A HAT-TRICK by J’eleisha Alexander gave the TT Under-20 women’s footballers an exciting 3-2 victory over Guadeloupe in Group D of the Concacaf Women’s Under-20 qualification tournament at Rignaal Jean Francisca Stadium in Curacao on Monday.
Alexander scored the first of her two penalties in the eighth minute to give TT a 1-0 advantage.
In the 42nd minute, Guadeloupe found the equaliser when Laetitia Echard converted after a goal-mouth scramble. Echard’s first attempt struck the crossbar of TT goal-keeper Sophia Keel and a follow-up was blocked by a TT defender. The ball then fell to Echard who found the back of the net on this occasion as the teams were squared 1-1 at half-time.
In the 51st minute, Alexander was on target again from the penalty spot as TT took a 2-1 lead.
Alexander completed her hat trick when in the 60th minute she tapped home a low cross as TT went on top 3-1. Sergyna Loubli pulled a goal back for Guadeloupe from the penalty spot in the 84th minute after Keel committed a foul.
TT thought they had relinquished the lead in stoppage time as Guadeloupe put the ball in the back of the net with a header. The celebrations for Guadeloupe were cut short as the goal was ruled offside. After a few more minutes of play the final whistle was blown as TT clinched their second win in as many matches.
In their opening match on Saturday, TT defeated the Cayman Islands 3-0 with two goals from Talia Martin and another from Nikita Jackson.
TT will face Puerto Rico on Wednesday at 6 pm. Puerto have been impressive winning their matches 5-0 against Guadeloupe and getting past the Cayman Islands 6-1. TT will need to defeat Puerto Rico to advance to the 2023 Concacaf Under-20 Championships later this year.
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 at the championships will qualify for the 2024 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.