minute by blast­ing in a penal­ty-kick off the un­der­side of the cross-bar af­ter Mar­tin was tripped in the area by Soes­man.

With the Cubans en­joy­ing a bet­ter goal-dif­fer­ence of plus-14 to T&T’s plus-13, the Mar­lon Charles-coached lo­cals will need a vic­to­ry to top the ta­ble.

In the open­er from 5 pm to­day, Grena­da and Suri­name will try for their first points of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Charles, how­ev­er, has praised the way the young ladies have been able to adapt in this tour­na­ment.

“Suri­name played a very com­pact and tight game so they closed the space up. Our play­ers need­ed now to try to learn how to break down these teams, so it’s all in the ex­pe­ri­ence and the process be­cause some teams will play open, some teams will play closed, how do I deal with that and as I said this is where the de­ci­sion mak­ing comes,” Charles said af­ter Sun­day’s sec­ond win.

“I think they adapt­ed very well. It took a while for them to un­der­stand be­cause we are not telling them, they need to do that for them­selves be­cause this is how you learn.”

With two wins out of two match­es, Charles is see­ing the progress he wants for the team.

“Our ob­jec­tives are be­ing met. As I said, the fo­cus for us is tech­nique and de­ci­sion mak­ing and to watch these play­ers try to play in the way we want to play, in our style, and dif­fer­ent prin­ci­ples of at­tack and de­fence. Every play­er is try­ing to do their job, not just as an in­di­vid­ual but as a group and as a team, so I’m re­al­ly hap­py that these girls are re­al­ly try­ing to do the things that we want them to do.”

Charles says he is ex­pect­ing an ex­cit­ing match against Cu­ba be­cause of the sim­i­lar style of both teams.

“They are a tech­ni­cal team too just the same like us try­ing to put down the ball and play so it will be very in­ter­est­ing. I think it will be a very good game for this Un­der-14 lev­el,” he said.

Sun­day scores:

CU­BA 7 (Ainady Mon­tal­vo Batista 11’, 23’, Dalia Ledes­ma Baez 13’, 26’, Yeseal Castil­lo Napotes 39’, Sheila Ve­ga Her­nan­dez 54’, Aman­da Ros­a­bal Ros­ales 62’) v GRENA­DA 0

T&T 3 (Bre­ana Smith 21’, Talia Mar­tin 46’, Gamie Wal­dron 49’ pen) v SURI­NAME 0

Cur­rent stand­ings

Teams   P   W   D   L   F   A   Pts
Cu­ba   2   2   0   0   14   0   6
T&T   2   2   0   0   13   0   6
Suri­name   2   0   0   2   0   10   0
Grena­da   2   0   0   2   0   17   0