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Jamaica tops group in CONCACAF Caribbean U-20 Women’s Qualifier

The CONCACAF Caribbean U-20 Women’s Qualifier ended Sunday night at the Warner Park with St. Kitts and Nevis going down to another big score line; this time to leaders Jamaica that had already qualified for the next round since Friday. Jamaica thrashed the home side 9-0, seven of those goals coming in the second half. Shayla Smart got the scoring off in the 8th minute and one minute later Jody Brown found the back of the net effortlessly. In the second half, it was a goal scoring spree for the Jamaicans, where Marlee Fray, who came on in the 50th minute scored a hat- trick in the 51st, 73rd and 88th minutes of play. Jadyn Matthews scored in the 58th minute, Alufoloshade Admoluken scored a penalty in the 71st minute and Shayla Smart got on to the score sheet again in the 83rd minute. Despite the win, Jamaica’s coach Lorne Donaldson, said he will be retooling his team for the next round of the qualifiers. “The first half wasn’t as good as you could see but we had a little chat in the locker room. I think we were too relaxed and too complacent in the first half but we came back out, scored some goals and overall I thought it was a good performance,” Coach Donaldson said. He added that going forward into the next round, his team needs a training camp and to add new players. “We got to get ourselves into a training camp and we have to add some more players; better players to the group than we have right now. We have a lot of work to do. We are nowhere close where I think we need to be,” a frank Coach Donaldson said.

For St. Kitts and Nevis coach Shandor Wilkinson, she credited her team’s fighting spirit. “It was a better first half. They went out and when they started out first, they were a bit scratchy and after the two goals scored they got in it and they fought to the end of the first half. When we came back out it was basically to try put in more work and try to get some goals, but maybe lack of fitness, they couldn’t really pull through till the end,” Coach Wilkinson said. She added that poor goalkeeping was a major issue in the competition for them.

Coach Wilkinson noted that going forward, the team will have to engage in more practice sessions in order to improve. “If these girls have been practicing for a longer period of time and then come to this tournament (the results) would have been much, much better,” she said.

In the first match of the double header, Haiti book their spot in the next round along with Jamaica, after claiming the scalp of their neighbours the Dominican Republic 4-1 in a must win game.  Nerilla Mondesir of Haiti scored the first goal of the match in the 40th minute when it seemed like the half would have ended 0-0. But that lead was short lived after Alyssa Jazmin made an extraordinary individual effort, beating two defenders and slotting the ball in the back of the net. In the end however, the deft play of Haiti and their fitness levels were too much for their opponents Danielle Etienne scored twice in the 60th and 81st minutes and Melchie Dumonay in the 90th minute. Coach Charles Fiorda noted that now that they have qualified for the next round, they have much work to do.

Jamaica end the qualifiers on maximum points (9), Haiti on 6 and the Dominican Republic on 3. St. Kitts and Nevis ended at the bottom of the table without a point or a goal. Now that the qualifiers are over, attentions will now turn to the St. Kitts and Nevis senior men’s team versus their counterparts from Grenada in a friendly which happens this Saturday at 8 pm.

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