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T&T Under 17 women's team with goalkeeper, Mikaela Yearwood, third from right, and her teammates before their match against the Cayman Islands on Monday which T&T won 4-0.
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T&T Under 17 women's team with goalkeeper, Mikaela Yearwood, third from right, and her teammates before their match against the Cayman Islands on Monday which T&T won 4-0.

T&T Under-17 women’s football team will go into their final Group A match in the Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship Qualifying Tournament at the Stadion Rignaal Jean Francisca in Willemstad, Curacao from 4 pm Wednesday needing nothing less than a win to advance to the next stage.

Going into today’s group decider, both T&T and El Salvador have a maximum of six points each, however, the Central Americans have a superior goal difference of plus-19 to T&T’s plus-nine, meaning the latter must win to top the group.

This after the Rajesh Latchoo-coached T&T, who trashed Curacao 5-0 on Saturday, made it two wins in two matches with a 4-0 win over Cayman Islands on Monday with J’Eleisha Alexander opening the scoring in the 12th minute followed by second-half goals from Nikita Gosine in the 60th, Cherina Steele in the 88th, and Daneelyah Salandy, a minute into time added-on at the end of regulation time.

El Salvador, meanwhile, trashed Curacao 7-0 to follow up on its 12-0 hammering of the Cayman Islands on Saturday last.

Leading the way for the Central Americans on Monday was Jasmine Diaz (45+2’, 77th) with a brace while Genesis Carpio (9th), Giselle Marquez (72nd), Keila Lino (81st), Alyssa Jurado (90+2’) and Janelle Torres (90+5’) added one each.

The second match in the group from 7 pm will see Curacao meet Cayman Islands with both teams seeking their first points and goals in the competition.

Commenting after the match, Latchoo was quick to admit his team did not play its best match to build on their opening day victory in which Alexander scored a beaver trick (4th, 17th, 32nd, 47th) and Gosine (36th), the other.

He said, “We didn’t play to our true potential in the first half, and maybe the heat may have been a factor, but at the end of the day the players have to accept responsibility for playing below their potential.”

“The second half we were able to convert more of the chances created and we are now looking forward to the last game (today) because now we play for points, and not for goals so that we can come out of the group.”

Latchoo also credited the players who came in for their first taste of action for making his team selection much more difficult going ahead saying, “Certain players stepped up in the second half when given the opportunity and this surely adds more depth to the team as we prepare for El Salvador.|

Overall, the T&T coach said he was happy with the exposure being given to the players.

“As the girls continue to play and gain experience in the tournament it will surely work towards their long-term development plan so that they will have a better future.

“As the technical staff, we embrace all learning opportunities for the girls and the chance to work with them so that they can continue to grow.

The winner of the T&T and El Salvador will join the five other qualifying group winners in next year’s Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championship, joining the top two ranked nations, Mexico and the USA, that have been seeded directly into the Championship’s group stage.

Latest Group A Concacaf U-17 Women standings:

Teams*P*W*D*L*F*A*Pts
El Salvador*2*2*0*0*19*0*6
T&T*2*2*0*0*9*0*6
Curacao*2*0*0*2*0*12*0
Cayman Islands*2*0*0*2*0*16*0