Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Women topped Group E of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Challenge Series when they recorded their third consecutive win with a 3-1 victory over Guyana at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Sunday evening.
T&T got goals from Shanieka Paul in the 12th, Kayrn Forbes in the 75th and Jonelle Cato in the 88th. Suriname edged Grenada 6-5 in the earlier encounter to finish second in the group with four points ahead of Guyana (2pts) and Grenada (1pt).
T&T took the lead when Paul forced her way into a good shooting position atop the penalty box and hit a well placed shot into the net. T&T were not as dominant in their previous two outings as Guyana were disciplined for most parts and made a committed attempt to stay organized. They would find the equalizer in the 63rd minute through a penalty by Mariam El-Masri after a hand ball offense by T&T.
Guyana would however gift the second goal to the hosts when Canadian-born goalkeeper Aneesa O’Brien dropped a right side cross and Forbes was on spot to slot home for a 2-1 lead.
Cato would then take her time to chest down a loose ball way out on the right before swinging goalwards to see the ball go through O’Brien and into the goal for T&T’s third item.
T&T head coach Jamaal Shabazz later expressed satisfaction with the team’s progress ahead of next month’s CONCACAF Caribbean round of 2019 World Cup qualifiers.
“After the hardships comes the ease. The women’s programme has has some tremendous hardships and it is good that we can win today and feel some ease. We feel good that in a long time we’ve not played in a tournament and now be able to come out victorious at home,” Shabazz said.
“They did well, they worked hard. Guyana played a smart game. They gave us room to play in front, they denied the room behind them. They gave respect to us and not try to press but then chose good moments to press. All in all we played against a sensible opponent and I thought our ladies handled it well as well,” he added.
“Lots of good ( we can take from this). We were able to score goals. We are smelling again like the team that can be a top team in the Caribbean. It’s been a long time, maybe since 2014 that we could say we are a top team in the Caribbean. Now that feeling is coming again. The girls are much more confident but we still have a lot more work to do in terms of being able to go forward and establish dominance.”
Watch Shabazz’s full comments here.
Trinidad and Tobago 22.Nicolette Craig (GK); 18.Naomie Guerra (11.Janine Francois, 67′), 8.Patrice Superville, 5.Jenelle Cunningham, 12.Shanelle Arjoon; 16.Liana Hinds (6.Natasha St Louis), 10.Tasha St Louis (captain), 13.Shenieka Paul (15.Kedie Johnson, 58′), 7.Jonelle Cato; 19.Aaliyah Prince, 14.Karyn Forbes.
Unused substitutes: 1.Saundra Baron (GK), 2.Ayana Russell, 3.Anastasia Prescott, 4.Shaunalee Govia, 17.Laurelle Theodore.
Coach: Jamaal Shabazz