Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 17 women’s footballers arrived in Guatemala City on Monday and settled ahead of their opening game of the CONCACAF Final round of the World Cup qualifiers against Mexico on Thursday.
The squad traveled after winning their final warm up match on Sunday, defeating the Chicago Fire’s Junior team 4-0. Both teams were deadlocked 0-0 at half time but T&T came out firing in the second half.
Diarra Simmons netted three goals and Khadisha Debesette added the fourth item with a headed goal.
T&T, coached by Even Pellerud, also completed a 3-0 victory over Plantation Eagles FC on Friday and held South Florida United 0-0 last Wednesday.
In their 3-0 win, T&T went ahead in the opening minute through Zoe Swift and doubled that lead into the 25th minute through captain Anique Walker. Khadidra Debesette completed the scoring in the 71st minute.
T&T had arrived in Fort Lauderdale following a two-game series in Panama against that country’s Under 17 team where it defeated the hosts 3-2 and 1-0.
The Holiday Inn Soccer Complex, venue for the team’s training camp, was used by Senior National Men’s teams in 2005 under Leo Beenhakker and previously under Bertille St Clair. The T&T Olympic Men’s team also lost 1-0 to Canada at that venue a few weeks back.
Pellerud said he was satisfied with the team’s progress in Fort Lauderdale adding that the warm up games were against strong opponents despite those not being national teams.
“We’ve had a very good camp in Fort Lauderdale. The weather was ideal for our preparations and the field conditions and general facilities were of a very good standard which is what any national team would need in its preparation for a tournament,” Pellerud told TTFF Media.
T&T played Panama and Canada in its build up to the tournament and Pellerud believes that despite the fact that more international games would have been beneficial, he believes the T&T team is in ready mode.
“Of course you’d like to play as many international teams but we worked with what we had in front of us and our preparation was designed in the best way possible. We have to face the fact that we are grouped with two of the strongest teams in the confederation and we will need to give everything to stand a chance.”
“All our players got some playing time and we are seeing how important these camps in Panama and Fort Lauderdale were. All our performances are not consistently good but a starting eleven for the tournament is coming around and we know that we have to peak against Mexico on Thursday,” added the Norwegian.
US-based player Donika Murray was the final player to join the team on Saturday
T&T will face Mexico on May 3rd in Guatemala City before facing the USA on May 5 and Bahamas on May 7th.