Kayla Taylor registered a double and returning forward Kennya “Yaya” Cordner chipped in a solitary item, as Trinidad and Tobago spanked Antigua and Barbuda 5-0 this evening in 2018 Caribbean Championship action at the Kingston National Stadium in Jamaica.
The win preserved the Women Soca Warriors’ 100 percent record in the competition, although coach Anton Corneal is likely to be disappointed with the final scoreline. Cordner, who plays professionally in Norway and only joined the squad on Monday, was the main culprit with four missed opportunities that were as shocking as they were uncharacteristic.
However, Corneal would have been pleased to give cameo appearances to defenders Rhea Belgrave and Lauryn Hutchinson—both returning from injury—while goalkeeper Kimika Forbes was given the afternoon off.
Most of all, the Trinidad and Tobago contingent would have taken comfort from another sparkling performance by the dynamic Taylor, who is now the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals from two matches.
Taylor’s first two glimpses at goal both ended with the ball in the back of the net. In the 16th minute, she collected a pass from flanker Liana Hinds on top of the opposing area and turned one defender before driving into the top right hand corner. And in the 38th minute, her relationship with Hinds bore fruit again, as Taylor controlled a deep right side cross from her teammate before deftly driving low into the same corner.
Remarkably, the duo might have combined for a third, as Hinds—this time on the left flank—picked out Taylor with another delicious cross in the 65th minute. Taylor’s header came back off the bar but Cordner was on spot to hit home from four yards.
Despite Cordner’s wastefulness on the day, her movement, speed and tenacity were a welcome addition to the Women Warriors and she is likely to be vital to their chances of retaining the Caribbean title.
Midfielder Janine Francois was involved in Trinidad and Tobago’s other two goals with her trademark dashes behind the opposing defence.
In the fourth minute, Francois ran on to a clever lofted pass by Karyn “Baby” Forbes and shrugged off a challenge by the opposing goalkeeper before hitting past two retreating defenders. And at the half hour mark, Francois won a penalty after getting on the end of a ball from skipper Tasha St Louis. St Louis converted the resulting spot kick.
Trinidad and Tobago were not able to add to the score line, though, against an opponent that conceded 16 goals in their previous two outings against Jamaica and Cuba.
The Women Warriors face Jamaica from 8pm on Friday in Kingston. Both teams met in the 2014 Caribbean final, which Trinidad Tobago won 1-0.
If St Louis and company can pull off another win on Friday, they will become the first Trinidad and Tobago national football team to lift a regional trophy in four years.
Trinidad and Tobago (4-1-3-2): 20.Saundra Baron (GK); 8.Patrice Superville (17.Lauryn Hutchinson 76), 3.Jenelle Cunningham (4.Rhea Belgrave 76), 5.Arin King, 7.Jonelle Cato; 14.Karyn Forbes; 9.Liana Hinds (18.Naomie Guerra 65), 11.Janine Francois, 10.Tasha St Louis (captain); 12.Kayla Taylor, 19.Kennya Cordner.
Unused substitutes: 1.Kimika Forbes (GK), 2.Ayana Russell, 6.Natasha St Louis, 13.Natisha John, 15.Melissa Baynes, 16.Aaliyah Prince.
Coach: Anton Corneal
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 (Christina Chang 2, Trudi Carter 6, Khadija Shaw 9, 48, 53, Marlo Sweatman 68, 73, Deneisha Blackwood 27, Ashleigh Shim 65) Antigua and Barbuda 0 at Kingston;
(Monday 27 August 2018)
Cuba 7 (Maria Perez 8, 56, Lilian Perez 25, 64, Rachel Pelaez 67, 78, Dianelis Carbonell 90+1), Antigua and Barbuda 0 at Kingston;
Jamaica 4 (Trudi Carter 17, Konya Plummer 32, Khadija Shaw 61, Giselle Washington 90+1), Bermuda 0 at Kingston;
(Wednesday 29 August)
Trinidad and Tobago 5 (Janine Francois 4, Kayla Taylor 16, 38, Tasha St Louis 30 pen, Kennya Cordner 65), Antigua and Barbuda 0 at Kingston;
Cuba 2, Bermuda 0 at Kingston.
(Friday 31 August)
Bermuda vs Antigua and Barbuda, 5pm;
Jamaica vs Trinidad and Tobago, 8pm, Kingston.