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T&T Women get promising W/Cup draw, W/Warriors can advance with Panama result

The Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team avoided the more testing group of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship tonight as they were drawn with Canada, Costa Rica and Panama in Group B.

Group A, on the other hand, comprises Concacaf superpower the United States, hosts Mexico, Jamaica and Haiti. The W Championship kicks off on 4 July in Monterrey, Mexico.

Photo: Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe (centre, masked) joins the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team as they salute the crowd in Bacolet, after qualifying for the Concacaf W Championship with a 2-2 draw against Guyana at the Dwight Yorke Stadium on 12 April 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

The top two nations in each group qualify automatically for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, while the W Championship finalists and third place nation will represent the confederation at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Women Soca Warriors will have a tough time advancing to the semifinal round from either group—even at the best of times. However, the newly expanded Fifa World Cup has room for 32 teams and it means that Concacaf also has two intercontinental playoff spots for the third-placed group finishers.

Essentially, captain Karyn Forbes and her teammates need just one group stage victory to  get to the playoffs and two for an automatic World Cup spot. Had the Women Soca Warriors been placed in Group A, they would have needed their first win over Jamaica in eight years to keep their World Cup dreams alive.

In Group B, however, Trinidad and Tobago are potentially in a showdown with Panama for a playoff spot—at minimum.

Photo: Panama playmaker Karla Riley (left) tries to turn away from Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Karyn Forbes during friendly international action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 21 October 2021.
(via TTFA Media)

The Women Soca Warriors hosted Panama for two friendlies last year and finished with a goalless draw and a 1-1 tie. And while the Central American nation were tough opponents, coach Kenwyne Jones’ troops were not overawed.

In the next 10 weeks, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)—currently led by Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad—must do its utmost to ensure that the Women Warriors are ready for Panama when the W Championship kicks off in Monterrey.

2022 Concacaf W Championship

(4 – 18 July)

Group A: USA, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti.

Group B: Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago.

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