United States and Mexico made confident starts to their CONCACAF 2018 Women’s Under-20 Championship campaigns today as they swept past gutsy but outclassed opposition in Nicaragua and Jamaica respectively at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
USA have won five of the seven editions of this tournament played thus far and 10 years have passed since their last defeat, which was 1-0 to Canada in the 2008 final.
Nicaragua, who have not gotten even this far since 2008, acquitted themselves admirably and frustrated the North American giants for as long as they could. But, an early scare apart, the outcome was never in doubt as items in either half by Taryn Torres and Civana Kuhlmann settled the contest 2-0 in USA’s favour.
There was an unmistakable North American flavour about the Jamaican team too, as all but one of their 13 players fielded hailed from the United States or Canada.
If coach Lorne Donaldson’s heavy recruiting was meant as a shortcut to success, Mexico were not overly bothered as they ran out 4-0 winners.
Jacqueline Ovalle and Katty Martinez struck with headed items for Mexico in the first half while a Chyanne Dennis own goal and predatory finish by substitute Belén Cruz closed off the score summary.
Mexico and United States can both seal their places in the semifinal round on Sunday when they face Nicaragua and Jamaica respectively at the same venue from 4pm and 6:30pm.
Trinidad and Tobago will be fighting for their own survival tomorrow when they tackle Canada from 6:30pm at the same venue, as the hosts seek to shake off a 3-2 loss to Haiti on Thursday night.
Haiti will battle Costa Rica from 4pm tomorrow with the winner likely to pinch a spot in the knockout round.
Editor’s Note: See Wired868 later for full match report and coaches’ comments from reporter Amiel Mohammed.
CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship[All matches are carded for the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva]
(Thursday 18 January)
Costa Rica 1 (Catalina Estrada 27), Canada 3 (Jordan Huitema 49, 65, Gabby Carle 56), Group A, 4pm;
Trinidad and Tobago 2 (Dennecia Prince 3, Kedie Johnson 10), Haiti 3 (Nerilia Mondésir, 25, 45, 53), Group A, 6.30pm;
(Friday 19 January)
Mexico 4 (Jacqueline Ovalle 26, Katty Martinez 33, Chyanne Dennis OG 55, Belén Cruz 77), Jamaica 0, Group B, 4pm;
United States 2 (Taryn Torres 18, Civana Kuhlmann 53), Nicaragua 0, Group B, 6.30pm.
(Saturday 20 January)
Haiti v Costa Rica, Group A, 4pm;
Trinidad and Tobago v Canada, Group A, 6.30pm;
(Sunday 21 January)
Nicaragua v Mexico, Group B, 4pm;
United States v Jamaica, Group B, 6.30pm;
(Monday 22 January)
Haiti v Canada, Group A, 4pm;
Trinidad and Tobago v Costa Rica, Group A, 6.30pm.
(Tuesday 23 January)
United States v Mexico, Group B, 4pm;
Jamaica v Nicaragua, Group B, 6.30pm.