JAMAAL SHABAZZ, coach of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s football team, was pleased with the squad’s comfortable 7-0 win over Suriname on Wednesday evening, at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
This game was the second of back-to-back matches in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Challenge Series.
On Wednesday, in the first game of the double-header, Guyana and Grenada battled to a goalless draw.
Pint-sized winger Shenelle Arjoon (fifth and 45th minutes) scored twice, while captain Tasha St Louis (11th), winger Patrice Superville (30th), midfielder Karyn Forbes (36th), forward Mariah Shade (41st) and left-back Jonelle Cato (52nd) chipped in with one apiece.
“I’m happy that we were able to come away with a big win,” said Shabazz in a post-game interview. “I thought we could have scored a couple more. It was not really a major test for us. Suriname gave us a lot of room on the sides. All and all, I thought we could have done a lot better but I’m happy with the result.”
Suriname never tested TT goalkeeper Saundra Baron, and their approach was basically to keep every player behind the ball and limit the TT scoring opportunities. Their plan failed miserably and Arjoon, Shade and substitute Aaliyah Prince could have made the margin of defeat be in the double digits.
Shabazz acknowledged that he wanted to give a few of the younger substitute players opportunities in the second half.
He said, “I thought (Laurelle) Theodore and Prince could have done much better. I expected them to actually tear apart their opponents. They were very docile (but) we need to keep working. We have two more games against Grenada (today) and Guyana (on Sunday).”
The TT coach revealed that he will be using some of TT’s unused players from the Suriname game against Grenada. That game will kick off at 6.30 pm at Couva with Guyana facing Suriname at 4 pm.
St Louis was taken off at half-time with an ankle injury, while her replacement, Aaliyah Prince, suffered a head injury in the dying seconds after a collision with Suriname defender Saffira Hoogdorp.
Shabazz noted, “We did try to play it safe and take off St Louis and Forbes, but no major concerns. We have Prince getting a knock in her head, but generally we should have a full squad (for Grenada).”
St Louis and Shade featured as the attacking duo. Shabazz commented, “The squad now does not have (Kennya Cordner). The other players who we have in that position, we’re experimenting”
He added, “(Shade) didn’t do badly in terms of her movement, but I think she can do better. We’ll stick with her there for now.”