Huitema hattrick hero as Canada KO feisty T&T; hosts sunk after controversial red card

EPL Infrafred Sauna

Trinidad and Tobago gave CONCACAF giants, Canada, a scare but, in the end, were eliminated with a group match to spare as they fell 4-1 tonight in CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Lanky striker Jordyn Huitema lived up to her billing for Canada with a treble although the junior Women Soca Warriors might be cursing their misfortune. Again, the hosts failed to hold on to their lead while they were controversially reduced to 10 players with close to half hour left in the match.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Aaliyah Prince (left) tries to control the ball while Canada defender Jessica Lisi looks on during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 20 January 2018.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The result means that Trinidad and Tobago’s France 2018 Women’s Under-20 World Cup dream is over as the hosts now have no chance of advancing to the semifinal round, despite one group match remaining against Costa Rica on Monday.

Canada join Haiti into the knockout stage after the French-speaking islanders edged Costa Rica 3-2 in the opening clash of this evening’s double header.

In Haiti’s opening win over Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday, striker Nérilia Mondésir stole the plaudits with a brilliant hattrick. Today, it was the turn of midfielder Melchie Dumunay who was irrepressible in central midfield and put Haiti three goals clear in first half stoppage time, after early strikes by Roseline Eloussaint and Nelourde Nicolas.

But the Central Americans fought back and second half items from Daniela Coto and substitute Hillary Corrales ensured a nervy finish as Haiti held out for a historic result.

It is the first time that Haiti have ever qualified for a CONCACAF semifinal in the Women’s Under-20 game.

Photo: Haiti attacker Roseline Eloissaint (right) tries to shake off the attentions of Costa Rica players Maria Salas (left) and Fabiola Villalobos during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 20 January 2018.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago needed a result to keep their own hopes alive and coach Jamaal Shabazz made four changes to his starting team. Winger Kedie Johnson, who scored against Haiti, and defender Shaunalee Govia were both replaced due to injury while full back Jaasiel Forde and winger Chelcy Ralph lost their starting berths.

Bustling forward Lauren Theodore and the versatile trio of Alexis Fortune, Brittney Williams and Nathifa Hackshaw took their places.

Canada coach Beverly Priestman also made four changes but her decision to rest captain and star midfielder Gabrielle Carle—the only player in the competition with an Olympic medal after featuring in Canada’s senior Rio 2016 squad—suggested that the North Americans hoped to pace themselves with Monday’s showdown with Haiti in mind.

Presumably, the Group A runners-up would face the United States in the semifinals and it is not a match-up that teams look forward to in this confederation.

However, at halftime, Carle was on the touchline waiting to come on with the score locked at one goal apiece and the feisty hosts showing little hint of an inferiority complex.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Lauren Theodore (left) pressures Canada right back Emma Regan during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 20 January 2018.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

For the second time in the competition, Trinidad and Tobago had scored first. This time, it was diminutive attacker Aaliyah Prince who did the honours, as she blasted a swivelled effort past opposing goalkeeper Lysine Proux in the third minute off a right side corner kick.

The largely partisan 2,200-odd supporters were in uproar. But Canada drew level in just six minutes as Huitema capitalised on an error by Trinidad and Tobago custodian K’lil Keshwar to head home off a right side corner kick.

The junior Women Soca Warriors were fast and fiery but, unsurprisingly, the composed Canadians generally enjoyed the better of the exchanges and went ahead in the 50th minute with an improvised volley by Huitema, after another set piece. Once more, Keshwar would think she could have done better.

And, in the 64th minute, disaster struck as a Canadian effort was partially saved by Keshwar and deflected off the forearm of Trinidad and Tobago captain and central defender, Natisha John.

Honduran referee Melissa Borjas immediately pointed to the penalty spot, which seemed fair. But she also showed red to John; and that was arguably excessive.

Photo: Canada captain Gabrielle Carle (left) cushions the ball during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action against Trinidad and Tobago at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on 20 January 2018.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Carle coolly stroked home the penalty to give Canada a two goal lead on top of their numerical advantage.

As the clock ran down, a few supporters headed for the exits to a chorus of heckles.

“Allyuh plastic fans… where allyuh going?” asked one supporter. “Leh we lost together nah… Allyuh can’t give allyuh nation seven more minutes?!”

But the bubble was well and truly burst in the 87th minute, as Huitema hared into the Trinidad and Tobago box to prod home Canada’s fourth and her fifth goal from two matches.

And Canadian cheers meant curtains for the young Women Warriors.

Editor’s Note: See Wired868 later for full match report and coaches’ comments by reporter Amiel Mohammed.

Trinidad and Tobago (4-1-4-1): 1.K’lil Keshwar (GK); 18.Brittney Williams, 17.Alexis Fortune, 4.Natisha John (captain), 3.Shadi Cecily Stoute; 13.Shenieka Paul; 10.Aaliyah Prince, 11.Ranae Ward, 7.Dennecia Prince, 5.Nathifa Hackshaw (16.Kelsey Henry 46); 9.Lauren Theodore (6.Shaunalee Govia 79),

Unused substitutes: 20.Malaika Dedier (GK), 2.Crystal Molineaux, 8.Megan Rampersad, 12.Jaasiel Forde, 14.Kedie Johnson, 15.Asha James, 19.Chelcy Ralph.

Coach: Jamaal Shabazz (T&T)

Canada (4-1-4-1): 18.Lysianne Proulx (GK), 2.Emma Regan, 5.Hannah Taylor, 16.Maya Antoine, 15.Jessica Lisi; 4.Julia Grosso; 13.Tanya Boychuk (17.Nadege L’Esperance 76), 8.Sarah Stratigakis, 14.Caitlin Shaw (20.Jessica De Filippo 68), 11.Jayde Riviere (10.Gabby Carle 46); 12.Jordyn Huitema.

Unused substitutes: 1.Rylee Foster (GK), 3.Ashley Cathro, 6.Malikae Dayes, 7.Shana Flynn, 9.Teni Akindoju, 19.Ariel Young.

Coach: Beverly Priestman (England)

Referee: Melissa Borjas (Honduras)

CONCACAF Player of the Match: Jordyn Huitema (Canada)

CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship

[All matches are carded for the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva]

(Saturday 20 January)

Haiti 3 (Roseline Eloussaint 5, Nelourde Nicolas 32, Melchie Dumunay 45+2), Costa Rica 2 (Daniela Coto 61, Hillary Corrales 73), Group A, 4pm;

Trinidad and Tobago 1 (Aaliyah Prince 3), Canada 4 (Jordyn Huitema 9, 50, 87, Gabrielle Carle 66 pen), 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;

(Thursday 18 January)

Costa Rica 1 (Catalina Estrada 27), Canada 3 (Jordyn 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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Kedie Johnson (far right) celebrates her goal against Haiti with teammates (from left to right) Ranae Ward, Dennecia Prince and Shenieka Paul during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 18 January 2018.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures

(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.

Photo: United States forward Savannah DeMelo (centre) tries to escape from two Nicaragua defenders while coach Jitka Klimkova (right) looks on during CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 19 January 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

CONCACAF U-20 Standings

Group A (Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

Canada      2-2-0-0-7-2-6

Haiti           2-2-0-0-6-4-6

Costa Rica 2-0-0-2-3-6-0

T&T             2-0-0-2-3-7-0

Photo: Canada captain Gabrielle Carle (left) leaves Costa Rica defender Stephhanie Blanco for dead during CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
(Courtesy: Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Group B (Played-Won-Drew-Lost-Goals For-Goals Against-Points)

Mexico        1-1-0-0-4-0-3

USA            1-1-0-0-2-0-3

Nicaragua  1-0-0-1-0-2-0

Jamaica      1-0-0-1-0-4-0

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Who not ready the players or the coach.

  2. Who are the foreign-based players on the TT squad ?

  3. It’s unfair to the young ladies that we put out an underprepared team. When you looked at some of the other squads you saw months if not years of preparation.

  4. If the players are sound then that leaves the other possibility…….

  5. “There is some room for growth and growth which has to be done right away […] in order to close the gap. We have to realize the importance of what we do outside of tournaments and not just (when we are in) tournament mode.
    “[…] The type of preparation that a team like Haiti would have done and why they are now reaping the rewards.”
    TTFA technical director Anton Corneal gives his take on the recent failings of Trinidad and Tobago’s national youth teams

  6. Two or three are from the US collegiate system.

  7. Do the local women play outside? Semi-pro leagues etc?

  8. What is the missing element in our games, we have been hearing the same lame excuses for some time. I may be wrong , but I have surmised that other countries have a “TEAM” young women who have been playing together for some time., who eat and sleep soccer. However we, both the MEN and Women National team are put together as matches draw near. We doing the same things over and over and getting the same result. When will some body, anybody stand up and do something different, changes coaches nothing working , We need positive CHANGE, You want to tell me no one can come up with something NEW.

  9. Back to the drawing board but did we learn anything?

  10. Hard Luck Am Still Proud Of You All ❤

  11. How BIG is the gap between T&T and the other teams in this tournament?

  12. If you fail to prepare the be prepared to fail,it’s not rocket science.

  13. Local team way below standard. Only about 3 players up to mark!

  14. Coach Jamaal Shabazz admits that Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 women could not keep pace with Canada but vows to give 100 percent against Costa Rica; Canada coach says her team were unnerved by Junior Women Soca Warriors supporters but insist they made a statement in the end

  15. Even at senior mens level Haiti plays the best football. Just they have no finishers. I remember 2 Gold Cups ago Haiti beat up the US and lost to a clearly inferior Jamaica team that utilized their bullying tactics to great effect. Haiti Avie.

  16. WATCH: Highlights of Trinidad and Tobago U-20 Women’s 4-1 loss to Canada.

  17. Hard luck team i felt yhey looked underprepared

  18. It’s not hard luck no prep.not ready

  19. I love every thing about this game on yesterday nice win the haiti game that is ,,hard luck trini girls

  20. Me eh even find Canada was all ah dat. I expect Haiti to give dem ah run.

  21. Like nothing has a positive result in Trinbago, in this time; nothing!!!

    • We played with a little more purpose on Saturday, Shabazz will pick his best team next Tuesday. The technical team, nice guys, are way below par. A look at the coaches will show we have the least recognized and we would finish last. Thanks for their efforts anyhow. They should of played at least 6 college boy’s team in their preparation and some of their issues would of been sorted out. They preferred the locals to the foreign girls – their choice our loss. That’s our legacy for the past 15 years with a little bright spot here and there.

  22. ..The award of both a penalty AND a red card was changed by FIFA last year to penalty and yellow card. No? And there I was thinking that our local referees were bad..

  23. Thank your president for his vision and preparation

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