The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team are facing elimination from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying series after just three matches, following a 4-1 loss to St Kitts and Nevis at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva this evening.
The shock result means the Women Soca Warriors are third in Group A with only the winners advancing to the Concacaf Championship. Trinidad and Tobago have six points from three matches while St Kitts and Nevis and the Dominican Republic have seven each. St Kitts, thanks to their handsome win today, lead Group A on goal difference.
Trinidad and Tobago close off their group campaign against the Dominican Republic from 5pm at the Ato Boldon Stadium but, remarkably, the host team might already be eliminated by then. If St Kitts and Nevis defeat Antigua and Barbuda in the earlier affair at 2.30pm, the Women Warriors will be mathematically out of contention.
It would create an unprecedented scenario in women’s football. Trinidad and Tobago playing a Caribbean match with no chance of advancing while their opponents attempt to use them for goal difference.
Coach Stephan De Four sent out a near full strength team with an unchanged back four and veterans Karyn ‘Baby’ Forbes and Janine Francois partnered by the in-form Nia Walcott in midfield.
But the Kittians did not follow the script and surprised the host team with an opening item after just six minutes by Ellie Stokes. The underdogs were barely warming up. Seven minutes later, captain and forward Phoenitia Browne doubled their advantage from the penalty spot before she got her second in the 23rd minute with a cross-cum-shot that went in off experienced Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes.
De Four brought on Dennecia Prince from off the substitutes bench and she pulled a goal back with a shot that struck the underside of the bar before going in after the interval.
But, as the Women Warriors pegged St Kitts back, the visitors got a crucial fourth goal on the break as Browne ran on to a through ball to restore her team’s three goal advantage.
From Caribbean champions in 2014 to runners-up in 2018, the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Team are in danger of failing to book one of three regional qualifying spots for Concacaf in 2019, despite having home advantage.
Trinidad and Tobago: 1.Kimika Forbes (GK); 4.Maria-Frances Serrant, 5.Liana Hinds, 7.Khadisha Debesette, 2.Meyah Romeo; 14.Karyn Forbes (captain), 9.Nia Walcott, 10.Janine Francois; 17.Aaliyah Prince, 19.Tori Paul, 20.Cayla McFarlane.
Substitutes: 18.Tenesha Palmer (GK), 3.Amaya Ellis, 6.Sydney Boisselle, 8.Asha James, 11.Maya Matouk, 12.Jasandra Joseph, 13.Shanelle Arjoon, 15.Afiyah Cornwall, 16.Dennecia Prince.
Coach: Stephan De Four
Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying results
(Monday 30 September)
St Kitts and Nevis 0, Dominican Republic 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Aruba 0, Trinidad and Tobago 3 (Nia Walcott 2, Afiyah Cornwall 73, Janine Francois 90+1) at Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Wednesday 2 October)
Dominican Republic 2 (Dayari Balbuena 7, 69), Aruba 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Trinidad and Tobago 5 (Nia Walcott 13, 89, Karyn Forbes 45+2 pen, 74, Aaliyah Prince 81), Antigua and Barbuda 0 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Friday 4 October)
Antigua and Barbuda 0, Dominican Republic 2 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Aruba 1, St Kitts and Nevis 6 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
(Sunday 6 October)
Antigua & Barbuda 2, Aruba 1 at Ato Boldon Stadium;
Trinidad and Tobago 1 (Dennecia Prince 59), St Kitts and Nevis 4 (Ellie Stokes 6, Phoenitia Browne 13 pen, 23, 84) at Ato Boldon Stadium.
(Tuesday 8 October)
St Kitts and Nevis vs Antigua and Barbuda, 2.30pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;
Trinidad and Tobago vs Dominican Republic, 5pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.