T&T need result against Curaçao to win Queen’s tourney, after Aruba loss

Trinidad and Tobago Women’s National Senior Team head coach Richard Hood will go out to win the Queen’s Friendly Tournament outright tonight when the Women Soca Warriors face hosts Curaçao in their final match in Willemstad.

At present, the Warriors are second in the three-nation tournament after a 1-0 loss to Aruba last night. Aruba have seven points from four matches, while Trinidad and Tobago and Curaçao have six and one point respectively from three outings each.

Midfielder Asha James (foreground) is one of seven senior players in the Trinidad and Tobago squad at the Queen’s Friendly Tournament in Curacao.
(Photo Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Thus far, Hood has used 16 of his 21-member squad in their three matches spread over five days. He suggested that he will resist wholesale changes tonight as they aim to leave Curaçao with something tangible.

Two players who will definitely sit the match out are left winger Ke’die Johnson and forward Talia Martin. Both are suspended due to yellow card accumulation.


“Unfortunately, we are placed in a situation where we have to get a result in order to win the tournament,” said Hood. “In addition to that, we have two players who are suspended for tomorrow’s game.

“We will have to make a shift in terms of players’ position [and] some alterations for the game. As well as our medical people have their work cut out for them, to get the girls physically ready to come back and play again tomorrow.

The Trinidad and Tobago starting team pose before kickoff against Aruba in the Queen’s Friendly Tournament at Willemstad, Curacao on 29 May 2024.
Photo: TTFA Media

“We will come up with an appropriate game plan and see how best it works… We need a draw tonight but we are going after a win.”

Last night, Trinidad and Tobago and Aruba appeared to be on even footing for much of the first half, with the Women Warriors lacking the required composure in the final third and, arguably, short on energy.

However, the women in red, black and white were stunned by an outrageous free kick from an improbable angle on the right-hand touchline by Aruba captain Soraya Vierhoeve, four minutes from the interval.

“[Vierhoeve] has a beautiful left foot and it was a good strike on goal,” said Hood. “However the goalkeeper did make an error in judging the flight of the ball by trying to attack the ball rather than backpedalling.

Trinidad and Tobago flanker Ke’die Johnson (right) passes for a teammate during Queen’s Friendly Tournament action against Aruba in Willemstad, Curacao on 29 May 2024.
Photo: TTFA Media

“Young goalkeepers will make errors but I won’t come down on her. I think she has been doing really well for us so far.”

The Trinidad and Tobago coach did criticise his team’s impetus and lack of tactical discipline during the halftime break, though.

“We were well beneath the pace in the first half,” he said. “We were not committed to attacking as we had planned to do. We had deviated from the tactical plan offensively and defensively—in the middle of the field particularly.

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Richard Hood grimaces on the touchline during his team’s clash with Puerto Rico in W Gold Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 27 October 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

“In terms of possession and our build-up [play], it was pretty decent. But we were not really attacking the box.”

Trinidad and Tobago were notably improved after the interval. But they could not find an equaliser.

“We saw a complete shift in energy levels and I thought the girls really gave a fantastic effort in the second half,” said Hood. “It was just unfortunate that we were unable to score… Everything was brilliant in the second half, so I was really happy with that.

“But, overall, I’m disappointed in the result and the first half performance.”

Trinidad and Tobago forward Tori Paul (left) in action against Aruba in the Queen’s Friendly Tournament on 29 May 2024.
Photo: TTFA Media

The Women Soca Warriors will try to get that right tonight, in their closing match of the exhibition tournament.

(Squad)

Trinidad and Tobago (4-1-4-1): 21.Mikaela Yearwood (GK); 15.Kanika Rodriguez, 8.Victoria Swift (captain), 2.Shaunalee Govia, 3.Ariana Borneo;6.Chrissy Mitchell (19.Talia Martin 77); 13.Sonia Lamarre, 7.Alexcia Ali (14.Orielle Martin), 10.Asha James, 20.Kedie Johnson; 9.Tori Paul.

Unused substitutes: 1.Maya Figgener (GK), 4.Kaitlyn Darwent, 5.Anastasia O’Brien, 11.Rasheda Archer, 12.Cherina Steele, 16.Hackeemar Goodridge, 17.Mariah Williams, 18.Tayeann Wylie.

Coach: Richard Hood

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