Wed, Oct

Trinidad and Tobago players pose before kickoff against the Cayman Islands in Concacaf U-20 Championship qualifying action in Curaçao on 15 April 2023. (via TTFA Media)

Talia Martin of Speyside High School scored a goal in each half, and USA-based Nikita Jackson of Keller High School in Texas, the other, as T&T Under-20 Women Warriors blanked the Cayman Islands 3-0 in their Group D opener of the Concacaf Women’s Under 20 qualifiers at Rignaal Jean Francisca Stadium, Willemstad, Curacao on Saturday.

Martin opened the scoring for T&T in the 22nd minute but the Dernelle Mascall-coached Under-20 Women Warriors could not make their dominance count and had to settle for the slim lead at the interval.

Jackson, one of five overseas-based players in the T&T squad doubled the advantage in the 66th minute, and two minutes later Martin banged in her second of the match to extend the lead to 3-0, which in the end proved sufficient for the three points.

Speaking after the match, Mascall said she was proud and happy about the effort from the team.

She said, "This being the first game at a Concacaf tournament for most of the girls I must commend their effort. They have been working diligently day-in and day-out in the build-up to this and today (yesterday), we stuck to the plan, and it was a well-deserved victory.

In terms of the group, Mascall stated, "This win puts the team in a very good place heading into our second match (Monday against Guadeloupe), and even more importantly the victory gives the girls some much-needed confidence and again I'm really proud of their effort."

The win for the Dernelle Mascall-coached young Women Warriors ended a four-match losing streak at the Concacaf Under-20 level for the women, dating back to the 2020 campaign when the Richard Hood-coached team was ousted 4-0 by Mexico in the quarterfinals after beating St Kitts and Nevis 7-0, and the Cayman Islands 2-0, and then losing 7-0 to Haiti in their round-robin group.

Back then, in the main draw round-of-16, T&T which had a best-ever finish of fourth in 2014 via a 7-3 loss in extra-time to Costa Rica in the third-place playoff after a 3-3 draw, and being ahead 3-1 in regulation-time, battled past Puerto Rico 5-4 on penalty-kicks following a 3-3 draw.

The last qualifying campaign in 2022 under the supervision of coach Jason Spence was a disastrous one for the Under-20 Women Warriors as they suffered defeats against Canada (5-0), St Kitts and Nevis (7-2), and El Salvador (3-0) to finish bottom of the round-robin pool, and failed to advance.

In the second match in Group D last night, Puerto Rico registered a 4-0 win over Guadeloupe, while the next round of matches on Monday will see T&T face Guadeloupe at the same venue from 3 pm before closing out pool play against Puerto Rico on Wednesday, April 19 from 6 pm.

In other matches Saturday, Dominican Republic crushed Dominica 14-0; Costa Rica drilled Belize 13-0, and Guyana trashed Suriname 6-0.

Following round-robin play involving 27 teams, the six group winners will advance to the 2023 Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship, joining the region’s top two ranked nations, the United States and Mexico.

The 2023 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship is scheduled to take place from May 24 to June 3 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The eight-team competition will qualify its top three finishers (finalists and third-place match winner) for next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Smith, Rose net hat-tricks in Canada's 15-0 win

Olivia Smith and Nyah Rose scored hat-tricks as Canada started Group A of the Qualifiersg in style with a 15-0 win over Martinique at the Estadio Panamericano in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic on Friday.

Smith (50th, 65th, 85th) and Rose (63rd, 68th, 76th) were well supported by Annabelle Chukwu who bagged a brace (45th, 54th), while Thaea Mouratidis (4th’), Florianne Jourde (6th), Ella Ottey (11th), Jeneva Hernandez (22nd), Zoe Markesini (35th’), Rosa Maalouf (37th) and Jaime Perrault (40th), all added their names to the scoresheet.

Also in Group A which comprises five teams, El Salvador emerged as 2-1 winners versus Cuba to trail Canada on goal difference going into today's second round of matches. Dariella Lopez opened the scoring for El Salvador in the fifth minute, but they would have to wait until the 85th’ to get their second of the day, with Amy Angel converting a penalty, before Cuba pulled a goal back in the 88th through Sheila Vega, but El Salvador hung on for the 2-1 victory.

In Group B at the Rignaal Jean Francisca Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao, Panama defeated Curacao 5-1 with the Canaleras getting two goals each from braces from Daniela Hincapie (13th, 40th) and Deysire Salazar (34th, 77th), plus a goal from Marisa Gross (47th), while Jeleaugh Rosa (59th) accounted for the lone Curacao score.

Action also kicked off in Group E at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua with Honduras hammering Bermuda 6-1 led by two goals from Susan Henriquez in the eighth and 34th minutes.

The quartet of Emory Sanchez (48th), Anyeli Rodriguez (52nd), Betsy Bu (56th), and Ariana Guevara (91st) also scored for Honduras while Sanaa Simmons (89th) tallied the goal for Bermuda.

The night ended with Jamaica winning 6-0 versus Anguilla. Davia Richards (1st), Dannique Wilson (15th), Destiny Powell (27th), Natoya Atkinson (29th), and Tiny Seaton (43rd) gave the Reggae Girls a 5-0 halftime lead before they tacked on another in the second half for the 6-0 final.

All teams in Group A, Group B, and Group E will all be back in action on Sunday.

At the Estadio Panamericano, Martinique will look for their first win against Friday winners El Salvador, while Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will make their tournament debut against Canada.

Panama will be out for their second win in Group B at the Rignaal Jean Francisca Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao, against a Bahamas side playing in their first match of qualification.

The day in Group E at the Estadio Nacional in Managua sees Anguilla taking on a Honduran side looking for their second win, while Bermuda will be on the hunt for their first three points against Jamaica.


T&T off to winning start at Concacaf U-20 Women's Qualifiers.
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday).

A BRACE from Talia Martin helped the Trinidad and Tobago women’s Under-20 football team make a winning start in the Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Qualification tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Cayman Islands in Group D at the Rignaal Jean Francisca Stadium, Willemstad, Curacao on Saturday.

Martin opened the scoring for T&T in the 22nd minute. She collected a pass on the left side, dribbled past a defender and beat the Cayman Islands goalkeeper on the near post from a tight angle.

T&T goal-keeper Sophia Keel was called into action in first-half stoppage time, pulling off a solid save to deny Cayman Islands scoring from a header. T&T held onto the 1-0 lead until half-time.

T&T put the match out of reach with two quick goals midway through the second half.

Nikita Jackson got her name on the score sheet after finding the back of the net in the 66th minute. After some neat footwork from Martin inside the box she took a shot from the right side and Jackson found herself in the perfect position to convert from two yards out at the far post.

Two minutes later Martin completed her brace with a goal in the 68th minute. Again she proved a handful for the Cayman Islands’ defence with her skill in the box, before firing a shot in the back of the net from another tight angle.

T&T coach Dernelle Mascall was satisfied with her team’s showing. “This being the first game at a Concacaf tournament for most of the girls I must commend their effort. They have been working diligently day in, day out and we stuck to the plan and it was a well-deserved victory. I could ask for more from the ladies.”

Mascall said the win will give her players confidence.

T&T will play Guadeloupe in their next match on Monday at Rignaal Jean Francisca Stadium at 3 pm.

The top team in each of the six groups will advance to the 2023 Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championships in the Dominican Republic kicking off on May 24.

The top three teams will qualify for the 2024 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.


Trinidad and Tobago (4-3-3): 21.Sophia Keel (GK); 2.Jeniecia Benjamin (captain), 17.Anastasia O’Brien, 3.Cicely-Anne Spencer-Wickham, 5.Kaitlyn Darwent; 8.Jessica Harragin, 6.Marley Walker, 10.Orielle Martin; 7.Talia Martin, 9.J’Eleisha Alexander, 15.Rasheda Archer.

Substitutes: 1.Mikaela Yearwood (GK), 20.Sadiel Antoine (GK), 4.Kanika Rodriguez, 11.Mariah Williams, 12.Nikita Jackson, 13.Athena Jackson, 14.Cherina Steele, 16.Carissa Cowan, 18.Shakira Charles, 19.Jada Graham.

Coach: Dernelle Mascall

Cayman Islands: 12.Safina Reid (GK), 2.Ashley Phinn-Bodden, 4.Isabella Romero, 3.Malia Hydes, 16.Nalani Swan, 5.Kiara Berry, 6.Siena Kelly, 8.Harper Nelson, 10.Molly Kehoe (captain), 17.Liana Williams, 9.Jehnique Russell.

Substitutes: 1.Naomi Wilson (GK), 21.Nailea Lebron, 7.Rio Windsor, 11.Amoya Burton, 13.Ciara Hernandez, 14.Estella Ridley, 15.Samira Mellaneo, 18.Taegen Williams, 19.Milanna Lamontagne, 20.Gileen MacDonald

Coach: Claudio Garcia

Referee: Amairany Garcia (Mexico)