This country’s dream of making it to the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup have been dashed.
This after Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-20 women’s footballers lost 5-0 to Puerto Rico in the qualification tournament at the 2023 Concacaf Women’s Championships on Wednesday.
The match was held at the Rignaal Jean Francis Stadium in Curacao.
TT needed to defeat Puerto Rico to finish first in Group D and advance to the 2023 Concacaf Under-20 Women’s Championships in the Dominican Republic, which kicks off on May 24.
The championships serve as a qualifier for the 2024 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. TT’s defeat to Puerto Rico now means this country’s World Cup dreams are over.
TT kept the match goalless for 26 minutes, but two goals in three minutes put Puerto Rico in control. Kenedy Garcia opened the scoring in the 27th minute and Enasia Colon doubled the lead for Puerto Rico in the 30th minute, a lead they held onto until half-time.
Ashley McMahon gave Puerto Rico a commanding 3-0 advantage in the 51st minute as TT’s chances of progressing to the Concacaf Championships looked grim. Colon got on to the score sheet again in the 76th and Garcia also netted her brace with an 82nd-minute strike.
Puerto Rico were the favourites heading into their clash against TT as they were ruthless in their first two matches. Puerto Rico defeated Guadeloupe 5-0 and eased past the Cayman Islands 6-1. TT were not as convincing getting past Cayman Islands 3-0 and holding on for a 3-2 win against Guadeloupe courtesy of a hat-trick from J’eleisha Alexander.
The Puerto Ricans now join automatic qualifiers USA and Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, who qualified after a goalless draw with Guyana sealed the top spot in Group C on goal difference with both teams finishing with seven points each.
The two remaining groups to be decided are Group A and Group F which will determine the final two nations who will compete for top spots (finalists and third-place match winner) for next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.