Trinidad & Tobago’s Under 20 women footballers came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with their Venezuelan Under 20 counterparts in a friendly encounter at the Brigido Iriates National Stadium in Caracas on Wednesday evening.
Both teams played evenly for the first half hour before Venezuela who broke the deadlock scored through Aixa Farias on 33 minutes.
T&T came back firing after the half time interval as head coach Jamaal Shabazz switching to two strikers, ending up the speedy Kennya Cordner to partner Kermica Alexander who played the lone striker in the first half.
Employing high pressure tactics T&T pinned the back into their own half and Cordner wasted a golden opportunity after being put through by Aveann Douglas shot wide with only goalkeeper Candai to beat in the 49th minute.
Cordner then missed a sitter from inside the six yard box two minutes later.
But Cordner made up for the miss in the in the 58th minute, running on to a bouncing through pass from Dernelle Mascall, to slam a left footed volley home to even the scores at 1-1.
T&T skipper Aveann Douglas had another chance 5 minutes later but saw her well placed shot saved by the Venezuelan keeper.
Both teams are preparing for FIFA Under 20 World Cup Qualifiers with Venezuela going to Chile for the South American Qualifiers from January 4th to 20th and T&T jetting off to Mexico for CONCACAF Final Leg Qualifiers FINAL LEG QUALIFERS From January 18-27.27th .
Prior to the match against the Venezuelans, T&T beat a University team 5-1 in a warm up encounter on Tuesday Afternoon with goals from Cordner(2), Mascall, Kermica Alexander and Jerneil Nivet.
Ace defender Ayana Russell and star striker Maylee Attin Johnson are yet to see action on the trip due to injuries. Both players are expected to play in the return match against Venezuela on Friday.
Meanwhile the two American born players of Trinidad & Tobago parentage Marissa and Maria Mohammed joined the T&T squad on Wednesday night from Virginia.
They are also expected to play against Venezuela on Friday.
Commenting on the result of the game against Venezuela,Shabazz said : "We had a decent game but still a lot of simple errors which we must work to improve if we want to be among the best in CONCACAF. "This trip and these matches are teaching us so much about our team and players we can now say that are benefiting from a women’s program.
"The girls played with grit and determination and although we did not have a great game, at least our aggression stepped up a notch and this is the warrior spirit we are preaching to them. The talent is there but the level of intensity to play at the next level is what games like this will help us to develop.”