Hosts Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada will square off from 7.30 pm today, at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, on the final day of the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers Caribbean Zone Preliminary Round Group B.
Both teams have won their respective two matches, including their contests on Friday – TT brushed aside Curacao 7-0 while Grenada hammered the United States Virgin Islands 9-0.
The group winners will progress to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Final Round, which will feature hosts Haiti and four other qualifiers. From that stage, three teams will advance to the 2018 CONCACAF Championships, which will serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
In the TT-Curacao clash, striker Aaliyah Prince scored twice, in the sixth and 11th minutes, after Tianna Daniel opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Chrissy Mitchell netted TT’s fourth in the 19th minute, followed by items from Afiyah Cornwall (20th), Kayla Baboolal (26th) and Maria-Frances Serrant (55th).
Earlier on the day, Melania Fullerton had a dominant performance, netting five times (15th, 28th, 52nd, 68th and 82nd) while Sheranda Charles got a hat-trick (12th, 18th and 70th).
Captain Judy McIntosh also got her name on the scoresheet, in the 79th.
On Wednesday, TT trounced the US Virgin Islands 13-0 while Grenada strolled past Curacao 6-2.
Following Friday’s game, TT coach Jamaal Shabazz reflected, “Amazing first half by the team, and the way they exploited the space behind the Curacao defence. I was impressed with that. I think we took the pedal of the bike in the second half but, all and all, I’m very pleased with the result and the performance.”
Asked if the players took things easy on Friday, instead of piling in the goals as they did against the US Virgin Islands, Shabazz replied, “The Curacao team is not a bad team. It’s a well-organised team (with) good talent. They played a high defence and we were able to exploit that.
“It was always going to be a different game from the first night,” he continued. “Our job is not to just rain goals. Our job is to get the result. In doing that, if we score some extra goals, we’re happy. But in no way are we going out there thinking that each game we’re going to give certain goals.
“The landscape in women’s football in the Caribbean have changed. Who would have thought that Grenada would now be a force to be reckoned with in CFU women’s football? And they are. And we respect that.”
And, about today’s encounter, Shabazz said, “It’s going to be an interesting one. The Grenada team (have) played at the CONCACAF level and we have tremendous respect for the work put in (by) them. But we, being at home, are confident and we think we’re up to the task.”