This country’s Soca Princesses will be hoping to create a big upset and history at the same time, when they face powerhouse and reigning Under-20 World Cup champions USA in one of two semifinals in the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, George Town, Cayman Islands from 9pm (TT time) tonight.
At stake will be a spot in the Fifa Under-20 World Cup carded for Canada from August 5 to 20 where they will join already qualifiers in host Canada, China PR, South Korea, 2006 champion Korea DPR (Asia); England, Finland, France and two-time champions Germany (UEFA).
In today’s first semifinal from 6 pm, Mexico which defeated the Izler Browne-coached T&T 3-0 in their Group B decider on Tuesday, comes up against Central American rivals, Costa Rica with the winner also securing a spot in Canada ahead of the Concacaf Under-20 Championship final and third place playoff on Sunday.
The two semifinals losers will still have a chance to book a ticket to Canada, as the winner of the third place Concacaf playoff. Still to be determined as well are the qualifiers from South America (two), Oceania’s (one) and Africa (two).
But while captain Anique Walker and her team-mates may be up against the powerhouse in women’s football, Browne said her team will not be fazed by their opponents and they are not counting out the possibility of pulling off what would be the upset of the tournament so far against the three-time Concacaf and Fifa World Cup Under-20 winners.
Speaking on the eve of the match Browne said, “We are not fazed by them but of course we know their quality as well as their history in the game. They are giants in women’s football.”
“But at the same time we’ve had experiences against them and we’ve made some strides. I think out girls have done tremendously well so far, especially in the Mexico game which we lost on three soft goals. I think we showed a lot of maturity and composure which will auger well for us going into these last two games. We were good against the Mexicans and it was a good sight for me as a coach to see how the team handled the match.”
The Soca Princesses, led by two goals from Walker in three matches, have already created history in the tournament by reaching a first ever semifinal after blanking Honduras 2-0 and host Cayman Islands 3-0 before going under to Mexico, 3-0 on Tuesday night for second spot in Group B.
However, the Americans led in attack by Lindsey Horan and Mc Kenzie Meehan with four goals each, and three from Savannah Jordan have a 100 per cent winning record, after convincing wins over Costa Rica 6-0, Jamaica 3-0 and Guatemala 10-0 in the group stage.
But despite their opponents impressive form and record, having only loss twice in 28 Concacaf Under-20 matches, Browne said her players were motivated by the fact that a win will secure a spot in the World Cup.