Despite suffering back to back losses to Canada at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Tobago last week, National Under 17 Women’s team coach Even Pellerud is keeping faith in his Trinidad and Tobago team as they continue preparations for the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2012 FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.
T&T lost both games by 3-0 margins to a Canada team that posted a draw and a loss against Japan, a pair of wins against Mexico and a draw against Germany between August last year and the series in Tobago.
Pellerud played a fully home-based team captained by Anique Walker.
“The primary goal was to play a strong, world class opponent and to test ourselves at this stage of our preparations.
We played a very strong team in Canada and while we were defeated and conceded six goals in the two games I was still pleased with the way we played in some parts and how we defended against a team of the quality as Canada,” Pellerud told TTFF Media.
“They (Canada) created very few scoring opportunities and maybe all of the goals were results of errors on our part. Canada had only one corner in the two games and they really couldn’t get behind us too often in the games.
What we have to work on now is to avoid committing too many unforced errors as well as our offensive game. This will be priority for us in the remaining days leading up to the tournament.
“Overall I thought it was a very good experience for this group,” Pellerud added.
Still to join the team are North American-based players Emma Abdul, Diarra Simmons and Liana Hinds who were all members of the T&T team at the 2010 FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup during which T&T scored a 2-1 win over Chile in its opening match. Pellerud also credited Khadidra and Kadisha Debesette, Jonelle Warrick, Victoria Swift and Walker for their performances against Canada.
The team will continue its training sessions in Trinidad before departing for Costa Rica on April 11th for a training camp during which they will play three training matches against club teams prior to another training camp in Fort Lauderdale from April 21st before heading off to Guatemala City.
T&T faces Mexico on May 3 in their opening match before taking on United States on May 5 and Bahamas two days later.
The group winners will face the runners-up from the other group in the semifinals on May 10, with the third-place and championship matches set for May 12. The semifinal winners and the winner of the third-place game will qualify for the U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan September 22-October 13.