Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team star Kennya “Yaya” Cordner should make her first appearance of the France 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign against Antigua and Barbuda from 5pm (TT time) tomorrow, after finally joining up with the Women Soca Warriors.
Cordner, who plays professionally in Norway, joined the team in Kingston, Jamaica this morning after ending her self-imposed exile, which saw her miss the earlier qualifying round in Trinidad.
Trinidad and Tobago are one of five nations competing in the 2018 Caribbean Championship. The top three teams advance to October’s Concacaf tournament, which doubles up as a World Cup qualifying series.
Cordner apart, veteran defender Lauryn Hutchinson and midfielder Naomie Guerra have also joined the Warriors since their 3-2 win over Cuba on Saturday.
Trinidad and Tobago are heavy favourites tomorrow against an Antigua and Barbuda team that conceded 16 goals in two matches without reply, as they fell 9-0 to Jamaica on Saturday and 7-0 to Cuba on Monday.
Coach Anton Corneal hopes that his squad can virtually seal their spot in the Concacaf competition with a comfortable win tomorrow.
“We’re looking to take charge of the game and secure our second win of the competition,” Corneal told the TTFA Media. “The last couple days have been useful in that we were able to get in a couple sessions which we didn’t have prior to the first game.
“[…] Having Kennya in the team now is a positive development as well as the arrival of Lauryn and Naomie to give us a full squad is important. We’ve seen the other teams in action so far and the main thing for us now is to collect as many points as we can in our early matches and take care of qualification for the next round in the United States.”
Corneal praised US-based attacker Kayla Taylor, whose hattrick made the difference for Trinidad and Tobago on the weekend.
“Kayla brought a different ingredient to the team,” said Corneal. “Her composure and her ability to finish showed up in our first gam. We were able to capitalise on chances that came our way and she finished the job for us.”
Corneal, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) technical director, admitted that his team struggled at times against Cuba. However, he hopes the break on Monday—when the Women Warriors had a bye—helped his players recover for their next outing.
“We had to defend for long periods [against Cuba] and we did that well,” he said. “I thought we were not able to really play as a team as well as we would have wanted to, and this would have been due to our lack of sufficient preparation.
“But we were able to put in a couple players into the game who were carrying niggling injuries and they came through which is a plus for us.”
Trinidad and Tobago’s clash with Antigua and Barbuda will be broadcast live from 5pm on Flow Sports 1.
Caribbean Championship results
(Saturday 25 August 2018)
Trinidad and Tobago 3 (Kayla Taylor 25, 50, 56), Cuba 2 (Yennifer Ramos 21, Maristania Mengana 82) at Kingston;
Jamaica 9, Antigua and Barbuda 0 at Kingston;
(Monday 27 August 2018)
Cuba 7, Antigua and Barbuda 0 at Kingston;
Jamaica 4, Bermuda 0 at Kingston.
(Wednesday 29 August)
Trinidad and Tobago vs Antigua and Barbuda, 5pm, Kingston;
Cuba vs Bermuda, 8pm, Kingston.