The “Women Soca Warriors” again could not find the right response to a talented Mexico National Team this evening as they fell 3-1 to “El Tricolour” in their final group match of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
The result meant the end of Trinidad and Tobago’s Pan American ambitions on the football field, just 24 hours after the National Under-23 Men were eliminated.
Mexico and Colombia will advance to the women’s semifinal round instead.
Unlike their male counterparts, the Women’s National Senior Team took their campaign to the wire as ties with Argentina and Colombia offered an opportunity for coach Ross Russell’s team to advance with a win over Mexico.
The last time these two women’s teams met was at the October 2014 CONCACAF Championship and Mexico emerged triumphant to secure a place at the Canada 2015 World Cup.
The Women Warriors hoped to get revenge but it was always a tall ask.
Mexico came into the Pan Am tournament fresh from competing at the Women’s World Cup while Trinidad and Tobago had not played a single international in seven months.
Veteran attacker Tasha St Louis was ruled out through suspension while star forward Kennya “Yaya” Cordner played with significant discomfort after supposedly being diagnosed with grade two MCL strain on her left knee.
It got worse in the fourth minute as defender Lauryn Hutchinson had to be substituted after a worrying clash of heads with teammate Khadidra Debesette.
Mexico playmaker Stephany Mayor put the North American team ahead in the 25th minute and got her second, minutes before halftime, when she beat tentative Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes to a lofted pass over the defence before slotting home.
Cordner gave the Women Warriors reason for optimism in the 49th minute when she tumbled over opposing defender Bianca Sierra in the 18-yard box while trying to get on the end of a clever Maylee Attin-Johnson pass.
In truth, it was a generous decision by the referee. And Trinidad and Tobago forward Mariah Shade took full advantage as she sent Mexican goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar the wrong way to halve the deficit from the penalty spot.
Shade’s spot kick was Trinidad and Tobago’s first shot on target for the match.
The W/Warriors could not build on it, though. Cordner tried to buy another penalty, as she tumbled theatrically in the area with no obvious contact after a low Ahkeela Mollon cross. But, this time, the referee was unmoved.
And, in the 70th minute, Mexico attacker Monica O Campo put the game beyond the Caribbean team with a simple finish after Forbes was drawn away from the uprights by an opponent.
The Trinidad and Tobago women will now regroup before entering the 2016 Olympic qualifying competition next month.
The National Men’s Under-23 Team, which was eliminated after heavy defeats in its first two games, will play its final Pan Am group match on Tuesday against Mexico.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-3-3): 1.Kimika Forbes (GK); 8.Patrice Superville, 4.Rhea Belgrave, 5.Arin King, 17.Lauryn Hutchinson (14.Karyn Forbes 8); 6.Khadidra Debesette, 11.Janine Francois, 9.Maylee Attin-Johnson (captain); 12.Ahkeela Mollon, 3.Mariah Shade (16.Brianna Ryce 74), 19.Kennya Cordner.
Unused substitutes: 21.Shalette Alexander (GK), 2.Ayanna Russell, 7.Dernelle Mascall, 13.Shenelle Henry,
Suspended: 10.Tasha St Louis.
Coach: Ross Russell
Pan American Women results
(Sat July 18)
Mexico 3 (Stephany Mayor 28, 45, Monica O Campo 70), Trinidad and Tobago 1 (Mariah Shade 50 pen)