U-20 Women's team captain Afiyah Cornwall led her team by example after scoring a whopping four (4) goals as T&T devours St Kitts 6-0 to start off it's CONCACAF U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers on a positive note today at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.
Cornwall started her rout of St Kitts as early as the 3rd minute. Maria-Frances Serrant robbed the opponent's left-back Iyanla Bailey-Williams off the ball and squared it for the lurking Cornwall to hit a one time shot into the far corner of the net for the game opener.
Cornwall was just getting warmed up and added two more items. One in the 24th minute when Sarah De Gannes lifted an accurate pass over the Kittians' defence for Cornwall to latch onto and made no mistake from 30 yards out beating the St Kitts' custodian Quinn Josiah to her left and into the back of her net.
The inform striker's confidence was growing and on the stroke of halftime, Cornwall literally ran through the entire St Kitts defence and shoot one pass the stranded Quinn Josiah, who could only look on in frustration as the ball entered into the net.
With goal number three on the board, the Young Soca Princesses' headed into their locker room with all smiles and a comfortable three goal advantage.
First-half substitute, on for the injured Tori Paul, who had to be taken off because of an ankle injury. Striker Aaliyah Prince of Northeast Texas Community College started off where Cornwall had left off and got things rolling as early as the first minute of the second half. Getting on the end of a right-side cross by Chrissy Mitchell, Prince made no mistake as she hit a one time shot pass Josiah.
Three first half goals and 3 second half goals were destined for T&T. By then T&T were sailing 4-0 but had two more goals left in their chamber.
The first, came from Diego Martin Central FC midfielder Maria-Frances Serrant who compounded to St Kitts' misery in minute 58 when she took advantage of an errant pass by defender Eve Richards. Serrant picked up the loose ball, keep her composure, had to beat the advancing goalkeeper before slotting home item number 4.
St Kitts did not offered much of a contest for T&T apart from one shot on goal by attacker Jahzara Claxton that hit the outside of T&T's goalkeeper Klil Keshwar’s upright in the 50th minute. The Sugar Girls were outmatched in every department. Then cramps started to take its toll on them as several players went down and had to be stretched off the field by teammates and medical staff.
For T&T however, the best was yet to come from Cornwall who showed flashes of brilliance and silky skills even in the dying minutes of the game, there were obviously no fatigue in the number 9 legs. The T&T captain wasn't done with St Kitts just yet and was thirsty for more goals and eventually got what she desired in the 90th minute.
An unselfish pass from Pleasantville Secondary striker Alexcia Ali, who squared it for her captain and, with no better person to give the ball too, Cornwall did not let her teammate down. The T&T captain collected the pass and raffled home a thunderous shot from the top of the penalty box that sizzled pass over the head of substitute goalkeeper Craivecia Sutton for probably the goal of the game.
Mind you, Alexcia Ali could have opted to shoot on goal instead of making the pass to her captain as the attacker is no stranger to scoring goals herself.
The diminutive and talented Ali racked up 35 goals for Penal Secondary in 2017 and repeated her goalscoring form for Pleasantville Secondary during the 2018 SSFL season with another 35 goals and possibly, a national record. With both schools, Ali was instrumental in helping them win the Intercol and Zonal Secondary School Football League (SSFL) titles.
Alexcia Ali attained many awards including; the 2018 and 2019 SSFL female player of the year (MVP). Made the 2018 and 2019 SSFL all star teams respectively and, the top 5 girls of the 2018 and 2019 SSFL season, alongside none other than, Afiyah Cornwall.
Cornwall meanwhile, the real star of the show, had now completed her 4-goal haul and played a pivotal role in guiding her Country to victory and a productive start to the tournament.
The beaver-trick added Cornwall's name into the local archives by surpassing T&T's Laurelle Theodore who once hold the record for her hattrick in a 5-2 win over Honduras in a third-place play off match in the 2014 Under-15 Championship. To take it a bit further, it was Trinidad and Tobago’s largest ever victory in a Concacaf tournament and eclipsed their 5-1 win over Guyana on the 16th of February 2016 in the Olympic qualifying tournament.
Up next for T&T is a date with the Cayman Islands on February 25th and then possibly T&T's strongest opponent to come, Haiti on February 27th.
Full Group-F Results:
T&T 6 (Afiyah Cornwall 3, 24, 45+3, 90+3, Aaliyah Prince 46, Maria-Frances Serrant 58.) v St Kitts 0 - View Full Match / Match Highlights
Haiti 8 (Melchie Dumornay 4, 86-Pen, Dayana Pierre-Louis 8, Valentina Omis 24, 30, Florsie-Love Darlina Joseph 70, 75, Flero Dina Supris 90) v Cayman Islands 0
Trinidad & Tobago: 1 Klil Keshwar; 3 Nathifa Hackshaw (15 Arnelle Douglas 62), 4 Latifha Pascall, 5 Tsai-Anne Fernández, 6 Aaliyah Pascall (Yellow 52), 7 Sarah De Gannes, 12 Cayla Mc Farlane (10 Alexcia Ali 79), 8 Maria-Frances Serrant, 11 Chrissy Mitchell, 9 Afiyah Cornwall (capt), 20 Tori Paul (19 Aaliyah Prince 43).
Unused Subs: 18 Chelsea Ramnauth; 2 Roshun Williams, 16 Sydni Greaves, 13 Megan Rampersad, 14 Moenesa Mejias, 17 Celine Loraine.
Coach: Richard Hood.
St Kitts & Nevis: 1 Quinn Josiah (2 Craivecia Sutton 53); 20 Shitoncia Stapleton, 4 Kaleah Smith, 6 Christi-Anne Mills (capt) (15 Hadassah St Juste 72), 11 Iyanla Bailey-Williams, 7 Zonia Marshall, 16 Jollincia Clarke (13 Jarencia Jeffers 46 - Yellow 75), 8 Kaylee Bennett (Yellow 90), 14 Eve Richards, 10 Jasonna Williams, 9 Jahzara Claxton.
Unused Subs: 3 Glenecia Battice, 5 Geniah Demming, 12 Kaara Williams, 18 Melissa Drew, 19 Malaika Rouse.
Coach: Orrin Huges.
Standings - Group F
P W D L F A GD Pts
Haiti 1 1 0 0 8 0 +8 3
Trinidad & Tobago 1 1 0 0 6 0 +6 3
St Kitts & Nevis 1 0 0 1 0 6 -6 0
Cayman Islands 1 0 0 1 0 8 -8 0
Cornwall’s four leads T&T to opening win in CONCACAF U-20s
Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 20 Women, powered by a four-goal performance by captain Afiyah Cornwall made a perfect start to the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship Group F campaign with a 6-0 shut out of St Kitts/Nevis at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal on Sunday.
Playing in blistering hot conditions following kick off just after midday, T&T didn’t take long before settling and seizing control of the game. Cornwall turned home a low right footed effort into the left corner on three minutes to put Richard Hood’s team in front. Maria Frances Serrant pressed on the right of the box to win possession before playing inside for the skipper to do the rest
It would take another 23 minutes before T&T doubled their advantage with Cornall again, this time collecting a ball played over the top before calmly slotting a low right footer past the goalkeeper. Cornwall would complete her hattrick in added on time, weaving her way past three St Kitts players before directing a right footed shot into the left corner of the net for a T&T 3-0 lead at the break.
Substitute Aaliyah Prince pushed T&T 4-0 ahead with an item early in the first half and Serrant got in on the scoring when she picked up a through ball and rounded the advancing custodian before hitting home on 58 minutes. Cornwall left her best for last. Receiving the ball from Prince before rifling a right footer from the top of the box into the roof of the net. St Kitts managed a couple tries on goal, one which came hit the woodwork in the second half but hardly tested a solid T&T back-line.
Cornwall was delighted with the start made by her side.
“It’s an amazing feeling to come away with a win in our first match. The girls did what the coaches taught us to do and I hope we can continue this form for the remainder of the tournament,” Cornwall told TTFA Media after the win.
“I’m proud of my performance. I’m just happy to have played my part in getting the three points. The last goal was amazing and it couldn’t have come at a better time to cap off the win for us. Like I said, the important thing for us was to get the win and hopefully we can keep on growing as the tournament goes on,” Cornwall stated.
Coach Hood emphasised the importance of starting with a win ahead of the remaining group games against Cayman Islands on Tuesday and Haiti on Thursday.
“I think it was important for us to get off to a good start. The girls started a bit nervously which is expected. However they settled down well and we started the move the ball the way we wanted to, we started to press the way we wanted to. And we scored an early goal which I think we really helped to calm the nerves,” Hood told TTFA Media.
“The girls had in mind the last time St Kitts beat our senior team and they wanted to have that bit of a revenge today so they were motivated to play this game. It was important to keep a clean sheet. We gave up a couple chances but it was good to keep the clean sheet. We don’t want to concede any goals and we work harder on defence than on attack.
“Afiyah is a monster for us right now and she can’t seem to do any wrong. She is leading the line and leading the team well. She is motivating players around her and working hard offensively and defensively. I couldn’t ask more of her today and I’m really proud and happy for her getting the four goals today,” Hood added.
“Our defensive shape can improve. We have some work to do on the back four. We will get better with every game but the most part I was satisfied with the organisation and communication,” he ended.
The win was the first for T&T in any form of competition under President William Wallace and the first at the CONCACAF U-20 Women championship level since a 4-0 win over Cayman Islands on January 12th, 2014.