(Source: CFU) Jamaica- Having vanquished their opponents in the preliminary rounds, the eight teams in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU)Women’s Under-20 Final round, are expecting greater success as they face each other over eight days of exciting doubleheader matches, beginning Friday, October 18 and ending on Sunday October 27, in Jamaica.
The matches of this Final round will be hosted at two stadia: the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex and the Waterhouse Mini-Stadium, both in St. Andrew. Cuba and Grenada will clash in the opening match of the Tournament at Waterhouse Mini-Stadium on October 18, with similar records coming out of the Group stage. Grenada took the second qualifying spot from Group Three, which was held in Suriname from July 16-20. Cuba, in turn, took the runner-up qualifying position from Group Four, which was held in Jamaica from July 23-27. Cuba will be relying on the trio of Roxanna Goicochea, Ollancy Gainza and Eliane Acosta to see off the Grenadians. The ladies from the Spice Isle, however, will seek to counter and achieve victory through Cherese Hood and Ariba Collins, with 5 goals between them in the Round.
The second game of the opening doubleheader will pit Anguilla and Trinidad & Tobago against each other. Both teams are full of confidence, having ended at the apex of Group Two and Group One respectively. The ladies of the twin-island Republic’s Under-20 team will, no doubt, also be inspired by the success of their Under-17 teammates who defeated Haiti on September 29, to win the inaugural CFU Trophy.
Anguilla will look to the skills of Tamisha Richardson and Jamesha Jones, to overwhelm their opponents. The second day of the Tournament, Saturday October 19, will involve the remaining four contestants: Suriname, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Kitts/Nevis. In the first match of the doubleheader, Group Three winner Suriname will tackle Group One Runner-up Dominican Republic at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex. Suriname will expect to take victory with the help of Xaviera Somowidjojo and Saffira Hoogdorp, who together scored 4 goals in the previous Round. Thereafter, Group Four winner and host country team Jamaica will face Group Two’s second place team St. Kitts/Nevis. St. Kitts/Nevis will hope to defeat the Jamaicans through the fancied trio of Britney Lawrence, Phoenetia Browne and Kerisha Powell, who, together, put 12 goals in the back of the net. The Jamaicans, however, will expect their own 12-goal-scoring trio of Oshay Lawes, the leading goal-scorer of all the preliminary rounds (6 goals), Khadija Shaw (3 goals) and Kayla Gray (3 goals), to roll past the St. Kitts/Nevis team.
On the strength of the Group matches, a flurry of goals is expected as each team strives for supremacy. Group One leader Trinidad & Tobago registered a maximum 6 points from two matches by scoring 8 goals. The second-placed team, Dominican Republic, took 3 points from their two matches and scored 5 goals. The other country in the three member Group, Aruba, suffered at the hands of both teams, having been beaten 5-0 by each, in the space of two days in July. In Group Two, Anguilla ended at the top of the table with the maximum 9 points from three matches, and 5 goals scored. Though St. Kitts/Nevis finished second with 6 points, the team scored 16 goals, the majority of which hit the back of the net in an 11-0 drubbing of host team British Virgin Islands at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground on July 20. Group Three winner Suriname took the maximum 9 points from the preliminary matches with 10 goals scored, while the runner-up team, Grenada, registered 6 points and scored 6 goals. Both teams marched to the Final round by outmuscling Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In Group Four, Jamaica took the full 9 points from three matches and scored 17 goals, while Cuba took 6 points, having scored 11 goals. Both teams put Bermuda and Curacao to the sword in the preliminary round, with Jamaica having defeated Bermuda and Curacao, 7-0 and 8-0 respectively, and Cuba having prevailed over Bermuda 4-0, and Curacao, 6-0. All 16 matches of the CFU Women’s Under-20 Final round will be held at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., Jamaica time. The twelve preliminary matches of the Tournament will take place over six days, with each team playing three times between October 18 and October 23.
The four teams to emerge from this stage will contest the semi-finals on Friday October 25 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, and then, on Sunday October 27, the finalists will clash at the same location for the CFU Trophy. The finalists will automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Tournament in January 2014, where they will join host team Cayman Islands as the three qualifying teams from the Caribbean.